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GATOR GUMBO by Candace Fleming


by Candace Fleming & illustrated by Sally Anne Lambert

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: March 9th, 2004
ISBN: 0-374-38050-3
Publisher: Melanie Kroupa/Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Poor Monsieur Gator, gettin’ old and slow, can’t catch himself a taste of critter, no how. He suffers silently as Mademoiselle Possum, Monsieur Otter, and Madame Skunk all tease and pester him—until he decides to make Maman’s gumbo. Just like the Little Red Hen, he asks who will help build a fire, fill the pot with water, catch crawdads, pick okra, grind spices, and add rice. Of course, the critters all say, “I ain’t!”—except when it’s eatin’ time. Beggin’ for just a taste, M. Gator tricks them into the pot—slurp, slip, plop—makin’ a gumbo “just like Maman used to make!” The appealing illustrations dress the animals in trousers and caps and provide visual puns like dropping an egg on Gator’s head. Creole cadence, playfulness with words, and good ol’ out-smartin’ flavor this tasty tale. (Picture book. 4-8)