Why the Crawfish Lives in the Mud

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Overview

"Johnette Downing possesses an uncanny knack for engaging children and charming them with words and pictures or, as a musician, capturing and expressing the essence of musical styles and making them come alive and engage children. . . . Her books and music teach without seeming to by invoking joy and cleverness."
-Michael Sartisky, Ph.D., president/executive director, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities

"Snappy dialogue spiced up with French words and phrases makes this ...

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Overview

"Johnette Downing possesses an uncanny knack for engaging children and charming them with words and pictures or, as a musician, capturing and expressing the essence of musical styles and making them come alive and engage children. . . . Her books and music teach without seeming to by invoking joy and cleverness."
-Michael Sartisky, Ph.D., president/executive director, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities

"Snappy dialogue spiced up with French words and phrases makes this jaunty story a surefire winner."
-Gale K. Criswell, retired children's services consultant, State Library of Louisiana

"Move over Anansi the Spider! You have competition from trickster Crawfish in a delightful story visually appealing and rich in text."
-Nancy O'Connell, children's librarian, Schaumburg (IL) Township District Library

"Johnette Downing has shaped a clever just-so story out of the flora and fauna and mud of south Louisiana. There are plenty of smiles and giggles, and readers will even pick up a few Cajun expressions along the way."
-Michael Tisserand, author, Sugarcane Academy and The Kingdom of Zydeco

One hot and humid day on the bayou, back when Crab and Crawfish were still best friends, Crawfish was hungry, and as luck would have it, Crab had just gone fishing. Not only hungry, Crawfish was also lazy. Thinking only about himself-only about his empty belly, as a matter of fact-Crawfish decided to trick his friend out of his lunch.
But Crawfish had taken advantage of Crab's good nature one time too many, and soon he learns about the consequences of cheating his friend. This cute cautionary tale, filled with Johnette Downing's signature Louisiana flavor and fresh collage-style illustrations, includes a glossary of Cajun phrases and a list of crawfish fun facts.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—An original pourquoistory from the Louisiana bayou that pits lazy Crawfish against his best friend. Crab has caught a beautiful fish for his dinner, but when he shows it to his hungry pal, Crawfish mocks it as "ti-tiny" and "itsy bitsy" and inveigles Crab into giving him his "insignificant" catch. Crab goes back to the lake to find the entirely imaginary huge fish that Crawfish says he saw there but returns empty-handed and angry. Confronted by Crab, Crawfish crawls backward and falls into a big pile of mud, where he can be found to this day, hiding from Crab. The story is illustrated with simple, brightly colored collages. A glossary of a few Cajun phrases and some facts about crawfish are included. A humorous choice for storytimes.—Judith Constantinides, formerly at East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA
Kirkus Reviews
In this original pourquoi tale, hungry Crawfish spies the fish that Crab has just caught for his dinner. Wily Crawfish convinces Crab that the fish is much too small for him, goading him into relinquishing his catch into Crawfish's clutches and scuttling further down the bayou in search of a bigger challenge. Contrary to Crawfish's story, Crab finds no big fish in the bayou. He threatens to throw Crawfish into the mud, and Crawfish protests so much that it seems this is heading straight into Br'er Rabbit territory. It turns out Crawfish's protests are genuine, though. As he tries to back away from Crab he accidentally digs a tunnel in the mud and falls into it, where he will live from now on. A serviceable trickster tale jazzed up with Cajun French phrases defined both in the text and in a glossary. The rudimentary collages that serve as illustrations are unappealing and occasionally confusing. Learn and perform this one if you must. Skip the pictures. (Crawfish Fun Facts) (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781589806788
  • Publisher: Pelican Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/8/2009
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 410,128
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 11.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Johnette Downing is an award-winning and internationally recognized singer and songwriter. Her many accolades include eight Parents' Choice Awards, four iParenting Media Awards, and four National Parenting Publication Awards. She wrote and/or illustrated There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Bugs, Why the Crawfish Lives in the Mud, How to Dress a Po' Boy, Why the Oyster Has the Pearl, Why the Possum Has a Large Grin, Macarooned on a Dessert Island, and other Pelican titles. Downing lives in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Johnette Downing is an award-winning, internationally recognized singer/songwriter. Her many accolades include six Parents' Choice Awards, three iParenting Media Awards, and an Imagination Award, among others. In addition to being the author of Today Is Monday in Louisiana, Today Is Monday in Texas, Chef Creole, and Down in Louisiana, she wrote and illustrated Why the Crawfish Lives in the Mud and My Aunt Came Back from Lousiane, all available from Pelican. When she's not traveling the globe sharing her Louisiana heritage with children of all ages she lives in New Orleans, Louisiana.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 23, 2010

    Great NOLA book

    cute gift idea but make sure your kids have one too!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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