Mademoiselle Grands Doigts

MGD front cover.jpg
MGD front cover.jpg

Mademoiselle Grands Doigts


Author Johnette Downing and illustrator Heather Stanley team up again with this Cajun holiday tale. Once upon a time in the Cajun prairie, there was a beautiful young maiden with lovely hands and a kind heart. On the night of a New Year's Eve party, miles of suitors lined up to kiss her perfect fingers and hands. But instead of attracting a husband, she attracted a terrible curse! The next morning, Mademoiselle Grands Doigts awoke heartbroken--her beauty had vanished, replaced by warts and gnarled fingers! Ashamed, she ran to her attic, never to be seen again. . . . Now, every New Year's Eve, Mademoiselle Grands Doigts finds nice children and fills their shoes with treats, proving that pretty is as pretty does.

The lush and dreamy illustrations of this eerie morality tale will quickly beguile children in this enduring Cajun New Year's Eve legend.

About the Author

Multi-award winning musician and author Johnette Downing has performed on five continents. Her book Petit Pierre and the Floating Marsh, illustrated by Heather Stanley, represented the State of Louisiana at the 2016 National Book Festival, and she returned with Mumbo Jumbo, Stay Out of the Gumbo with illustrator Jennifer Lindsley the following year. Downing is the recipient of the 2017 Louisiana Writer Award. 

About the Illustrator

Heather Stanley works as Director of Creative Services at the Audubon Nature Institute. She has used her talents for art and design to educate the public about the natural world and the creatures therein. She is the illustrator of Petit Pierre and the Floating Marsh

Product Description

·       Age Range: 3 - 8 years

·       Hardcover: 32 pages

·       Publisher: Pelican Publishing Company, Inc. (February 1, 2018)

·       Language: English

·       ISBN-10: 1455623938

·       ISBN-13: 978-1455623938

·       Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds


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"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." - Kirkus Reviews

"A legend unfolds in rhyming verse about a young woman, once known throughout the bayous, swamps and prairies for her graceful hands and generosity, who falls victim to a curse. Hauntingly dramatic uses of softly focused darkness and light capture the spirit of this spicy Cajun New Year's Eve tale. Children will be equal parts thrilled and spooked to set their shoes out at night in hopes that Mademoiselle Grands Doigts will fill them with treats." - Foreward Review

"Johnette Downing has managed to tell a Cajun ghost story with levity and love. As with her many other enjoyable books and songs, she uses authentic terms, images, and dialect to evoke Louisiana lore that inspires retelling and celebrating. This is a fast-paced and evocative read-aloud book that teaches a timeless lesson."
--Amy Kirk Duvoisin, Education Director, Louisiana Children's Museum

"You never fail to tell the stories we need to hear, the children and their parents and grandparents too. And, so beautifully illustrated." - Darrell Bourque, Former Louisiana Poet Laureate