Johnette Downing

NameOAuthor
Rick Olivier

Biography

Recipient of the 2017 Louisiana Writer Award, Johnette Downing is a musician and children’s book author dedicated to celebrating childhood, nurturing cultural exchanges, and fostering literacy through her Louisiana roots music, books, and programs. Called the “Musical Ambassador to Children,” Johnette has performed on five continents and has received 23 awards for her 23 picture and board books, and ten recordings. Her latest book is Mademoiselle Grands Doigts, illustrated by Heather Stanley.

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Schedule

10:45 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.
Children’s Authors Tent 3
Book Talk
Who Got the Baby in the King Cake?

11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
Barnes & Noble Bookselling Tent
Book Signing

1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Children’s Authors Tent 3
Book Talk
Mademoiselle Grands Doigts: A Cajun New Year’s Eve Tale

1:45 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.
Barnes & Noble Bookselling Tent
Book Signing

3:15 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.
Children’s Authors Tent 3
Storytelling


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Mademoiselle Grands Doigts: A Cajun New Year's Eve Tale

A curse is no match for a generous heart.

Once upon a time on New Year’s Eve night, hundreds of suitors lined up to kiss the graceful hands of Mademoiselle Grands Doigts. Jealous of the lovely maiden, the other girls cast a terrible gris gris turning her into a creature with long gnarled fingers and warts. Ashamed, she vanished, never to be seen again. The resentful girls turned as green as their hearts and fled to the swamp. Now, every New Year’s Eve, Mademoiselle Grands Doigts finds nice children and fills their shoes with treats proving pretty is as pretty does. Johnette Downing deftly weaves this slightly scary Cajun morality tale accompanied by the moody colors of Heather Stanley’s luscious illustrations.


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Who Got the Baby in the King Cake?

Based on a song from Johnette Downing's new album Swamp Romp, A Louisiana Dance Party for Children, this rhythmic original story celebrates king cake, the culinary centerpiece of New Orleans Mardi Gras. Believed to have originated in twelfth-century France, the kind cake is an homage to the wise men or three kings. At King Cake parties in New Orleans, usually hosted before Mardi Gras parades, you will hear locals ask, "Who got the baby in the king cake?" Beautiful, colorful illustrations accompany this joyous book designed to entertain and educate kids of all ages.

Volunteer

Book-loving volunteers are essential to the Louisiana Book Festival's success. Whether it's escorting authors, guiding visitors, selling refreshments, working with children in the Young Readers Pavilion or other fun and rewarding assignments, the Louisiana Book Festival wants you to join the volunteer team.

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