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Liza Lou and the Yeller Belly Swamp
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Liza Lou and the Yeller Belly Swamp

4.43  ·  Rating Details  ·  325 Ratings  ·  57 Reviews
Gruesome creatures galore lurk in Yeller Belly Swamp, but they aren't going to stop plucky Liza Lou from getting her mother's sweet potatoes over to Gramma's place. "This has a kick-up-your heels quality -- there's never any doubt about who's going to have the last laugh". -- Booklist.
Paperback, 48 pages
Published May 1st 1997 by Aladdin (first published 1976)
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Jul 04, 2015 Miriam rated it really liked it
Liza Lou is a little girl who lives in a dangerous swamp, but she faces threats with courage and manages to outwit all the monsters.

At first I wondered why Liza's apparently loving mother kept sending her out to face these dangers alone. But if one ignores the supernatural element suddenly the story becomes quite realistic. Liza and her mother live in a dangerous environment and appear to possess few resources. Their clothes are patched and they are happy when they get enough to eat. Put that wa
Lisa Vegan
Aug 05, 2010 Lisa Vegan rated it really liked it
Recommended to Lisa by: Chandra
This is a delightful tale that has a strong female protagonist, Liza, and has a lot of humor. My only quibble is why did Liza’s mother send her into known danger time and time again?! But each time Liza is so intelligent and creative, she gets the upper hand. Liza is a wonderful character and children will enjoy her immensely, I think.

I love the little poems within the story, and I am wondering if they’re from traditional songs or stories; I’ll have to research that.

The foods mentioned sounded d

“Liza Lou and the Yeller Belly Swamp” is a clever tale set in the swamp by Mercer Mayer, well-known author of the “Little Critter” series and it is about how a smart and brave girl named Liza Lou manages to outsmart the monsters that lurk in the swamp. “Liza Lou and the Yeller Belly Swamp” is an amazing book about battle of wits that children will love for many years!

Mercer Mayer has certainly outdone himself in this tale of cunning and bravery as it details the wild adventures that Liza Lou has
Crystal Marcos
Aug 21, 2010 Crystal Marcos rated it it was amazing
I read Liza Lou and the Yeller Belly Swamp and I loved it! The illustrations are fun. I really enjoyed the cover with Liza Lou standing on the alligator's head. I appreciate it more after reading the story and finding out what a clever little girl Liza Lou is. I wish I could think that quickly sometimes! I like Mercer Mayor's style and it brought me back to my childhood when I remember spotting the spider and cricket in his Little Critter books. I spotted a spider in some of these pages and I lo ...more
Aug 27, 2010 Karol rated it really liked it
I enjoyed almost everything about this story/picture book. The illustrations are marvelous - quite detailed with expressive characters. I particularly liked a picture of Liza Lou's grandmother clonking a ghost over the top of its head with a frying pan, and also a picture of the parson, his wife, and Liza Lou at the breakfast table. Great stuff!

The story showed one girl's intelligence and determination to do what she needed to do, and her courage in the face of some scary stuff. But the one thin
Jul 09, 2011 Jocelin rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
I think I read this book in the 3rd grade. There was something very familiar about this story. Anyway, I thought that it was a really funny story about a little girl that lives in the swamp and she has to outwit all of the dangers that come her way. She basically is a fearless little girl who uses her brains to keep her safe. Great book for encourage young girls to meet situations head on and face them
Jun 09, 2009 Chenai rated it it was amazing
My favorite childhood books. I loved that Liza Lou looked like me & she was so much smarter than everyone else. She was full of tricks, as a kid, I couldn't get enough of this story.

Just bought a first edition off of eBay to share with my little one someday...
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I love this story about a smart and sassy girl who outwits an evil monster! Combine it with Patricia McKissacks' Flossie and the Fox.
Dee's Reading nook
Dec 10, 2014 Dee's Reading nook rated it it was amazing
Liza Lou's spunky behavior was just too cute. I read this book years ago but even now you feel this character's cunning way of venturing through a swamp to deliver a potato pie to her granny's house.

Surely a classic!
Oct 05, 2007 E rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: picturebooks
Gorgeously vibrant and detailed illustrations. Fantastical, superbly stupid monsters hopelessly prone to grand theatrics. A smart, spunky female lead. A beguiling singsong dialect and poems to match. A melodramatic oppossum that gives Waldo some stiff competition in the find-me business. A brilliant tribute to Great American Swamp culture. This book is unparalleled.

Yellerbelly cottonmouth
Possum up a tree
You can catch the swamp fever
But you can't catch me!
Jun 23, 2011 Maryposa rated it it was amazing
As a child, the only Mercer Mayer I was aware of, was the Little Critter books, adorable as they are, they are nothing compared to some of Mercer Mayer's other works. I have to thank my sweet mother-in-law for introducing me to them. Liza Lou and the Yeller Belly Swamp is by far my favorite. And of course, I read it to my daughters in the most ridiculous fake southern accent I can manage.
Liza Lee
Jan 15, 2014 Liza Lee rated it it was amazing
I made a shelf for the top ten most important books of my life and most of the books listed so far (I'm thinking really hard to whittle it down to just ten books) are as serious and adult as one would imagine but "Liza Lou and the Yeller Belly Swamp" definitely has earned it's spot in my heart and on my list.

