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Summary: Do you know what Trosclair likes best about living on the Louisiana Bayou? His boat (pirogue). He can visit his friends and cousins, hunt turtle eggs, or just explore. Trosclair had heard that Gargantua, an alligator, lived in Bee Island swamp. But he didn't believe it ... until it was too late. Now he was stuck in a tree. How would he ever get away? This picture book is a classic fable from the Bayou ... complete with some Creole vocabulary.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 8; read yourself: 6 to 10
Interest Level: 4 to 8
Reading Level: 3
Age of Child: Read with 5-year-old child.
Young Reader Reaction: Although our child liked the story, s/he was more interested in the illustrations. Subsequent attempts to read the book resulted in no reading, just flipping the pages to look at the pictures.
Adult Reader Reaction: We enjoyed reading the story, and would enjoy reading it again. The illustrations (which look to be watercolor and textile collage) are wonderful.
Pros: This is a modern-day Aesop's fable. The story is fresh, but it still has the same life-lesson in the end.
Cons: It would be helpful to have a glossary and/or some pronunciation guidance for some of the vocabulary.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. This is fun to read and enjoyable to look at. The story is refreshing and the characters are really cute (even Gargantua).
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Educational Themes: There is plenty to enjoy with this book: creative problem solving and myths and legends (look up swamp monsters, Bigfoot, etc.). If you want to be serious, you can talk about safety, listening to your parents, etc. The material is there ... but it's really just an enjoyable story.
Notes: This book is nominated for a Mom's Choice Award