Uncle Arnel and the Swamp Witch

Overview

"Pauvre ti bête" (poor little thing) was all she said, but that's all it took. With our eyes fixed on hers, the fabled Swamp Witch cursed us, and there we stood, now just twelve inches tall, in the middle of the swamp. Uncle Arnel exclaimed, "Marie, lâche pas la patate, allons" (Don't give up, let's go)! His words readied me for the great adventure that lay ahead. Even the familiar bayous were scary, with dangers and challenges I had not known before the Swamp Witch's curse. I had to remind myself that it was the same, and we were the ones who ...

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Overview

"Pauvre ti bête" (poor little thing) was all she said, but that's all it took. With our eyes fixed on hers, the fabled Swamp Witch cursed us, and there we stood, now just twelve inches tall, in the middle of the swamp. Uncle Arnel exclaimed, "Marie, lâche pas la patate, allons" (Don't give up, let's go)! His words readied me for the great adventure that lay ahead. Even the familiar bayous were scary, with dangers and challenges I had not known before the Swamp Witch's curse. I had to remind myself that it was the same, and we were the ones who had changed.
But change isn't all bad. There are still friendly creatures in the world—like Myrtle the Turtle, who carried us home on her back—and Uncle Arnel and Tante Cherie are still my family. With big smiles and warm hearts, they still know how to look forward to every day. That just goes to show you, there are some things that even the Swamp Witch can't touch.
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Alison Lane was inspired by the curiosity of her four children to write a series of stories about Uncle Arnel and his family. Growing up in New Orleans, Louisiana, Lane's love for the natural world of Acadiana was accentuated by her husband, Mike Lane, the creator of RodnReel.com, one of the first fishing Web sites in the United States.
Egil Thompson studied at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and received his bachelor's degree in fine art from Sonoma State University. He resides in Cloverdale, California. This is his first book.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
The plot of this tale set in the heart of Cajun Country is appealingly simple: Marie and her Uncle are shrunken by a Swamp Witch while out on a bayou excursion. A friendly turtle helps them home, where they discover that Aunt Cherie has been shrunken also. Only briefly nonplussed, the resilient family prepares for a new life of adventure as "petit people." Unfortunately, the story seems to function primarily as an excuse to present basic information and platitudes about Cajun culture. The author inserts some Cajun French and references to "fais-dodos" and places her Cajun family in a bayou-side cabin. What she fails to do is to make the characters or the setting believable or engaging. To make matters worse, the prose is clunky; the story begins in medias res, then takes a strange step backwards to provide unnecessary context; there is a confusing shift from first to third person mid-story. Thompson's detailed, realistic illustrations, though engaging, are not nearly enough to save this one. (glossary) (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781589806443
  • Publisher: Pelican Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/1/2009
  • Series: Uncle Arnel Series
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,435,396
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 11.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

In true Acadian spirit, Alison Hoffman Lane was inspired by her children to create a series of stories about Uncle Arnel and his family. Lane's love of nature was accentuated by her husband, Mike Lane, the founder of RodnReel.com, one of the most popular fishing Web sites in the United States. Lane is a registered nurse in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Egil Thompson received an associate's degree in art from Santa Rosa Junior College and graduated summa cum laude from Sonoma State University with a bachelor of fine arts degree. He also attended the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and had a recent retrospective of nine paintings at the Sanchez Art Center in Pacifica, California. Uncle Arnel and the Swamp Witch is his first children's book.

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