Poo-yi! There is thing more foul than the smell of a skunk, except for the harsh words of teasing children. They need to learn that people who are different from themselves are special in their own way, too. In the twelfth book in the Clovis Crawfish Series, Mary Alice Fontet has created a delightful story to emphasize this point to youngsters on and off the bayou. The skunk Batiste Bete Puante doesnt mean to offend his friends, but the awful smell he gives off is just one of his defenses. At first, the little wetland creatures make fun of him. But Clovis comes to the defense of the misunderstood skunk when Batiste saves Rene Rain Frog from the treacherous threat of Sosthene Snake! In this tale of a smelly tail children learn about the heritage of the Cajuns. More importantly, attention is focused on the importance of respecting the unusual abilities of others. The wetland animals quickly realize that Batistes foul-smelling gift isnt so bad after all and that everyone should be appreciated for his own special talents, matter how unusual they may be.
Mary Alice Fontenot is best known as the childrens author of books on Cajun culture. She created the famous wetland characters of Clovis Crawfish and his friends more than thirty years ago. In addition to the Clovis Crawfish Series, Fontenot wrote several other childrens books, including Mardi Gras in the Country and The Star Seed, both published by Pelican. Fontenot worked as a kindergarten teacher and, for thirty-five years, as a newspaperwoman. Her dedication to children and to her art earned her the 1998 Acadiana Arts Council Lifetime Achievement Award. She died in 2003 at the age of ninety-three. Scott R. Blazek resides in Clovis, New Mexico, where he is a Lutheran minister and an award-winning freelance artist. He was awarded a $2,500 prize from the U.S. Mint for designing a five-dollar gold coin featuring James Madison for their Bill of Rights Commemorative Coins set.