Yvette Landry - Author
Yvette Landry’s first children’s book, “The Ghost Tree,” was nominated for “Louisiana’s Young Reader’s Choice Award.” And more recently, her new book, “Madame Grand Doigt,” along with “The Ghost Tree,” were formally accepted into the Library of Congress Collection for Children’s Literature.
In her first children’s story, The Ghost Tree, Yvette’s childhood experiences once again contribute to a tale that’s rich with the intrigue and adventure that only the Louisiana swamps can provide. The story is set in her ancestral home, the small, somewhat isolated community of Isle Labbé. Her grandfather warns her of an ancient Native American legend … a cursed tree that comes to life every Halloween. Unlucky travelers who stumble across the tree on that fateful night are never seen again. He would know, after all, he’s the only one ever to survive an encounter with … The Ghost Tree.
Marie’s Grandmother Viola always told her stories. Her favorite was of a strange old woman named Madame Grand Doigt (Ma-dahm Grahn Dwah). Legend is, she drifted in attics of families with children. At night, her long, bony fingers would slink down through the rafters and snatch up any kid who was not doing as told. “What does she do with the kids once she grabs them?” Marie would ask. Grandmother Viola never answered. With only a few weeks before her 13th birthday and the start of school, Marie’s family, and her best friend Scooter, make one last trip down to Pointe-aux-Chenes. While there, Marie and Scooter unwittingly follow the tracks of the elusive marsh goats and discover the answer---a horrifying secret that changed their lives forever. The UL Press is proud to announce the release of Yvette Landry’s second book, Madame Grand Doigt – a spine-chilling children’s story that is brilliantly illustrated and steeped in Cajun tradition.
What an honor!
“Every year at the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C., when people enter the Pavilion of the States they can pick up a Discover Great Places through Reading brochure, which includes a map that can be stamped/stickered at each state’s table. On the back of the brochure there is list of books, “Great Reads about Great Places;” with one title from each state, a book that is about the state or by an author from the state. A limited number of the state selections are sold there at the national book festival. Each state through its state library is asked to choose a book that will be a good read for children or young adults, as they are the primary audience for the map. It is my pleasure to inform that Louisiana State Librarian Rebecca Hamilton has notified the Library of Congress Center for the Book that the book chosen for this honor for 2013 is The Ghost Tree. Congratulations!”
Director of the Louisiana Center for the Book,
State Library of Louisiana
“With The Ghost Tree Yvette Landry has created an incredibly rich cautionary tale. In this story she honors the power of memory and storytelling. Here is a tale that serves both children and adults, the adventurer and the observer. Her narrator is one who is held between what Pop told him and his own experiences of living in a world that is always dangerous and foreboding. He knows the swamp of experience that every culture and every individual faces in growing up. It is called “the real world” in many places. Sometimes the danger zones are singled out by gingerbread houses, or goddesses with snakes for hair, or trees that turn children to stone and eat them up. The Ghost Tree reminds us that the world is a dangerous place and that the story is an incredible place to go to for wisdom, or just a touch of plain, good sense if we are not ready yet or old enough yet for wisdom. “
Louisiana Poet Laureate, 2008–2011
Author of In Ordinary Light, New and Selected Poems, UL Press, 2010
Megan’s Guitar and Other Poems from Acadie, UL Press, 2013
“Award-winning singer, songwriter, musician, and educator Yvette Landry has now written a spine-chilling children’s story—The Ghost Tree—vividly illustrated and steeped in Cajun tradition. Of course, trees in the swamps of Louisiana don’t really turn children to stone and swallow them whole, but this is the kind of story that Cajun parents used to tell their kids to prevent them from venturing alone into potentially dangerous places, like deep woods and swamps.”