Somewhere in the Bayou

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Pub Date 01 Mar 2022 | Archive Date 28 Feb 2022
W. W. Norton & Company, Norton Young Readers

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Simple, subtle, and drolly funny, the Pumphrey brothers’ newest picture book (after The Old Truck and The Old Boat) is a layered exploration of the foolishness of making assumptions and the virtue of curiosity.

When four swamp creatures looking to cross a river come upon a log that would allow for precisely that, they can’t believe their luck. But a questionable tail adjacent to that log gives them second thoughts. Opossum believes it’s a sneaky tail and that they must pass it quietly. Squirrel thinks it’s a scary tail that can be cowed by intimidation. Rabbit decides it’s a mean tail that deserves a taste of its own medicine. As the critters exhaust approaches one by one, Mouse, the smallest of the lot, observes their folly and adjusts accordingly. But is it the mouse or the tail that will defy expectations?

Pairing their iconic illustration style with a wry irreverence, the Pumphrey brothers have crafted a delightful tale that reminds us to think before we act.

Simple, subtle, and drolly funny, the Pumphrey brothers’ newest picture book (after The Old Truck and The Old Boat) is a layered exploration of the foolishness of making assumptions and the virtue of...

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EDITION Hardcover
ISBN 9781324015932
PRICE $17.95 (USD)

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Featured Reviews

'Somewhere in the Bayou' has lively illustrations of several animal friends hanging to solve the problem of a mysterious green tail. The suspicious obstacle is dealt with in very different ways but in the end a kind word and a friendly action wins out. Fans of 'I Want My Hat Back' will enjoy this bayou adventure.

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An opposum, a squirrel, a rabbit and a mouse are in the swamp trying to find a way to get to the other side. They come across a log that spans the divide and decide that is just what they need to cross over.

As they begin to move forward on their journey they notice a big green tail sticking out of the water and they start speculating just who owns that tail and why is it waiting so still with the rest of its body submerged.

Opossum thinks it's a sneaky tail so in order for everyone to pass they must put their head down and pass by quietly. Squirrel believes it is a scary tail that can easily be intimidated. Rabbit decides it's a mean tail and he knows just how to deal with meanness!!! Little mouse watches his friend's foolish reactions and comes to his own humble and sensible conclusion.

The illustrations are so perfect and the expressions of the four little swamp rats are hilarious. The text is simple and the twist at the end is great! Kids will love it. I really enjoyed the book and highly recommend it.

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Friends don't eat friends.

Kindness comes in many different forms. With this short book of the animals of the Bayou. Kindness is bestowed on a alligator and the alligator returns the favor. Sometimes we have to look where we can offer kindness. A great conversation to have with your children. The illustrations are simple and clever!

A special thank you to WW Norton & Company and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

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Oh my goodness! My kids LOVED this book. SO much of the story is told through the beautiful and expressive illustrations, especially the emotion conveyed through the eyes of the characters. Simple and lovely, yet sharing so much humor, the eyes were the stars of this book. My son loved this story and laughed out loud at the ending. I'd recommend this book to anyone who has a kiddo that enjoyed a bit of comedy at the end of a book!

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I received an electronic ARC from W. W. Norton & Company through NetGalley.
Four friends need to cross a river. Each sees a tail and makes a decision about it. Three of them try to cross individually and run into trouble. The fourth engages with the animal not the tail and makes a new friend.
Told in caption bubbles and pictures. Readers will appreciate the humor. They can make predictions on what type of animal's tail is visible, and what will happen to each animal as the story continues. Use to teach predictions in a class setting.

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For four swamp creatures looking to cross the water, a floating log seems like the perfect way. But there’s something off about this log. And with a splash, one creature after the next disappears over the side, until there’s only one left. Ever so slowly he creeps across . . . and then stops. The problem isn’t with the log, it’s with the alligator who got stuck to the log. And so, the creature gently gnaws away the ropes tying the alligator to the log. Then nervously, he waits to see if he will be eaten, too. But someone who would save the alligator can’t be a meal. He must be a friend! And as we all know, we don’t eat our friends. Do we?
Somewhere in the Bayou by Jerome Pumphrey and Jarrett Pumphrey made me laugh out loud on more than one occasion. I loved watching each animal try to cross the log, only to get eaten. The simple, repetitive language is great for new readers, and is fun for younger kids who will quickly be able to catch on and say the words along with the adult reading. At its heart, though, Somewhere in the Bayou is not a story of being eaten, it is a story of friendship: an unlikely friendship between two creatures who could not be more different. And it is a story of helping those in need—even those who might eat you! Because that, after all, is what friends do! A beautiful story that’s sure to leave kids laughing out loud and begging to have the story read again.

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What a delightful book this was!

Four friends have found the perfect place to cross the river, though they're a bit perplexed about the big green tail that's in the water. Is it scary, mean, or sneaky? How should they proceed?

This is a clever, well told tale with a very funny ending.

And, I LOVE the artwork with its limited color palette, and crisp edges with no outlines - woodcut prints, maybe?

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The illustrations were fun, this book was like a mix between Chicken Little and The Gingerbread Man. The ending made me chortle, Mouse's face was priceless. I love that Mouse was the only one of the four friends willing to try and figure out what was actually happening before trying to cross.

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Four rodents looking to cross a stream encounter what looks to be a tail of a much larger creature. While investigating, the friends are hit with a surprising answer to the origin of the tail.

I love the woodblock-like illustrations and the limited use of colours in this book.

The tale (yes, that’s intentional!) is quietly funny, and a little mysterious, and a wee bit chilling, but then funny all over again, and brought a grin to my face by the end.

Thank you to Netgalley and to W. W. Norton & Company for this ARC in exchange for my review.

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