Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Great children's books with a New Orleans flare

Enjoy sharing these lively stories with your little ones as they learn about some unique New Orleans traditions and are tickled by the Cajun dialect.
New this year, Good Night Nola is a quick read with gorgeous illustration. It’s an excellent introduction for young children and it pays tribute to things unique to New Orleans in a rhythmic prose.
The four-legged artist of New Orleans ' French Quarter takes a ride on the historical St. Charles Avenue streetcar. While attending a birthday party aboard a streetcar, Jenny Giraffe has the opportunity to learn about the history of New Orleans.
Another great book in the classic Jenny Giraffe series written by a former school teacher. While preparing for her ride in the Krewe of Orpheus, Jenny Giraffe discovers the tradition of float riders, masks, costumes, the origin of Mardi Gras colors, king cake and more.
Way down in Bayou LaRouche, a Cajun mawmaw bakes herself a gingerbread boy, who runs away, and is chased by everyone he meets. Told in a rich Cajun dialect, this interpretation has a removable gingerbread boy that easily slips from one page to the next so young readers can help him escape his pursuers. As the Gingerbread Boy attempts his great escape, the reader gets a feel for the lay of the land as we follow him through swamps and bayous, past vegetation and wildlife. The last page includes a recipe for Cajun Gingerbread Boys. A Children’s Choice Book in the International Reading Association Children’s Book Council

Cajun Night Before Christmas
This story is well known as an animated light show display in City Park's Celebration in the Oaks.

Mimi’s First Mardi Gras
Seen through Mimi's eyes, this pictorial tour of Mardi Gras provides an interesting introduction to the holiday. Preparations for the annual festivities include the all-important choices of costume. Though her parents are dressing as clowns, "Mimi had her heart set on being a beautiful princess." The depiction of the parade vividly highlights MG foods and throws as well as the arrival of Rex, King of Carnival. When the parade is over, an exhausted Mimi joins her cousins for gumbo and jambalaya.
This author was recommended to me by my cousin, but I have not read any of the books yet. It looks like she has some great books on her website with titles like 'Why the Crawfish Lives in the Mud' and 'Down in Louisiana'.

Nancy's Corner carries several of these great titles. You can also check with your local library.

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