When I visited New Orleans last month, I knew I couldn’t leave without bringing home at least one book for my kids. So of course I ended up bringing back 4! While I did visit the wonderful Faulkner House Books, I actually found these at a toy store in the French Quarter! The Little Toy Shop (This is not sponsored in any way, I just want to let you know where I found them!) had a surprising amount of children’s books, from beautiful editions of fairy tales to, of course, a good selection of New Orleans and Louisiana-based stories. It was hard to choose just these four, but I think the variety is pretty good, and the books seem perfect for a variety of ages.
Bayou Magic by Jewell Parker Rhodes
I picked up this book for the cover alone, but the story sounds amazing. Rhodes wrote the acclaimed Towers Falling and Ninth Ward, and I’m really excited to read this with my 9-year-old. Bayou Magic is the third in a trilogy of books about 3 separate girls visiting Louisiana during different times of crises. In in this one, Maddy goes to spend the summer with her grandmother in the bayou, and immediately loves the feeling she gets there. In between hearing her grandmother’s fairy tales, a possible sighting of a mermaid, and Maddy’s realization that she might have REAL magic, a tragic oil spill occurs. Maddy may be the only who can help. This sounds like an amazing book set in the South, and I have a feeling I’ll be picking up the first two in the series as well.
This one was a no brainer! My kids love the Who Was series, and I had to get this edition about Louis Armstrong. This book details Armstrong’s childhood in one of the roughest neighborhoods in New Orleans through his adulthood and famously successful career. I love learning about important people in history just as much as my kids, and he’s definitely an important person to learn about. He didn’t let adversity and severe racism stop him, and that’s a message that we can all learn from.
This is a really cute picture book about a little boy tromping through the swamp at bedtime. The little boy keeps hearing funny noises and isn’t quite sure what any of them are. It’s told in rhyme, and is perfect for kids of any age who like funny books with wonderful illustrations.
A pirate? Swashbuckling through New Orleans? There was no chance I wasn’t bringing this one home for my 9-year-old. This is a real chapter book great for more advanced young readers or older readers, or to read with your child. It’s all about the pirate Jean Lafitte, his background, and what brought him to New Orleans in the 1800s. Some people loved him, some people hated him, and this looks like a really interesting book for any kid who loves pirates and their history!