“High above the clouds, a baby was born. He was so extraordinary that the rulers of the universe gathered at his cradle and marveled at the infant’s incredible strength. . . .
The king lifted his son into the air and declared before all the rulers of the world that the baby be called Hercules.”
Of course we all know the rest of the tale from here…or do we? In this twisted retelling, Hercules ends up in the swamplands of Louisiana growing up in the home of Claude and Claudette. Stirring together myth, Cajun culture, and Louisiana legends, award-winning children’s educator Connie Collins Morgan presents a fresh tale sure to captivate. She transforms the twelve labors of Hercules into four mini pourquoi tales brimming with elements unique to Louisiana culture. As Hercules meets challenge after challenge, we discover how cottonmouths got their name, why mosquitoes buzz in our ears, why catfish hide at the bottom of the water, how crawfish boils began, who really built the first levees, and why the mighty Mississippi flows south towards the Gulf. Even those pesky hurricanes are no match for the mighty young Hercules. Illustrator Herb Leonhard enhances the tales with his amusing illustrations and royal palette. A brief author’s note and Cajun glossary add to the fun.
About the Author
Connie Collins Morgan grew up minutes away from the magical bayous of Lafayette Parish in Louisiana. Her deep passion for the power of the written word led her to a degree in elementary education from the University of Southwestern Louisiana and then to an MFA in children’s literature from Hollins University. She and her husband live in the mountains of West Virginia near their four children but far from her Cajun home. Her French heritage, however, remains always close at heart. Her first book with Pelican, The Runaway Beignet, was also a collaboration with illustrator Leonhard.
About the Illustrator
Herb Leonhard received a BFA in illustration from the Pacific Northwest College of Art. His award-winning work has appeared in D Magazine, among other publications. He is the illustrator of several other Pelican books, including St. Patrick and the Three Brave Mice, Way Out West on My Little Pony, A Southern Child’s Garden of Verses, Leonardo’s Monster, I Know a Librarian Who Chewed on a Word, A Is for Alliguitar: Musical Alphabeasts, and Southern Mother Goose. Leonhard lives in Prosser, Washington.
HERCULES ON THE BAYOU
By Connie Collins Morgan
Illustrated by Herb Leonhard
JUVENILE FICTION / Fairy Tales & Folklore / Adaptations
JUVENILE FICTION / People & Places / United States / General
32 pp. 8 x 10
31 color illus. Glossary
Ages 5-6 Grades K-3