Whether you were born and raised in the Red Stick or are a more recent transplant, you can’t deny that the food and culture of south Louisiana are something special. I love reading books with my little guy, and it’s an added bonus if they’re interesting. If you’re looking to inject a little local flavor into your reading routine check out one of these children’s books (most of which are available at the EBR Public Library).
Cajun Night Before Christmas
written by “Trosclair”, illustrated by James Rice Pelican Publishing Company
It’s almost that time of the year! This book is well-known for being just as charming as the original The Night Before Christmas. (Bonus points if you can read it in a Cajun accent!)
Why the Crawfish Lives in the Mud
written and illustrated by Johnette Downing Pelican Publishing Company
It’s kind of like the tortoise and the hare goes crustacean. A bayou-inspired fable teaches kids about the importance of playing fair.
written by Amanda F. Morgan and Jessica E. McDaniel, illustrated by Sean Gautreaux Goodnight Team
If you’re into indoctrinating tiny tiger fans (I am), then this book and the next are for you. An LSU-inspired take on Goodnight Moon, it leads readers through a bedtime ritual of bidding goodnight to everything from Tiger Stadium to the LSU lakes.
LSU Alphabet Book
written by Linda Colquitt Taylor Tate Publishing
From azaleas to zydeco, this book is just as much about south Louisiana as it is LSU. It also rhymes, which is always fun.
P is for Pelican: A Louisiana Alphabet
written by Anita Prieto, illustrated by Laura Knorr Sleeping Bear Press
Don’t write this one off as just another alphabet book for little ones–it’s got sidebars with more detailed information to interest older kids, not to mention beautiful illustrations.
Today Is Monday In Louisiana
written by Johnette Downing, illustrated by Deborah Ousley Kadair Pelican Publishing Company
I have always loved the Monday tradition of eating red beans and rice. This book features a tasty Louisiana meal for each day of the week–might be useful in getting picky eaters to try something new! You can get a look at the pages and hear the author, Johnette Downing, singing along on this YouTube video. And here’s a fun fact: Ms. Downing has actually petitioned the State of Louisiana to make it the official children’s song. You can read and sign the petition (and hear more of her music!) on her website.
Down in Louisiana
written by Johnette Downing, illustrated by Deborah Kadair Pelican Publishing Company
Here’s another book by Johnette Downing and Deborah Kadair, this one focusing on the natural environment. It features the same rhythmic rhyming and mixed-media illustrations that I find so charming.
Historic Baton Rouge Coloring Book
written and illustrated by Joseph A. Arrigo Pelican Publishing Company
Okay, maybe this one doesn’t meet the strictest definition of a book, but it’s fun. What better way to teach kids about local landmarks than to let them loose with a box of crayons?
I think it’s great for kids to be able to connect what they see in books with their everyday lives, and where else is your child going to read about egrets, crawfish (spelled the proper way), and the LSU lakes than in books written by Louisianian authors? So whether you’re doing a homeschooling unit on our great state or just trying to expand your bedtime reading repertoire, give one of these books a try–you may even learn something!