Cover image for Sweet Magnolia
Sweet Magnolia
Kroll, Virginia L.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Watertown, MA : Charlesbridge, [1995]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 21 x 26 cm
Denise visits her grandmother, a wildlife rehabilitator in the Louisiana bayou, and helps heal and free an injured painted bunting chick.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.2 0.5 31663.
Added Author:


Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Frank E. Merriweather Library PIC.BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



Join Denise as she visits her grandmother in the Louisiana bayou for a school vacation she'll never forget Grandma, a wildlife rehabilitator, shares her knowledge with Denise as they explore the mysterious bayou. Together they meet myriad creatures from alligators to bullfrogs, and Denise makes friends with a fox, an owl, and a deer After learning the valuable lesson that wild animals must be free, Denise returns to the city with a new-found wisdom and a very special treasure. Vibrant, realistic illustrations let readers experience the busy bayou and the joyful lifestyle of Cajun and Creole culture.

Author Notes

Virginia Kroll has contributed more than 1500 items to juvenile magazines. She travels throughout the country speaking to children about writing multicultural books. She is the author of many children's books, including WOOD-HOOPOE WILLIE, A CARP FOR KIMIKO, SWEET MAGNOLIA, JAHA AND JAMIL WENT DOWN THE HILL, HATS OFF TO HAIR!, MASAI AND I (Four Winds Press), and BUTTERFLY BOY (Boyds Mill Press). Virginia lives in New York with her family.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

A tour of Cajun country, an intergenerational story, a lesson in letting go and an up-close look at wildlife-this text-heavy, poorly paced picture book combines all of these elements without serving any of them well. As part of her birthday present when she turns six, Denise travels by herself to visit Grandma in the bayou. Grandma works as a wildlife rehabilitator, and so Denise helps her tend a wounded owl, fox and bobcat. And Grandma guides Denise when she finds an injured bird. As Denise nurses it, Grandma promises, "She's yours." But when the creature is ready to fly, Grandma explains, "She's yours to help... yours to heal... yours to set free." Right after the bird flies off, Grandma brings Denise to a fais dodo (party), where she samples gumbo and jambalaya, hears zydeco music and dances. The gawky narrative and stiff art crowd out attempts to establish atmosphere, much less generate genuine feeling. Ages 3-8. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-3-This story offers an affectionate grandmother-granddaughter relationship; an excellent ecological message; and a good look at the bayous, wildlife, and the Cajun culture of Louisiana. Denise visits her grandmother, a wildlife rehabilitator, and is introduced to the flora and fauna of the swamps, Cajun food, and zydeco music. With her grandmother's help, she rescues a small bird, names it and cares for it, and then learns the difficult lesson of letting it return to the wild. Meticulous paintings of the area's wildlife and the two protagonists radiate warmth, character, and compassion. Unfortunately, there is no guide to the animals depicted. A quiet, lovely, and educational book about a fascinating part of the country that should have wide appeal.-Judith Constantinides, East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Iona and Geneva had gone long before me. I was impatient, waiting my turn. One sweet evening, I blew out the eight candles on my birthday cake, and Mama said, "Baby Girl, you are bayou-bound." Mama sitll calls me Baby Girl sometimes, even though my name is really Denise. Excerpted from Sweet Magnolia by Virginia L. Kroll All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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