A book that crackles with vernacular humor, its material drawn from the bayous of Louisiana; the Deep South of Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia; and the mountains of Tennessee and the Carolinas. This terrific collection of tales and superstitions, rhymes, riddles, and made-up words, comes with an intentional slant: Van Laan (see review, above) states outright that she tried to make ""each story as funny as it could possibly be."" Among the wide and varied selections are bird legends, possum stories, and a broad sampling of African-American folklore and humor. Van Laan includes source notes and additional reading, and Cook provides jaunty illustrations, exaggerating lines and limbs, and installing foolish expressions on animals and humans alike. Also included is an excellent map of the US that places the stories--as much as they can be placed--and demarcates the states of the South. Many readers, once they have enjoyed these modified versions, will seek out the originals, but there is no denying the diversions of this volume, with its combination of sheer mirthfulness and the scented trails of honeysuckle and magnolia.