Booktalk: A wild prairie is a lively place in this rhythmic romp with munchers and crunchers above and below the grasses so thick, and fires that flare, and rains that quench—and always the prairie grows green. Back matter offers information and activities for a fuller appreciation of this marvelous, disappearing habitat.
These are the roots that plunge so deep,
Long and strong, holding water to keep,
Down past the burrows where the prairie pups sleep,
Alongside the critters that worm and squirm
Alive in the dirt so dark and deep
Under the prairie that nature built.
Such long, strong roots can save the day
When rain you want still stays away.
Booktalk: The Pine Barrens region in New Jersey has long been a place of mystery, with its dark pine groves, black swamps, and dank bogs, oftentimes shrouded in mist and fog. Reputed to be haunted by spirits, it’s an unsettling place to be sure. But of all the mysterious happenings and sights to be found in the Pine Barrens, there is none so intriguing as the Jersey Devil. Since its first reported sighting in 1735, local lore has it that a “devil-like” creature with the head of a horse, the wings of a bat, and the hooves of a goat has menaced townspeople, frightened livestock, and caused all manner of trouble over the years. Is the Jersey Devil real?
In a flash of lightning as clap of thunder,
Mother Leeds’s thirteenth child was born…
but it was no ordinary child!
‘Tis said it was a monstrous creature that circled the room,
then flew up the chimney in a puff of smoke and out into the dark night.
Booktalk: When Carolina Giddle moves into the Blatchford Arms, no one knows what to make of her sequin-sprinkled sneakers and her trinket-crusted car. But the parents are happy there’s a new babysitter around, and Carolina seems to have an uncanny ability to calm the most rambunctious child with her ghostly stories. Armed with unusual snacks, candles to set the mood, and her trusty sidekick — a tarantula named Chiquita — Carolina entertains the children with some good old-fashioned storytelling…
Snippet:He went sprawling headfirst into a hollow and he felt a terrible pain as that skeleton twisted away at his foot. Jimmy Joe cried out, and the candlelight seemed to go dancing away in that couple of seconds before everything went black for him.
“Heavens to Betsy,” Carolina Giddle said, yawning and stretching her arms. “It’s about time you two were in bed.”
“You can’t quit there!” the boys called out. “Tell us what happened. Did the skeleton get Jimmy Joe’s foot?”