Goodnight Acadiana

Lesley C Costner, Author, Camille Barnes, Illustrator
Lesley Crawford Costner, illus. by Camille Barnes. Ampersand (www.Goodnight Acadiana.com), $16.95 (24p) ISBN 978-1-4507-9590-6
Reviewed on: 12/24/2012
Release date: 11/01/2011
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Selected to represent Louisiana at the 2012 National Book Festival, this picture book pays tribute to Acadiana, a section of southern Louisiana steeped in Cajun history and culture. The narrative employs the well-worn device of bidding goodnight to various objects, which include Acadiana’s waterways, wildlife, architectural landmarks, museums, and—most predominantly—food. A glossary provides capsule information on the specific locations cited in the text, as well as translations of the French and Cajun French terms that give the verse local flavor. Costner’s rhymes and rhythms are largely on track, though they occasionally falter: “Goodnight Children’s Museum. Goodnight Planetarium./ Goodnight les enfants. Tomorrow you’ll learn, play and run.” Barnes offers a mix of playful images—posed next to spice jars, a crawfish waves at readers; children sprint through a museum—and gauzy vistas featuring lovely sunsets. This pleasing combination of graphics helps underscore Acadiana’s vitality and natural beauty. The collaborators provide an upbeat and effusive paean to a rich area of their home state. Ages 3–6.
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