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3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  300 ratings  ·  61 reviews
Who's Epossumondas? Why, he's his mama's and his auntie's sweet little patootie, that's who. He's also the silliest, most lovable, most muddleheaded possum south of the Mason-Dixon line!
Better choose your words wisely when he's around, 'cause otherwise you never know what you'll get. Epossumondas just might bring you a fist full of crumbs, or a soaking wet puppy, or a scru
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published August 1st 2002 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 2002)
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I would only like this more if "Epossumondas" was an easier name to annunciate.

This hilarious "noodlehead tale" was first published in 1907 as Epaminondas. It was about as un-PC as a children's book can get. I am really glad that this story can be retold in a way that doesn't offend anyone!
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Jess Farabaugh
Epossumondas by Coleen Salley is a story about a little possum named Epossumondas who is very loved by his auntie and mamma. The story is about Epossumondas trips back and forth from auntie’s house to momma’s house with different treats such as cake, butter, a puppy and bread. Throughout the book momma tells Epossumondas how to correctly bring home his treats from auntie’s house. Well Epossumondas cannot keep his directions from momma straight and ends up bringing home a fist full of crumbs, a s ...more
Elizabeth Walker
This book is about a baby opossum that goes to his aunts to bring back his mother back goodies. Every time Epossumondas gets himself into trouble along the way. This book would be good for second or third graders because it has some difficult words that many younger students would not know or understand. I rated this book a two out of five because other than the pictures I feel as if the rest of the book is not all that special. I believe that the theme of this book is that even though people sa ...more
Annie Carbutt
A stupid opossum makes many mistakes due to the terribly vague instructions of his even stupider owner. Not sure what the point is here. The author’s note calls it a “noodlehead” story. The illustrations, however, are darling and whimsical. The book is large and square shaped and the pictures themselves seem to tell a very vivid and delightful story of their own. For a small child who simply wants to enjoy beautiful illustrations, I could see giving them this book to look at quietly. But I would ...more
Harley Stine
Epossumondas is a simple little possum who is only trying to please those around him. He just can not seem to get anything right. The problem is that he follows his Mama's instructions way too literally often causing himself a bunch of grief and odd looks from others. When he tries to deliver a cake, he messes it up. Then he is told to transport butter so he then tries to correct his last mistake by carrying the butter like cake but in the process he messes the butter up as well. His mama often ...more
May 09, 2011 Jess rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Readalouds
Recommended to Jess by: Mom
Coleen Salley's signature tale.

You can't help take on a slight Southern accent when you read it aloud--which is exactly what should happen. It's a noodle-head folktale and after a trip or two to his aunties, kids really start to get the humor and the giggles.

I read it to first grade but it's got broader appeal. I like to pair it with Epossumondas Plays Possum, a book I like just a bit more.

oh - for fun when you use it as a read aloud - Janet Stevens based Epossumondas's mama on Coleen Salley. T
I’m not sure it is possible to read this one without a Southern drawl or an occasional shake of the head; which, by the way, is not a bad thing at. all.

The tone of the story is set by the title page. Epossumondas, our opossum protagonist, is larger than life and full-color/opaque on a neutral-tone/translucent background. And he is wearing a pinned cloth diaper. Honestly, I’m not sure what Auntie was thinking giving this “sweet little patootie” that slice of cake.

Mama advises Epossumondas on how
The kids weren't completely drawn in by the story, but they did enjoy the "Yes, mama!" bit enough to keep saying it to themselves. We used it as part of a noodlehead unit, which I still can't tell if the kids are enjoying or not, but we'll see how it goes. Some of them get the humor a bit more than others, which may mean first grade is better than kindergarten for this type of story.Or maybe it's the group of kids.
Meredith Trotter
Publication: 2002

Grade/Age: Ages 3-9

Annotation: A retelling of a classic tale in which a well-intentioned young possum continually takes his mother's instructions much too literally.

Themes: Possums, noodlehead story, folktale

Ways to use the book:

Use when teaching students how to make story predictions - After each gift, predict what Epossumondas will do with the next gift that his Auntie gives him. Predict what Epossumondas will do when his mama tells him, “ be careful stepping on those pi
Genre: Traditional Literature Picture book

Summary this is a classic noodle head story where our main character a baby opossum can't seem to get anything right.


