A review of The Great Storm: A Bayou Fairies Book

The Great Storm: A Bayou Fairies Book by Cher Nicole Levis and illustrated by Paula Merritt Windham was released with perfect timing at the peak of hurricane season. This is Levis’ second children’s picture book, a sequel to her first book, The Bayou Fairies. Bayou Fairies is a children’s book that teaches children about the plants, trees, flowers and animals of South Louisiana and how one can make friends by acts of kindness. The Great Storm also follows these same themes. You can read my review of Bayou Fairies HERE.

Windham’s artwork is captivating. Her short bio says that she is an avid animal and nature lover, and the illustrations make that point. The paintings are true to Louisiana, with a soft tone that fits the book’s story well.

Readers are invited to sit in the Story Ring with the fairies and learned how the swamp and bayou animals made it through the Great Storm with the magical bond of friendship. Like Bayou Fairies, the book is away to introduce children (and some adults!) to the beauty of the flora and fauna of the Louisiana Bayou. Along with the narrative, there are also educational facts about Bayou animals and plants listed at the bottom of several pages—as a kind of “Did you know?” exercise. These are facts that will stick in young readers’ minds easily after some repetition.

The charming and playful fairies are endearing and memorable. Here you will meet King Oak and Queen Nolia, who narrate the story and introduce each of the Bayou Fairies who are each given a distinctly Louisiana name, such as Andouille the alligator.
One can tell that Author Levis loves the bayous she was raised on and one can conclude that her degree in creative writing was well deserved. The book was published by All-Gator Bookbites Publishing House in Lake Charles, Louisiana. This a book that will warm the heart of any reader. One can order the book HERE:

The Santa Fe Expedition of 1841

The Santa Fe Expedition of 1841: A Poem by Rickey E. Pittman

In the summer of 1841,
President Lama had a vision,
Texas wasn’t large enough,
He sent the Santa Fe expedition.

General McLeod and Captain Lewis,
With 21 ox-drawn wagons,
And 300 men left in June,
With one old brass cannon.

Spurred on by Lamar’s command,
They walked toward Santa Fe’s trail,
They didn’t know how far it was,
Or that they were doomed to fail.

There was a Comanche moon,
When they reached the Llano Estacado,
Lost in an endless sea of grass,
There were no trails to follow.

The Comanche and Apache
Stole their horses at night,
Would kill and scalp if they could,
And the Texans feared they might.

Deserted by their Mexican guide,
Facing hardships from the weather,
They continued on a dead man’s walk,
That seemed to last forever.

Drinking foul badlands water,
Eating what they could find,
Their leaders made too many mistakes,
And a strange madness filled their minds.

They marched on in misery
Till Santa Fe they found,
They surrendered to the Mexicans,
Without firing a single round.

Governor Manuel Armijo
Who had 1500 men,
Promised them protection,
So the Texans trusted him.

But he marched them 2,000 miles,
South to Mexico City,
In chains and in sorrow,
He drove them without pity.

There were no maps to guide them,
There were no well-laid plans,
But we honor their sad footsteps,
These brave and bold Texans.