Genre: Animals / Classic / Mischief / Horror / Trickery / African American
Year Published: 1976
Year Read: 2010
Publisher: Four Winds Press - Macmillan Publishing Company
“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 in the Yeller Belly Swamp. Mercer Mayer shows Liza Lou as a strong and cunning female character as she is able to trick any monster that comes in her path and she never shows fear in front of any monster she comes across. Liza Lou is also shown as a well-behaved child as she always does what her mother tells her to do and she has so much knowledge about what lies in the swamp as she knows every monster’s weakness and Liza Lou’s character will surely teach children how being cunning towards bullies always works out the best. Mercer Mayer’s illustrations are beautiful and hilarious at the same time, especially of the images of some of the monsters themselves as the monsters that Liza Lou encounter look large and menacing, such as the swamp haunt wearing a white sheet and yet has large feet and a bucktooth, but the monsters also look hilarious whenever they are shocked or frightened off by the tricks that Liza Lou pulls on them.
Parents should know that the monsters in this book might frighten smaller children as some of them do look a bit threatening such as the image of the swamp haunt looking like a large person being covered in a white sheet and has matted black hair and is shown to be transparent. Parents might want to tell their children that there are no such things as monsters in real life; however they must be careful whenever they travel to dangerous places by themselves or they should be accompanied by their parents until they get older to understand the dangers of the world.
“Liza Lou and the Yeller Belly Swamp” is a truly clever and exciting book that children who love reading about swamps and monsters will easily enjoy for many years. I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since the images of the monsters might scare smaller children.