Sunday, October 4, 2009


The possum: an animal, obviously smarter than I'd ever give it credit for... at least based on this story!

Salley, Coleen.
Epossumondas Plays Possum.
October 2009.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Summary from Barnes & Noble:

Epossumondas is the silliest, most lovable possum south of the Mason-Dixon line. In his fourth book, will he still be his mama’s sweet little patootie if he heads into the swamp, just where Mama told him not to go? After all, the swamp is home to the fearsome and legendary loup-garou! Epossumondas isn’t a naughty possum, but he sure is forgetful, and into the swamp he goes. There he meets all manner of scary creatures—but are any of them the loup-garou? And will he ever make it home to Mama? Maybe he will, as long as he remembers to do what possums do best: play possum.

I've never read any of the books about Epossumondas before and let me tell you, was I ever missing out! This book is wonderfully written, and a lot of fun, too! There's one important note from the author that I wanted to pass along about this book that really helped me understand the entire story and hopefully will help you understand the summary enough to encourage you and your children to enjoy the book!
The loup-garou - an old French word for werewolf - has long been part of Louisiana lore. The legend of the loup-garou came to the Deep South with European settlers who continued to pass stories down to the next generations. Although the loup-garou is most often thought to be part wolf, part human, in the South it's also n elusive swamp creature with mysterious characteristics. What does it look like? What does it sound like? And is it real? No one really knows.

Any possum that encounters a threatening creature naturally uses the defense mechanism of playing dead (or "playing possum") in order to divert the danger - and surely any possum would use that skill against the loup-garou. Just like Epossumondas!
Activity to Use in Collaboration with this book:

It is important for children to understand that people in different parts of the United States have different beliefs and traditions that they subscribe to. With your children, search for more books about the culture, traditions and values of those living in the deep south. Compare those to your own? How are they alike? How are they different?

A few books to get you started with this activity:
Other Books about Epossumondas:
If you're interested in finding out more information about any of the books reviewed or if you'd like to purchase the books, click the cover image for a link to