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

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  441 ratings  ·  68 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. ...more
Paperback, 48 pages
Published May 1st 1997 by Aladdin (first published 1976)
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Average rating 4.40  · 
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 ·  441 ratings  ·  68 reviews

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Sep 04, 2010 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
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 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
Dec 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Young Fairy-Tale Lovers
When Liza Lou's mother dispatches her to her Gramma's house with some sweet potatoes, she warns her to be careful, in crossing the Yeller Belly Swamp - home to good-for-nothing swamp haunts, a wicked swamp witch, the slithery gobblygook, and a soul-stealing swamp devil. But our intrepid young heroine has a trick or two up her sleeve, something those nasty swamp monsters discover, as she crisscrosses their territory in the course of her errands...

First published in 1976 (the year I was born), thi
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Cute, funny, sassy and smart story, and brilliant illustrations to boot. Perfect.
Aug 27, 2010 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
Jun 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
My favorite childhood book. 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...
Jul 09, 2011 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
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. ...more
Feb 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
A cute story about a quick thinking girl getting herself out of several sticky situations.
Melissa Bee
Oct 24, 2012 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 rated it it was amazing
I just love this book because I played Liza Lou in a fifth grade talent show.
Oct 05, 2007 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 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. ...more
Dee's Reading Zone
Dec 10, 2014 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!
Jun 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I think this is my favorite read-aloud book. I love Liza Lou's spunk and imagination! ...more
Gwen Lindsay
Aug 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was one of my favorite books as a kid. Mercer Mayer's art is wonderful and the story was perfect for a sassy little girl who liked alligators and other crawly things. ...more
With her quick thinking, Liza Lou, a little black girl, manages to outwit all the haunts, gobbly gooks, witches, and devils in the Yeller Belly Swamp.

Fun book, really original and just a delight to read. Pictures are colorful and unusual.
Jul 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childhood
Louisiana swamp folk lore of haunts, witches, goblins, and devils. The clever Liza Lou knows exactly how to deal with each swamp monster. I have to say that it's pretty gross that her pet is a possum. ...more
Suzanne Kunz Williams
Nov 13, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: not-recommended
This book just has too many scary things in it for me to want to read it to one of my children. And too many mentions of evil things eating children. With thousands of books to read, I wouldn't waste any time reading this one. ...more
Ashley Adams
Liza Lou is one quick thinker! Good thing too, because the Yeller Belly Swamp is full of monsters and meanies. But with Liza Lou around, maybe its the monsters who need to watch out!
Nomad nimrod
Why would a mother let her child go through all this. Now that would be a story.
Aug 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Ages 6 and up. A fearless Black girl triumphs over a ghost, a witch, a troll and a devil on her way to Grandma’s house in the bayous of Arkansas. Think Little Red Riding Hood had she managed to outwit the wolf on her own.
Mar 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
I reserved this from the library upon a recommendation. When I read it to my boys this morning, my six-year-old marveled partway through the book, "She's really clever!" And she is! What a wonderful heroine! And the setting is a delight! I love the Southern bayou (?) flavor. It was fun to read with a bit of an accent. ...more
Liza Lee
Jan 15, 2014 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
May 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
**Actual Star Rating: 2.75**

This was an interesting book to come across while it kind of redoes the Little Red Riding Hood story although instead of giving us just one episode to explore there are quite a few. And each shows the protagonist using her wits to be able to escape to live another day with her trusty "pet" opossum who follows her along as she ventures out and about Yeller Belly Swamp.

Although the writing was easy, interesting and quick for the reader there were other parts of the bo
Feb 27, 2010 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
Jul 20, 2007 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
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
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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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