Friday, October 5, 2007

Liza Lou and the Yeller Belly Swamp

Liza Lou And The Yeller Belly Swamp
Mercer Mayer ~ Aladdin, 1976


This book absolutely haunted me up until a few years ago. Once on a family visit to Nantucket when I was a girl, I spotted this book in a bookstore and had been enchanted by it. I only read it once, and we didn't buy it, and I never saw it again, but the story stayed with me. More than ten years ago now, I Dogpiled (ha! remember those days before Google!?!) the words swamp/little girl/swamp monster/book and was reunited with the pictures that had so long ago influenced me.

It was funny, too, that it would be by Mercer Mayer since I probably had every Little Critter book known to man at the time.

Yeller belly cottonmouth,
Possum up a tree,
You can catch the swamp fever
But you can't catch me.


I suppose being from the south and actually living nearby to real swamps made this book come alive all the more... the evil ghost of a Confederate soldier, the swamp witch, cotton mouths, and how the brilliant little girl outsmarts them all. She even sticks it to the devil himself!

I guess since I had my own swamp monsters of the imagination, it was gratifying to see a female kicking butt on the creepy crawlies of the dark. I have to give this book 80 thumbs up... plus my son gets a huge kick out of it which is all the more awesome.

Also by:
Liza Lou and the Yeller Belly Swamp
One Monster After Another
Professor Wormbog in Search for the Zipperump-A-Zoo
Me and My Flying Machine
Beauty and the Beast
A Special Trick
Bubble Bubble
OOPS
One Frog Too Many
How the Trollusk Got His Hat
Little Monster at Work
AH-CHOO
The Bird of Time
Herbert the Timid Dragon
Professor Wormbog's Gloomy Kerploppus
Boy, Was I Mad

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9 comments:

Janna said...

This was definitely one of my childhood favorites.

Chandra said...

This is consistently one of my daughter's top 10 bedtime pics!

flygyrl72 said...

My favorite book when I was growing up. She was a little girl who looked like me & wasn't scared of anything. I just found an original edition on eBay & bought it so my little girl (due 12/12) will be able to read her too. It's exactly the same book that I used to have when I was a kid.

Anonymous said...

just bought this as a a Xmas present. Thanks for the recommendation.

Chandra said...

So glad you added the scans! I'm going to pull out our copy and read it tonight in honor of your effort!!

BTW, have you ever read/reviewed The Maggie B? Love that dang book! Not sure why Liza Lou reminded me of it...but if you haven't already, it's worth checking out.

B. Streetman said...

Maggie B? You've stumped me.... must google now!

Chandra said...

It's by Irene Haas. It's a lovely book!

Heather O. said...

I had the same reaction recently--couldn't remember the name, but remembered the rich drawings, particularly the first one you posted. Imagine my pleasure when I finally tracked it down on Amazon and opened the book to find the pictures were even better than I remembered. And this time around I picked up that the swamp haunt is a confederate solider, and I finally know why a devil would want a parson's soul (never quite understood that as a kid.) Since it came in the mail, my 4 year old has asked me to read it to her EVERY DAY, and she sits and flips through it like I used too. We also had a great discussion about race, as my daughter commented on the color of Liza Lou's skin. Seriously, this is one of the best children's books ever, I can't think why it's not on every top list of must-have books for kids.

Anonymous said...

I loved this book ...grew up with it and will never forget the pictures. I am now going to share this with my grandchild!!

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