Born on the Bayou

In honor of Mardi Gras, the wildest party in Louisiana, here are some of my favorite bayou-inspired picture books.

Babies in the Bayou Jim Arnosky

Take your preschooler on an adventure through Louisiana marshland. You’ll meet ducklings, turtles, snakes, and even alligators as they seek food and safety in a vivid, southern ecosystem. Arnosky’s lyrical, repetitive text and realistic illustrations make this book a great introduction to bayou life.

Alligator Wedding Nancy Jewell

From the wedding vows to the after party, this picture book is a whimsical vision of a bayou wedding, complete with cypress trees, river rat photographers, and a crawfish bouquet. The tale is told with rhyming text, and enhanced by hilarious illustrations.

Swamp Song Helen Ketteman

Another rhyming book, Swamp Song presents a page-by-page catalog of stylish, accessory-clad swamp creatures as they make their contribution to the rhythmic din of the swamp. This book features lesser-known animals such as an ibis, a pygmy rattler, and a wood stork. It is excellent for a story time stretch, as is provides plenty of prompts for movement and noise-making.

–Brian Novak

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