Why Lapin's Ears Are Long and Other Tales of the Louisiana Bayou

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Sharon Salluzzo
These three tales of Lapin, a trickster rabbit, are presented in a lively, engaging manner and beg to be read aloud. The first two are pourquoi tales explaining how Lapin got his long ears and short tail. The third story relates how he used his wits to win the hand of the lovely Ma'amselle Bijou. Each is told with a storyteller's rhythm and plenty of folksy expressions. The watercolor cartoon-style illustrations are a perfect match and extend the humor of the tales. In her introduction, the author tells us that the trickster rabbit she calls "Lapin" came to Louisiana from West Africa. Lapin's African tales were intermingled with the French language of the region and elements of European stories found their way into the telling as well. Whether read just for the fun of it, or used in comparison with trickster tales from other cultures, these are sure to make the reader laugh.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4Doucet has done a first-rate job adapting these three Creole-Cajun folktales. All involve Compre Lapin, a tricky rabbit counterpart to Br'er Rabbit. The stories flow smoothly and have a natural south Louisiana cadence, making them excellent choices for storytelling and reading aloud. Catrow has created a memorable protagonist: a cocky, bright-eyed rabbit with enormous ears. The other animals are also drawn in a lively, colorful cartoon style with plenty of humor and characterperfect complements to the narrative. An introduction places Compre Lapin in the spectrum of American folklore and lists the original collectors of the tales. This book offers a slice of folklore from a unique culture. Perhaps more of these tales will be published, for "rumor has it...that Lapin's still conjuring up tricks and giving dee-mon-stree-ations of Trouble all up and down that Louisiana bayou."Judith Constantinides, East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA
Kirkus Reviews
Why Lapin's Ears Are Long (64 pp.; PLB Sept. 1997; 0-531-30041-2; PLB 0-531-33041-9): Compère Lapin (a.k.a., Bre'r Rabbit) is the trickster rabbit of West Africa whose exploits, translated to Louisiana in the holds of slave ships, became the stuff of Creole and Cajun folktales. Here are three of his adventures, in which he acquires: long ears, courtesy of Madame Tortue, snapping turtle and would-be conjure woman; a short tail, courtesy of Compère Alligator, who fails to appreciate Lapin's efforts to acquaint him with Trouble; and a doe-eyed bride, Ma'amselle Bijou Deer. Rendered in a folksy storyteller's voice, sprinkled with colloquialisms and French idioms (the glossary and notes are helpful), and enlivened with bouncy green, yellow, and brown ink-and-watercolor illustrations, these tales are sauce piquante for story hours.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780531300411
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/1/1997
  • Pages: 64
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.63 (w) x 10.29 (h) x 0.59 (d)

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