“Santa” bought Princess Whinalot (my 7 yo) Petite Rouge for Christmas. If you haven’t guessed what the book is about, go drink more coffee…lol…Cajun Red Riding Hood of course. Somehow I hadn’t been asked to read this book to her until last night when I was good and tired.

A year ago, I would never have heard of most the words that come in the freaking glossary of the book! We have: boudin, etouffee’, file’, Grand mere, mais oui, pirogue. As for pronunciation, I would have butchered that too and I still did last night, but I tried to make the words rhyme, so that helped a little. I think this was the hardest children’s book I have ever had the pleasure of reading! I’ll give you an excerpt and I apologize that I didn’t mess with findin’ all the appropriate accent marks. BTW – dem illustrations in da book by Jim Harris, sure is cute. And da author, Mike Artell, is fabulous.

It was Claude, dat ol’ gator
Petite Rouge got a hunch
dat ol’ Claude t’inkin he’d
like to have her fo’ lunch

“We takin’ dis food to mah
grand-mere’s, she say.
“An’ I got me dis pole
so you get out de way!”

So we’ve got Petite Rouge, the goose, as the main character. Claude the alligator is her wolf. Her basket is filled with boudin and other local dishes, and of course, they travel through the swamp in a boat. This all makes perfect sense…right? Then when Claude tries to trick Red, her sidekick cat rubs “Hot Sauce” all over a piece of boudin and gives it to Claude. Claude is convinced that when he snapped at Red, that what he got was a piece of her, when actually he got the hot sauce on the boudin. Claude retrieves to the swamp for all eternity and never wants to eat a “Cajun girl” again…The END

Wouldn’t it bee a hoot if teachers and librarians all across the country had to read this book to their classes and tape the reading? I am just glad nobody heard me read it to Princess Whinalot! Off to the library today to get even more local children’s books today (they have a section for that)! Any suggestions!

If you read this on NOLA.com, stop by my main site for lagniappe (a word I never heard of until a year ago).

3 Replies to “Learning dat Cajun through dem kid books”

  1. That sounds adorable!! I wish I had known about that book when Jess was younger. 😛

    hehe, I know what you mean with pronunciations. A good deal of Jim’s family is Cajun, and I got to met a good many of them at the wedding/during the honeymoon, and whoooooooo-boy, it gets tough understanding some of “wad dey be sayin'” once they get going! 😉

  2. Oh, I am so getting that book for Princess Chatterbox! That’s right up her alley–she loves language! (That’s my baby!) Of course, then she’ll be going around talking like a Cajun after she reads it! 😉

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