Harmonica music opens and appears throughout this audio gem. J.J. Reneaux is an expert storyteller as author and narrator. In one story, three Irishmen encounter the bloodthirsty monsters of the South. The harmonica becomes the mosquitoes as Reneaux hilariously presents the men and their painful encounter. Reneaux's melodious voice inhabits words such as "dazzling," "shimmering," and "melting" in the story about a man who searches for his ideal wife. Best perhaps is Reneaux's portrayal of Poorboy, formerly a hobo, now a rich man, who returns to repay a crooked barkeep who once gave him a piece of bread and a boiled egg. The harmonica laughs as the barkeep and hobo end their differences over a pot of red beans.
"Like any good raconteur," she says, "I have told the tales as I heard them, but added personal touches, twists, and turns as the stories grew to be a natural part of my own life. For me, these tales are not museum pieces whose time was and is no more. They are alive and vigorous, brimming with joie de vivre, the zest for life that is the essence of Cajun culture.
For Ages Five to Adult
©1994 J.J. Reneaux; (P)1994 August House Publishers, Inc.
"Reneaux aims her stories at the heart and rarely misses her mark." (Chicago Tribune)
"Admired for the authenticity of her material, the charm of her Cajun accent, and the energy of her performance." (Jimmy Neil Smith)
I'm going to New Orleans next week so I wanted to prepare and this was a great way to start. The stories are charming, good for adults and kids. The Cajun language is fun and the reader has a lovely voice.
Cajun Folktales was a fantastic listen. Ms. Reneaux is a master at adding local cajun flavor, humor, and animation to her stories. All of her folktales have a wonderful moral that will either make you think or laugh out loud, or both.
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