Down the Crawfish Hole

( 2 )

Overview

Maurice has a thrilling adventure as he travels through an enchanted and mysterious bayou land. In this Cajun version of the classic Alice in Wonderland tale, Maurice stops fishing with his brother to return an abandoned watch to a little blue crawfish. After following the crawfish into its hole, Maurice finds himself in a world where animals talk and magic is a regular occurrence. When he finally encounters the little blue crawfish again, he is waiting with the mean and ...

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Overview

Maurice has a thrilling adventure as he travels through an enchanted and mysterious bayou land. In this Cajun version of the classic Alice in Wonderland tale, Maurice stops fishing with his brother to return an abandoned watch to a little blue crawfish. After following the crawfish into its hole, Maurice finds himself in a world where animals talk and magic is a regular occurrence. When he finally encounters the little blue crawfish again, he is waiting with the mean and ruthless Toad Queen, who wants to boil Maurice in her pot!

Everyone will enjoy the references to Cajun culture throughout this colorful and imaginative story. Maurice eats pralines to increase in size and a bowl of gumbo to become small enough to fit through a tiny door. He encounters many swamp creatures, including a timid armadillo, a wild old Cajun trapper, a crazy alligator, and a mysterious opossum, as he makes his way through the swamp. This work will also be enjoyed by those not familiar with Cajun culture, as they learn about the lifestyle, food, and wildlife of the area through a story that is already familiar.

The illustrations that accompany this tale provide a magical view of Southern scenery, while accurately portraying the feelings of the characters. Children will easily identify with Maurice as he is thrown into this exciting yet dangerous adventure, and they will appreciate the characters, both loveable and frightening, he meets along the way.

Wes Thomas is a native of New Orleans. He received his bachelor's degree in visual arts from Southeastern Louisiana University and is currently a graduate student in Madison, Wisconsin. As an artist, Thomas enjoys drawing and etching, and he has spent much of his time in the silk-screening industry. Through his first book, Down the Crawfish Hole, he continues to explore his Louisiana background and his love for Cajun culture.

While fishing on the bayou, Maurice sees a little blue crawfish drop a watch, follows him down a crawfish hole, and embarks on an adventure reminiscent of Lewis Carroll's Alice's adventures in Wonderland.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
K-Gr 4-This Cajun adaptation of Alice in Wonderland never realizes its full potential. A young boy takes Alice's role as the daydreaming interloper who follows a blue crawfish down a hole and into a world populated by swamp-creature caricatures. Maurice meets a variety of odd personalities, has a few adventures, and falls into the clutches of the temperamental Toad Queen and her court. The story is a skeletal outline of Lewis Carroll's original, with the setting, characters, and props of the Louisiana bayou substituted for those of Victorian England. All of the salient points are here and the action moves quickly, but the writing lacks the flavor of the pralines and gumbo that Maurice eats to grow and shrink. For example, instead of the Mad Hatter and March Hare's tea party, there is "an old trapper and an alligator eating supper together" without so much as a fais-do-do or fish fry. The plot is condensed to fit the shorter picture-book format, and there is none of the fascinating detail that would bring the fantasy elements to life. Filled with whimsical humor, the ink-lined watercolor illustrations are much more effective than the text. Children might enjoy Maurice's journey, especially if it is presented as a vibrant read-aloud, but it offers no lagniappe.-Sean George, Memphis-Shelby County Public Library & Information Center, Memphis, TN Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781589801639
  • Publisher: Pelican Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/28/2004
  • Series: Cajun Tall Tales Ser.
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 11.10 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2004

    Delightful, Charming, Imaginative

    I had the privilege of meeting Wes Thomas at a book signing in Madison, WI where he is currently a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin. He is extremely talented, not only writing this charming children's story but also doing all of the beautiful watercolor illustrations. His illustrations match his text perfectly. I think any child would enjoy the story and all the wonderful animals that appear throughout the book. He does something that is so important for an author to do! He writes about what he knows, his Cajun, New Orleans background. In so doing he introduces all of his readers to bits and pieces of the Cajun lifestyle.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2010

    Check out this great adventure for the child or the child at heart

    This story is a wonderful cajun/Louisiana alternative to Lewis Carroll's Alice In Wonderland. Not only is the story great, but his artwork is amazing. You should check out Phil and His Fabulous Feathers too. He didn't write this on, but again his artwork is beautiful. I heard that he is working on a series now with another author. This guy is going places. He was born in New Orleans, LA, but now lives in Wisconsin, I think. His has his Bachelor's degree from Southeastern Louisiana University and his Master's from University of Wisconsin at Madison. Very talented author and illustrator. Look for his future works. This story would be great for teacher's to use in the classroom at any level. It would be a great Christmas or any occasion gift!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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