Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Liza Lou and the Yeller Belly Swamp

Mercer Mayer, Random House, 1976

This story seems like it's one part Epossumondas, one part Little Red Riding Hood, and one part Paper Bag Princess. Mama is always sending Liza Lou on errands like Epossumondas, but Liza is better at getting the job done. Like Little Red, Liza must face adversaries on her errand. And like the Paper Bag Princess, Liza Lou is whip smart and knows how to handle herself in a tight spot.

Liza Lou is sent on several errands by her mother who always urges her not to dilly-dally passing through the Yeller Belly Swamp and Liza Lou does just as she's told but she runs into trouble just the same. First she encounters a swamp haunt who is said to snatch away children. Next it was a nearly blind old witch who mistake a bundle of laundry for a baby and boils it up. Then she runs into the old Gobbledygook who lives under the bridge. Finally she meets an old swamp devil. In each situation, Liza Lou uses her wits and cleverness to trick the nasty creature and it often works to her advantage in the end. After all, that laundry got all boiled up nice and clean for her!

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