From School Library Journal
K Up?Librarians should "whoop and holler" with delight at the publication of this book! Collections of Southern lore and folktales, with the exception of Br'er Rabbit stories, are difficult to find, especially those that are well documented, true to their locale and speech peculiarities, plus entertaining to read aloud and tell. Van Laan and Cook have produced a gem, covering the Bayous (Louisiana), the Deep South, and the Appalachian Mountains. Each of the three sections includes superstitions and rhymes as well as stories and is preceded by a lively and informative introduction to the region. Van Laan includes authentic speech in her appealing retellings of the 13 tales selected. Each piece is carefully documented and, combined with the page of "Other Useful Sources," the notes provide a good compendium of original scholarly sources for Southern folktales. The illustrations are marvelous. They're filled with humor and action as animals and people dance across the pages in warm tones of red-oranges, peaches, greens, and blues, having an absolutely wonderful time...an experience that awaits anyone who reads this book. There's also a map of the U.S. that shows which states are considered part of the South, and the origin of each story. A collection no library should be without.?Judith Constantinides, East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 3^-6, younger for reading aloud. Van Laan has gathered rhymes, folktales, superstitions, and riddles from the Deep South, the Louisiana bayous, and the hollows of the Great Smoky and Blue Ridge Mountains into a lively, exceptional anthology, which is a superb choice for reading aloud, storytelling, or reading privately just for fun. She includes cherished selections about such characters as Jack and Brer Rabbit, as well as pieces bound to become favorites, capturing the flavor and music of southern dialectal speech as she maintains the oral nature of the tales and the sense of fun in the retellings, the verse, and the riddles. Scott Cook's abundant, playful illustrations emphasize the amusement of the situations and underline the humor, and his whimsical images personalize the characters. Regional introductions, well-detailed source notes, and a bibliography are included, as is a map pinpointing story locations. Adults and children will enjoy this important collection, which is highly recommended for children's folklore sections. Karen Morgan