Clovis Crawfish and Michelle Mantis (Clovis Crawfish Series)
Mary Alice Fontenot
Pelican Publishing (2008)
Reviewed by Grayce Richardson (age 5) for Reader Views (4/09)
“I didn’t know a praying mantis could fly. I did not like the song, but I really liked the story about the friends. I want to thank the author for writing it. I like that some words are in French. Ladybugs and butterflies are missing.”
Grayce enjoyed this story, but the song in the middle of the book, which is a lament to the praying mantis, who all the friends believe is dead, was slightly distressing. Grayce asked me to stop singing it. Once she learned that the praying mantis was not dead, she regained her enjoyment of the book. “Clovis Crawfish and Michelle Mantis” by Mary Alice Fontenot is interesting. It has a definitive bayou, Cajun authenticity. I was a little surprised that the smaller bugs call the praying mantis the devil and had to explain that one to my daughter. The author is very creative and there are several peaks and story arcs in the book – from finding out the “devil” is the praying mantis, to her near “death” experience (and song) to finally removing the mud from the mantis.