B I don't like the message this book sends. I am not saying it's bad I just wouldn't use it in my classroom. For one thing, I feel that if you want someone especially a child to do a task a certain way you need to teach, not tell them they have no common sense. And honestly I would argue that the adult who gave him the
Becca Peffley
I told this story for our folktale unit. It is a "noodle head" folktale about an opossum that goes to visit his aunt and brings things home to his "momma". The book had very cute, big, and bright illustrations. Making it easy to fall in love with Epossumondas, and enhanced the story through the pictures. His aunt gives him cake to bring home, and when he gets home it is all gone because he was carrying it wrong. His mother tells him the proper way to carry cake home, and the next day he brings b ...more
Mrs. Cubby Culbertson
One of my top 5 all-time favorite read-aloud books----to ANY age group! I met Coleen Salley at a library conference--more than once! Every time I read these books, or even see the cover, I smile when I think of her. I was fortunate enough to hear her read the three Epossumondas stories aloud herself. Wonderful! Just wonderful! And the illustrator, Janet Stevens, captured the essence of Coleen Salley in the illustrations. When she autographed my books, she was wearing the purple glasses, the hat ...more
Epossumondas is one of my favorate read aloud books because it is just plain FUN! Janet Stevens' illustrations depict a possum who has personality. Epossamondas is young and both fun loving and sincere, like so many young children who will be engaged by the story. The story is a great starting point for discussions or lessons on following directions blindly versus applying your own problem solving skills. The book is rich with figuarative language, and the characters lend themselves to creative ...more
Twist on the American "noodlehead" folktale Epaminondas.
Love this book. It has a great sense of humor (especially if you read it with a twang!). He takes everything very literal!
This is a book meant for older kids- the age that would appreciate Amelia Bedelia books. This silly opposum does silly things when he transports treats from his auntie's to his mama's. My 18-mo-old son had very little interest in this book, though, as there was much too much text for the illustrations to keep his attention, and too few of fun details in the illustrations to hold his interest. Would consider checking this out again when he's much older.
Jennifer Amichia
This book is so cute and made me laugh!! It definitely help me to remember the innocence of a child. Directions that may seem clear to an adult, could be extremely confusing to a child. I couldn't help but to have flashback to my pre-k placement. I suppose that was when I truly grasped the concept of having to break things down to my students. I suppose the moral of this story would be "common sense isn't so common."
Aug 18, 2009 Rebecca rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: storytellers, read-aloud-ers
This retelling of an old noodlehead tale makes a great readaloud or storytelling fare -- it's easy to add puppets and props! The only downfall to that is missing Janet Stevens' expressive, homespun illustrations. Epossumondas' mama and auntie have the loudest dresses, the floweriest hats, and the biggest pumps you've ever seen. Rumor has it that they were modeled after Coleen Salley herself. What a way to be immortalized!
Coleen Salley version of this Noodlehead Tale is great for children and combined with Janet Stevens' illustrations, children really love it. It is typically longer than a story I would read/tell with younger kids, but the usually become fully engaged and want to help tell the story once they see the pattern of the poor 'possum.

Another story that is great to TELL as well as read.
I may need to reread this book before I take it back to the library tomorrow because I was really surprised to see so many high ratings! Maybe it was because I am exhausted during "quiet/reading time" with my 3 year old and was literally falling asleep while I was reading this, but it just didn't do much for me. The possum is cute but the story what just "meh" to me.
Ryan Miller
I love this book--the wonderful illustrations, the clever retelling of a traditional story, the way it leads enough to allow children to make effective predictions without giving everything away. I also like reading it with Cajun accents, and the dialogue sounds authentic to this non-Cajun ear. This is a book I'm happy to read over and over.
This is my favorite picture book. I've me the author a couple of times and love to hear her read her work. She appears in her books (Janet Stephens draws the incredible illustrations that really do look just like her). Every time I read one of her stories, I can her her powerful voice in my head. Kids just eat these humorous tales up.
Epossumondas was getting something from his aunt every day and when he got it home it no longer was there. One item was bread and he carried it home like his mom said to bring a dog home. Time the bread was home it was gone from being dragged on the ground. He wasn't the brightest animal, but his mama loved him anyway.
Hilarious story about an Opossum who has no sense. He brings different things home to his Mama from his Auntie each day in the way that she told him to bring the previous thing. Finally deciding to do it herself while he takes care stepping on the pies on the porch... which he does very carefully.
Philip Burt
No children's collection is complete w/out this picture book classic tale that has a memorable character, illustrations and story that's met to be told to young children. This story about a possum who seems to lack any common sense will keep audiences smiling until the end.
Melissa Kasso
Super fun read aloud with lots of great voices for dialogue. This book is a type of folktale that I had never heard of before; it's a "noodlehead" story. This story would be good for little children, but also good for older children if you are studying genres.
Feb 01, 2009 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: 2009, childrens
A very interesting "noodlehead" tale, with a fascinating storyteller's note at the end that laments the demise of the oral storytelling tradition and tells about various kinds of "noodlehead" tales. The illustrations are colorful sketches, with a cartoonish style.
I found myself smiling throughout this children's book. You cannot help but feel better after reading this book. Even on a really bad day, this book could make you smile. I also enjoyed the illustrations within this book.
I'm 20 months old and this story is just a little too much for me to really get. Also, I think it's weird that an opossum is wearing a diaper. I don't really get the joke of this story yet. Maybe I will like it more later.
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