Parents' Guide to

Lu and the Swamp Ghost

By Marigny Dupuy, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 4+

An irresistible storytime treasure.

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Carville tells his tale in true Southern storytelling style, and all of the requisite elements are present. There is the big, warm Southern family, there are delicious smells of red beans, rice, and cornbread wafting from the kitchen, Cypress trees and alligators, and a scary swamp legend. The heroine shows just enough spunk balanced by just enough caution to draw the reader along in her gullibility. Lu's warmhearted decision to bring the former "swamp ghost" back to her family ends the story on an upbeat note.

Working with Patricia McKissack, an award-winning author of numerous books for children, was a wise choice. She knows how to speak to children in a way that makes them listen. And the sometimes rather odd looking characters created by political cartoonist and children's book illustrator David Catrow are also strangely appealing in their own drop-eared, deadpan way. The accompanying CD features Carville's narration, an additional pleasure. All in all, this is a storytime treasure that is almost irresistible.

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