cover image Feliciana Meets D'Loup Garou: A Cajun Tall Tale

Feliciana Meets D'Loup Garou: A Cajun Tall Tale

Tynia Thomassie, Cat Bowman Smith. Little Brown and Company, $15.45 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-316-84133-7

Cajun color sparks this spirited follow-up to Feliciana Feydra LeRoux, which introduced the spunky Louisiana heroine and her family. Setting the tale in her native state, Thomassie knits together elements of its lore and bogeyman legend to create this original tall tale about a half-man half-wolf swamp creature--loup garou--that preys on naughty children. When Feliciana has a bad day, acting ""crankier than a soft-shell crab"" and ultimately butchering one of her pigtails to spite her brother, ti-Jacques, he threatens, ""Loup Garou's gonna come lookin' fo' you."" During the night, Feliciana hears loud howls outside and, thinking ti-Jacques is trying to scare her, she follows the noise into the swamp. There she discovers--and bravely confronts--the true Loup Garou, who turns out to be not so bad. Suffused with a snappy dialect (explained with a glossary and pronunciation key), Thomassie's text possesses the easy yet suspenseful pace of a good campfire yarn. Feliciana's bold, plucky personality will be a surefire hit with girls everywhere and the larger-than-life descriptions of Louisiana may spur in some readers a curiosity about geography. Smith's wiry, kinetic paintings deftly capture Feliciana's feisty, fidgety movements and facial expressions. Her dark and mossy renderings of a moonlit swamp and the hairy, toothy bugbear are ominous without being too scary for young readers. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)