Why Epossumondas Has No Hair on His Tail by Coleen Salley

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Synopsis

Epossumondas has a very important question: "Mama, why don't I have hair on my tail?"

And wouldn't you know it, Mama can tell him exactly why possum tails are all pink and naked and funny looking. Her story's a doozy! It goes way back to Epossumondas's great-great-grandpa, Papapossum. When hungry Papapossum and his growly ol' stomach meet up with wily Hare, cranky Bear, and a persimmon tree . . . well, it's one hair-raisin' adventure!

Renowned storyteller Coleen Salley and Caldecott Honor illustrator Janet Stevens team up again, drawing on the Uncle Remus tradition and their own wild imaginations to expose a hilarious--and important!--moment in possum history.
 

About Coleen Salley

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COLEEN SALLEY was a professor of children's literature for thirty years and now travels widely as a professional storyteller. The old tale of "Epaminondas" is her trademark; her variation on this story appears in print for the first time as Epossumondas. A native Southerner, she lives in the French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana. JANET STEVENS is the author and illustrator of many popular and award-winning books for children, including the Caldecott Honor Book Tops & Bottoms, the Texas Bluebonnet winner Cook-a-Doodle-Doo!, and the Texas Bluebonnet nominee And The Dish Ran Away with the Spoon. She also illustrated To Market, To Market by Anne Miranda, an ABBY Honor Book. She lives in Boulder, Colorado.
 
Published September 1, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 40 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Why Epossumondas Has No Hair on His Tail

Kirkus Reviews

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Each time he hears a scary snarl, hiss or snort, he plays possum and the swamp critters leave him alone because they “don’t eat no dead meat.” When the swamp buzzard snatches him up, though, Epossumondas squirms, and the bird promptly drops him saying, “I never, ever eat no live meat.” When Mama ...

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His encounters with Alligator, Raccoon, Nutria, and Armadillo will have kids giggling out loud as they foresee what comes next, especially with Mama’s final caution: “Be careful about stepping on those pies.” In “A Storyteller’s Note,” Salley (a professional storyteller) cites the origin and rewo...

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Kirkus Reviews

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This high-spirited Louisiana version of the traditional folktale, “Sody Sallyraytus,” is great fun to read aloud.

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Stevens’s bright and whimsical illustrations, full of detail, feature a necktie-wearing bear (bee-pattern, of course), a rabbit in a carrot-festooned shirt, and the return of Epossumondas in his diaper, sitting on Salley’s lap as she tells this tale about tails.

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Publishers Weekly

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In the late Salley's last picture book, the fourth to feature Epossumondas and his Mama, Mama warns the possum to steer clear of the swamp because the dreaded “loup-garou snatches [possums] right up with its big ugly claws!” But Epossumondas follows a butterfly into the eerie swamplands, where a ...

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Publishers Weekly

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Foolish Jack is cast here as a pampered, over-mothered Louisiana possum in a refreshingly retold version by New Orleans storyteller Salley (Who's That Trippin' over My Bridge?).

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Publishers Weekly

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The diapered furry hero and his human mother are back to explain Why Epossumondas Has No Hair on His Tail by Colleen Salley, illus.

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Common Sense Media

When he shared this with his wily friend, Hare, the rabbit came up with a typical trickster idea: Papapossum should climb Bear's persimmon tree, something Hare could not do himself, and throw down half of what he could pick.

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