Heather Stanley

Sneak Peak at Mademoiselle Grands Doigts

Sneak Peak at Mademoiselle Grands Doigts

Here is a sneak peak at one of the inside spreads for my upcoming Cajun New Year's Eve picture book Mademoiselle Grands Doigts, illustrated by Heather Stanley. Look for it this February through Pelican Publishing Company. 

Kirkus Reviews - Mademoiselle Grands Doigts

A Cajun New Year's Eve Tale
Author: Johnette Downing
Illustrator: Heather Stanley
Review Issue Date: December 1, 2017
Online Publish Date: November 13, 2017
Pages: 32
Price ( Hardcover ): $16.99
Publication Date: February 1, 2018
ISBN ( Hardcover ): 978-1-4556-2393-8
Category: Fiction

A humanizing origin story for the Louisiana New Year's Eve folk figure Madame Grands Doigts. Mademoiselle Grands Doigts is a young, white maiden known for her beauty, her generosity, and the long fingers that lend her her name. As suitors line up, a jealous bunch of Cajun mean girls gets in the way and cooks up a Gris gris. After a night of dancing, Mademoiselle Grands Doigts awakens cursed, her fingers covered in warts and her skin "scaly like a crawfish sack." Confining herself to an attic, she lives on, giving gifts on New Year's Eve to good children. In an afterword, author Downing says she wanted to offer a less-scary take on the story, one that focuses on the Madame as a young woman who remains unchanged on the inside despite her curse. Stanley's hazy, deep-hued painted illustrations are appropriately moody. But modernizing the story to emphasize the cursed woman's generosity doesn't overcome a problematic, perhaps unavoidable plot point. With only her physical appearance having changed, Grands Doigts goes from sought-after maiden to a shut-in. More effective, and much creepier, is the last readers see of the curse makers: "Into the swamps they fled, such a wolfish horrid sight, / and if you listen closely, you'll hear them howl at night." For those unfamiliar with the Cajun story, this update may be a welcome respite from the flood of Santa Claus and snow-fairy books crowding the holiday shelves. (Picture book. 5-8)

Sneak Peek at Mademoiselle Grands Doigts Book Cover!

Here is a sneak peek at the book cover for my upcoming picture book MADEMOISELLE GRANDS DOIGTS, illustrated by the amazing Heather Stanley. This Cajun New Year's Eve tale is slated for a spring 2018 release through Pelican Publishing Company!