It?s Epossumondas's birthday, so Mama's whipping up his favorite biscuits. But she's plumb out of sody sallyraytus! (That's baking soda to all you Yankees.) Everybody knows you can?t make big, fluffy biscuits without sody. One by one, Baby Gator, Auntie, and Mama scoot to the store to fetch some. But when no one comes back, it?s up to Epossumondas to run out and see what?s what--until he runs smack into a great, huge, ugly Louisiana snapping turtle!
It’s Epossumondas's birthday, so Mama's whipping up his favorite biscuits. But she's plumb out of sody sallyraytus! (That's baking soda to all you Yankees.) Everybody knows you can’t make big, fluffy biscuits without sody. One by one, Baby Gator, Auntie, and Mama scoot to the store to fetch some. But when no one comes back, it’s up to Epossumondas to run out and see what’s what--until he runs smack into a great, huge, ugly Louisiana snapping turtle!
Chubby, adorable Epossumondas returns in his third delightful folktale adventure. When he and his mama are preparing for his birthday party, Mama finds herself all out of the sody sallyraytus she needs to make the biscuits for the strawberry shortcake dessert. Since Baby Gator has arrived early, Mama asks him to fetch some from the store. Singing "Sody! Sody! Sody sallyraytus!" Baby Gator is returning from the store when he is confronted by a "GREAT, HUGE, UGLY LOUISIANA SNAPPING TURTLE," who swallows him and the sody up. The same unfortunate thing happens when Auntie goes to find him, and to impatient Mama herself. Epossumondas decides it is time for him to discover what has happened. On his way back from the store, when he encounters the turtle, he not only saves himself but Mama, Auntie, and Baby Gator, with the magic of sody sallyraytus. Stevens eagerly visualizes these engaging characters in mixed media. At first Mama and the birthday boy are already celebrating; then Mama is stirring up the mixing bowl even before the text begins. The visual story leads us through the adventure along with the text, which includes repetitions for read-aloud fun. The endpapers even provide a romantically naturalistic setting for the more detailed actions inside. That turtle is quite a frightening contrast to the other appealing cast members. A note adds information on both "sody" and on the real setting of the tale.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 5-The lovable diapered possum, Mama's "sweet little patootie," stars in another charming book, this time a variation of the Southern folktale "Sody Sallyraytus." On Epossumondas's birthday, Mama's plans to make his favorite light fluffy biscuits come to a halt when she discovers that she is out of sody sallyraytus. She asks one after another of the guests to "scoot over to the store" to buy some, and, unfortunately, they meet up with a hungry "GREAT, HUGE, UGLY LOUISIANA SNAPPING TURTLE!" It's up to Epossumondas to rescue them. Salley's text is alive with the colorful expressions of the South ("Well, I swaney" and "Honey, you're gooder 'n' grits"), which make the story a delight to read aloud. Stevens's hilarious mixed-media illustrations are a perfect match for the narrative. The visual details create lovable characters as well as a truly frightening villain. Mama's purple glasses and shoes, Epossumondas's diaper and the inexplicable safety pin hanging on his tale, and the Louisiana setting are all unforgettable. Children will love listening to the tale and will laugh out loud at the verbal expressions and the artwork. This one belongs on the shelves of every library, but it won't stay there long.-Lee Bock, Glenbrook Elementary School, Pulaski, WI Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
This high-spirited Louisiana version of the traditional folktale, "Sody Sallyraytus," is great fun to read aloud. It's Epossumondas's birthday, and Mama needs baking soda, or "sody sallyraytus," to make the sweet biscuits for strawberry shortcake, his favorite dessert. One by one, Baby Gator, Auntie, Mama and finally Epossumondas himself, cross the creek to the grocery store, chanting "Sody! Sody! Sody sallyraytus!" But on the way home, each of them falls prey to a "GREAT, HUGE, UGLY LOUISIANA SNAPPING TURTLE," all except for little Epossumondas, who cleverly and bravely saves the day. In the end, all (except the turtle) celebrate with strawberry shortcake. Salley's telling never misses a beat, and Stevens's energetic illustrations depict not only the unmistakable Ms. Salley as Mama, but also a matching "Auntie" in flowered dress, red pumps and party hat, both wonderfully contrasted with a truly GREAT, HUGE, UGLY LOUISIANA SNAPPING TURTLE. (author's note) (Picture book. 4-8)
COLEEN SALLEY was a professor of children's literature for thirty years and now travels widely as a professional storyteller. A native of Louisiana, she lives in the French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana.
JANET STEVENS is the author and illustrator of many popular and award-winning books for children, including the Caldecott Honor Book Tops & Bottoms. She lives in Boulder, Colorado.