Publisher, Date:
New York : Dial Books for Young Readers, 2001.
1 v. (unpaged) : col. ill. ; 23 x 28 cm.
In this Cajun version of "Little Red Riding Hood," the big bad gator is no match for a sharp young duck and her quick-thinking cat.
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E 398.2 PETIT
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Author Biography

Mike Artell is an award-winning children's book author, illustrator and television cartoonist. Mike's books include nationally recognized lift-the-flap board books for small children and non-fiction books for older children. Mike has also written and illustrated teacher and parent resource books on subjects as diverse as ecology, parties, drawing and young authorship. In addition to his work as an author and illustrator, Mike also has extensive experience as:

· A musician who plays guitar, bass, keyboard and blues harmonica.
· A storyteller who regularly performs original poems and tales.
· A newspaper editorial cartoonist.
· A magazine and greeting card writer and cartoonist.
· A keynote speaker for major educational conferences.
· A marketing consultant/board member for several high technology companies.
· The host of his own television cartooning show.

Each year, Mike shares his books and his writing/drawing techniques with thousands of students at dozens of schools across the country. During that same year, Mike typically writes and illustrates 2 books, conducts 6 teacher workshops, addresses 10 educational conferences and visits 6 libraries or children's museums.

Mike also conducts "author/illustrator in residence" programs at schools. Mike has personally guided more than 4,000 students through the process of writing and illustrating their own picture books. For this work, Mike was recognized by the Northshore (LA) chapter of the International Reading Association for "exemplary service in the promotion of literacy."

Several of Mike's books have been award-winners. Most recently, Mike's astronomy book for children, Starry Skies, was named a 1998 Best Science Book For Children by Science Books and Films magazine, a publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Mike's books have also been named "Pick of the Lists" by Publisher's Weekly, "Top 100" by Curriculum Administrator Magazine and "Teacher's Choice" by Learning Magazine.

- (Penguin Putnam)

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Booklist Reviews

Reviewed with Sheila Hebert-Collins' 'T Pousette et 'T Poulette .Ages 3-7. Set in the heart of the Louisiana swampland, Petite Rouge blend lots of Cajun French language and culture into the lively storytelling. In Artell's funny, rhyming takeoff of "Little Red Riding Hood," the wolf is an alligator, and Petite Rouge is a sturdy young duck who doesn't need a woodcutter to rescue her. The alligator wants to have her for lunch, but she threatens him, "Dis pole gonna hit you / where you part your hair." With the help of her smart cat, she tricks the predator, and then she and Grand-mere sit down to a Cajun feast. Even older children will enjoy the mayhem and the parody, including the paintings in Grand-mere's house of solemn duck versions of the American Gothic and the Mona Lisa. There's a brief note on Cajun history and a glossary, but a storyteller familiar with the language will easily manage. Harris' wonderful watercolor-and-pencil pictures are filled with action and playful detail that extend the story. They make the alligator both scary and ridiculous--huge teeth and frilly nightgown are a perfect combination. ((Reviewed July 2001))Copyright 2001 Booklist Reviews

Publishers Weekly Reviews

Artell (Starry Skies) sets his funky, rhyming retelling in the Louisiana swamp, where a young duck named Petite Rouge sets out to bring her ailing Grand-mère a basket filled with bayou fare, including gumbo and boudin (sausage). Her mother issues an emphatic warning: "Don' stop in de swamp!/ Don' you stop on de way!/ 'Cause de swamp's fulla gators,/ Cher! Dat's where dey stay!" Sure enough, six or seven quatrains later, the duck comes across a gator named Claude, and "Petite Rouge gotta honch/ dat ol' Claude t'inkin' he'd/ like to have her fo' lonch." Even those who don't favor the dialect will laugh at Harris's (Ten Little Dinosaurs) abundantly witty watercolor and pencil illustrations. He excels at comic absurdity, as in the pictures of the enormous Claude stuffed into Grand-mère's bed, wearing frilly pajamas and matching hat, with swimming flippers on his feet and a rubber beak strapped onto his snout to make him look like a duck. Droll visual details include Grand-mère's reposing in curlers, the surreptitious adventures of some mice and an image of the duck's pet cat, TeJean, hoisting a bottle of red sauce in this version, the heroine pours hot sauce over a piece of boudin and tricks the gator into eating it, whereupon he runs to cool off his maws in the swamp. A sassy, spicy outing. Ages 5-up. (May) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.


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