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The Bourbon Street Musicians Hardcover – April 22, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

First-time author Price spices up a standard with her Cajun-flavored take on The Bremen Town Musicians. "Come first cockcrow tomorrow, we boils your hooves for backfat and for soap!" a farmer tells his mule. Glass's (The Legend of Strap Buckner: A Texas Tale) signature illustrations depict the craggy creature in a clumsy gallop toward New Orleans and freedom; the mule's bulging ribs, prickly coat and knobby knees stand out against a crisp white background. Soon, the fellow meets an old bloodhound, an aging rooster and a decrepit cat, all about to be killed by their owners. The somewhat belabored encounters end with the mule convincing each animal to join his band, and a kind of refrain follows: "Sho' nuff?" they each ask; "As grass is green, sho' nuff," answers the mule. In this faithful retelling, the group comes upon a hideout, but the thieves here feast upon "gumbo ya-ya, couche-couche... [and] a jug of wild persimmon brew" and flee when the animals sing for their supper. Glass uses a series of vignettes drawn diagonally across a spread to trace the path of the ringleader as he diminishes in size when confronted by the cat, bitten by the hound and kicked by the mule and sent soaring off the page. Safe at last, the animals abandon their Bourbon Street dream and settle in. While the banter is verbose, Price crafts a rollicking narrative with a Southern twang that trips off the tongue, and Glass comes up with some memorable characters. Ages 5-8
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-5-Storyteller Price has fashioned a bluesy African-American version of the "Bremen Town Musicians," and her tale is perfectly matched with Glass's wonderfully humorous, vibrant illustrations of Louisiana country. In this retelling, the four decrepit friends (a donkey, dog, rooster, and cat) whose "years had caught [their] gray hairs," "highstepped road" bound for New Orleans. The colorful use of rural dialect rolls off the tongue. However, while the descriptive passages and colloquial phrases add flavor, they occasionally distract from the main story line ("And so they traveled on through the Spanish moss, through a swarm of green dragonflies, through scissoring foolish fireflies flicking light in every tree hollow, and past sugar cane so high it brushed the edge of the hot indigo sky crackling jade, copper, indigo"). Included is a glossary of unfamiliar words but no explanations of many little-known phrases (for instance, the two quoted at the beginning of this review). Glass uses oil crayons to fill the oversized pages with marvelous images of the animals and their wacky actions, creating an unforgettable bayou romp. Used as a read-aloud, it would be challenging fun and surely enjoyed by young and old listeners alike.
Judith Constantinides, formerly at East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Clarion Books; 1St Edition edition (April 22, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618040765
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618040766
  • Product Dimensions: 12.3 x 9.2 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,978,961 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Roz Levine on November 14, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Author, Kathy Price takes the reader down to the bayou for this marvelous Cajun rendition of the ever popular, Bremen Town Musicians. Meet four elderly, musically inclined friends, a mule, a hound, a rooster, and a cat, in all their craggy glory, trying to save their hides by traveling to New Orleans. "We is goin' to Bourbon Street to bebop and jazz. You can carry a tune and you have a bit of the torch in your song, so come wit' us, and we'll mardi gras and hi-de-ho." But along the way they come across a crawfisher's shack. Inside they spy a table filled with food, and "four roughnecks eatin' wit' jackknives and thumbs." And since it was dinnertime, and they were mighty hungry, these four old friends decide to sing for their supper..... Ms Price's clever retelling is filled with captivating imagery and magic, and with its energetic, rhythmic Cajun dialect, just begs to be read aloud by an enthusiastic storytellier. Andrew Glass' bold, bright, and exuberant illustrations enhance the text with playful humor and witty detail. Perfect for youngsters 4-8, The Bourbon Street Musicians is a manic, rollicking, fun-filled romp. "As grass is green, sho' nuff, y'all."
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Barbara L. Madison on September 10, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is not really a childrens' book. It's dialect retelling makes it hard to understand just as the original Uncle Remus tales did a few generations ago. It is actually the story of four elderly outcasts from society whose friendship saves them. Together they can take care of each other and find that life is still good.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Roz Levine on November 14, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Author, Kathy Price takes the reader down to the bayou for this marvelous Cajun rendition of the ever popular, Bremen Town Musicians. Meet four elderly, musically inclined friends, a mule, a hound, a rooster, and a cat, in all their craggy glory, trying to save their hides by traveling to New Orleans. "We is goin' to Bourbon Street to bebop and jazz. You can carry a tune and you have a bit of the torch in your song, so come wit' us, and we'll mardi gras and hi-de-ho." But along the way they come across a crawfisher's shack. Inside they spy a table filled with food, and "four roughnecks eatin' wit' jackknives and thumbs." And since it was dinnertime, and they were mighty hungry, these four old friends decide to sing for their supper..... Ms Price's clever retelling is filled with captivating imagery and magic, and with its energetic, rhythmic Cajun dialect, just begs to be read aloud by an enthusiastic storytellier. Andrew Glass' bold, bright, and exuberant illustrations enhance the text with playful humor and witty detail. Perfect for youngsters 4-8, The Bourbon Street Musicians is a manic, rollicking, fun-filled romp. "As grass is green, sho' nuff, y'all."
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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