Aside from having the very same first name as me and looking about the same age I was(about five years old) when I FIRST checked the book out of public school's elementary library, Liza Lou
Oct 27, 2014 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
This is probably my all-time favorite children's book. I remember it being so creepy and exciting to my kid self; I couldn't get enough of it, obviously. It's probably also why I so love my trips to the bayou.
Melissa Bee
Oct 24, 2012 Melissa Bee rated it it was amazing
Shelves: juvenile-fiction
I remember reading this book as a little girl. I thought Liza Lou was the best and smartest little girl and I wanted so much to be like her.
Mar 14, 2013 Ines rated it it was amazing
I just love this book because I played Liza Lou in a fifth grade talent show.
Nicole Plyler
Jan 30, 2016 Nicole Plyler rated it it was amazing
This book was magic to me as a kid. I found it on a bookmobile in small-town SC, but had to turn it back in. For the longest time, I didn't know the title, although I remembered the illustrations vividly. I found it as an adult, so it's a treasured part of the Fisk family book collection. I even recently purchased and framed an original Mercer Mayer illustration for our homeschool room wall. :-)
May 25, 2016 Garren rated it liked it
In a way this is cringeworthy. White dude pulling out every black and bayou trope while giving a Br'er Rabbit style series of episodes about Liza Lou. On the other hand, he does such a delicious job of it.

I'm saying this is some fine blackfacing that I can appreciate and unappreciate at the same time.
Jan 08, 2015 Jody rated it it was amazing
My Aunt gave me this book when I was about 5. I fell in love with Liza Lou and am still in love with her to this day. She was so amazingly smart and brave, and I longed to be like her.

It was *the* favorite nightly read-aloud for my now grown daughter, Charlotte. In fact, I still call Charlotte "Hushpuppy"--one of Liza Lou's mother's terms of endearment.

When I read this book to a class of children, a hush falls over the room. It really is magical. It's so fun to playfully embody the voices of all
Jun 16, 2014 Jenny rated it it was amazing
I'd have to say this is one of my favorite childhood books. My mom would read it to me, and I loved her voices for all the swamp monsters, witches, haunts, etc. Liza Lou is the smartest girl and outsmarts them all!
Barbara Svetlick
Jul 22, 2014 Barbara Svetlick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
I first bought this book when it came out in the 1970s and when I lost it or loaned it out I bought another copy. I love the artwork and I love the story. Mercer Mayer is one of the greatest writers of children's books.
May 03, 2014 Samantha rated it really liked it
Liza Lou is always finding danger, but that doesn't keep her down. A great book that young readers will enjoy and find inspiration.
Jun 03, 2015 Holly rated it it was amazing
I grew up with these stories and loved them. I'm so glad i still have the book so I can pass them down to my children.
Casey Richard
I didn't really enjoy reading this book. Even though the illustrations were beautiful and directly added to the text, I thought this story was scary. The monsters are drawn so realistic it seems as though they are coming off the page. As with typical books, the main character always comes in contact with the scary monsters and outsmarts them. I'm usually a big fan of Mercer Mayer's work, but I think since this book is so old, I'm more of a fan of his newer work, especially his Critter Series.
Jean Hussey-Stone
Nov 24, 2015 Jean Hussey-Stone rated it it was amazing
This book was so fun to read. Reading it with different voices was very engaging with my students. This is about a little girl, Liza Lou, who has to make a delivery to her grandmother for her mother through the swamp. On her journey, she ran into many different characters that were trying to keep her from getting to her grandma's house, but she is too clever! This is a great book to use with Reader's Theatre in the classroom; full of lively, fun characters. The students love to repeat the sing-s ...more
Jan 14, 2014 Alice rated it liked it
3.5 Stars This was a pretty funny book. It is the old saying "If you tell someone NOT to do something, chances are they are going to to it" So, by telling all the swamp creature to NOT do something, Liza Lou actually gets them to do all her work. Pretty clever story. I actually enjoyed it!
Mercer Mayer has a distinct illustration style. He was my favorite author as a young child before I became hooked on Steven Kellogg. This is an entertaining story about a clever girl who outwits the dangerous creatures in the Yeller Belly swamp. She had a little possum friend who us not acknowledged in the story and follows her around in her travels. The critter books had a spider and a grasshopper that you could pick out on each page. It was a fun little Easter egg in the books and I am glad to ...more
Jan 15, 2015 Karen added it
My all time favorite!
Jul 20, 2007 Jenifer rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
This picture book was one of my all time favorites as a small child. My grandmother, a third-grade school teacher, collected books that were banned from her school throughout her career, and this book was one of them. Beautifully illustrated, the stories are classic Louisiana folklore retold with the same herione - brave and smart little Liza Lou. The dialogue is written as if accented, and my grandmother always read it to me just like it was printed on the page. Fond memories of this lovely boo ...more
This is a fun book -- there are sort of spooky monsters in it, but Liza Lou isn't afraid of them, so hopefully the children reading the book won't be either. It's nice to see Liza Lou's willingness to help her family and also her confidence in herself.
Apr 27, 2008 Becky rated it really liked it
Recommended to Becky by: Nichole Taylor
Great kids book for learning different dialects. I like to read it in my best southern accent. I mean, how else are our kids going to know that a cottonmouth is actually a snake and that pancakes are good with molasses and that you use a pole to get your boat across the swamp. My two year old begs for this one, but wants me to skip through some of the parts more quickly.
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I began illustrating books in 1966. Since that time I have published over 300 books. Most of my books are about things that happened to me when I was a little kid. Now I'm a big kid and I write about things that happen now, especially with my own children. They always remind me of what it was like.

I was born in Arkansas in 1943. Boy, that was a long time ago! It's real fun to be an old kid. Then m
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