A Review of The Bayou Fairies by Cher Levis Hunt, Illustrated by Paula Merritt Windham

A Review of The Bayou Fairies by Cher Levis Hunt, Illustrated by Paula Merritt Windham. Ally-Gator Bookbites Publishing House. 2017.

This is one of the most captivating and beautifully llustrated children’s picture books I’ve read, and certainly a unique look at the fairy world. Cher Levis Hunt leads us into the enchanted fairy world of the bayou, and there the reader experiences a series of adventures where we meet the fairy folk, their forever friends, and other creatures there.  We learn how they came together in the bayou to form a swampy family, a community bonded together by their love for nature. Artist Paula Merritt Windham has created the perfect fairy world for the author’s story.

In the pages of this wonderful book we meet fascinating fairy characters like Queen Nolia; King Oak; Ivy, the Poison Ivy Fairy; Honey, the Honeysuckle Fairy;  Vivi, the Bayou Violet Fairy; Cy, the Cypress Fairy; Lily, the Lily Pad Fairy; and Bean, the Bogbean Fairy. As we read the stories and descriptions of each of these characters, we also see interesting facts about the plants of this fairy paradise!

Cher Hunt has worked magic in this book.  It is sure to be a Louisiana classic, a book that will educate and entertain our children, and a book that will make a fine read-aloud for school programs or family events. If you’re already fascinated by the faerie folk, this book will feed that dreamworld faeries lead us to.

In her dedication, the author says: “This book is dedicated to my ‘fairy grandmother.’ You planted the seed in my imagination that grew into a lifelong love of fairies.

”In loving memory of Ruth Marie Garrett, 1925-1990.”

You may order the book HERE:

Author, Cher Levis Hunt

How to Create a Scottish/Irish School Program

Every year, I perform as a storyteller and musician (guitar /vocals) at Celtic Festivals. I also perform a Songs & Stories of Scotland and Ireland at many schools.  Usually each presentation is no more than 45 minutes.  If you are interested in creating your own program for schools to honor St. Patrick’s Day, Tartan Day, St. Andrews Day or other Celtic holidays, here are my suggestions as to how you can do that:

  1. Start with flags. Each of the seven Celtic nations has a flag with its own rich story. You can see some of these flags on the school flyer I’ve attached. Flags make a beautiful visual display. You can use flagpoles, tack or tape them to walls, or hang them easily from bookshelves. You can buy 3 x 5 foot flags cheaply on Amazon.
  2. Create your costume. I usually wear my kilt, though I may change that depending on weather, travel or other factors.
  3. Obtain some good music. There’s so many great musicians and bands to choose from. One good program often on NPR stations is Thistle and Shamrock. I generally use a CD of fiddle music, one of bagpipes and drums, and one of the ballads (including my own, The Minstrel Boy by the Bard of the South. See it HERE🙂
  4. Have a table with show-and-tell items. On my table, I have photos, toys, wooden weapons replicas (a targe, claymore, Roman sword, gallowglass sword, dirk, etc) historical items etc.
  5. Costumes for the kids (little kilts, priest robes, various hats, folding fans and parasol for girls etc. Kids liked to dress up and it gives lots of photo moments,
  6. Percussion instruments so a little band can play along wilth me on songs like “Molly Malone,” “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean etc. I have a bodhran, penny whistle, a harp (when I have room to bring it), maracas, tambourine and other percussion instruments.
  7. Some good stories and legends. For example, I use the story of William Wallace, Loch Ness Monster, the tartans, the druids, stories of the Scottish and Irish Saints, etc.
  8. I also have a dozen or so icons of Scottish, Irish, Welsh saints.

I will be happy to give more ideas or comment on yours if you’d care to share them.  Maybe this will get you started. Just write me at rickeyp at bayou.com. Good luck with your program.