A Spicy-Hot Tale
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr), Hardcover, 9780374380502, 32pp.
Publication Date: March 9, 2004
A new take on The Little Red Hen -- Cajun style
Poor Monsieur Gator is getting old and is moving so slow he can't catch himself a taste of possum or otter, or even a whiff of skunk. Day after day those animals tease and taunt him until, finally, he decides to cook up some gumbo just like Maman used to make. But who will help him boil, catch, sprinkle, and chop? Certainly not rude Mademoiselle Possum, ornery Monsieur Otter, or sassy Madame Skunk. But when the gumbo is ready, they're more than eager to enjoy the result of Gator's hard work and as they run to get a taste - "Slurp Slip Plop Them animals go into the pot." "Mmm-mmm," says Monsieur Gator. "Now, this is gumbo just like Maman used to make."
Illustrated with wit and whimsy, this mischievous tale will have young readers laughing out loud.
"Creole cadence, playfulness with words, and good ol' out-smartin' flavor this tasty tale." -- Kirkus Reviews
"Fleming's sprightly text bounces right along as 'Mince! Dice! Chop! Them spices go into the pot.' A hint of wickedness and the lilting Cajun rhythms will spice up story time." -- The Horn Book
"A classic tale of contemptuous characters getting a well-deserved comeuppance." -- School Library Journal
"Fleming has a rhythmic way with words...a winning readaloud." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books