Mama’s Bayou by Dianne de Las Casas, illustrated by Holly Stone-Barker
Take a sound-filled tour through the bayou as the animals that live there prepare to sleep. Using the repeated phrase of “Mama’s by you on the bayou” the book moves from animal to animal offering the sounds they make. Crickets chirp, frogs slurp, snakes hiss, mosquitoes (skeeters) buzz, and more. Every few pages, there is a double-spread given over just to the accumulated noises of the animals. These small breaks in the pattern of the book keep it from being too rhythmic and also give readers a place to pause and consider the noises of the night.
De Las Casas has written a book that is a lullaby directly from the bayou to you. Her use of repetition is nicely done. Also the cumulative nature of the animal noises makes for a fun read. Stone-Barker’s illustrations are done in cut paper collages. The papers have dimension and texture, offering a depth that is exciting. She also uses deep colors of night very successfully.
A lovely way to celebrate the sounds of the night whether listening to the mosquitoes in the bayou or all the way north in Wisconsin. We do have fewer crocodiles though. Appropriate for ages 2-4.
Reviewed from copy received from Pelican Publishers.