Review of Mardi Gras Almost Didn't Come This Year

Mardi Gras Almost Didn’t Come This Year
by Kathy Z. Price; illus. by Carl Joe Williams
Primary    Atheneum    48 pp.    g
2/22    978-1-5344-4425-6    $17.99
e-book ed.  978-1-5344-4426-3    $10.99

This moving picture book transports readers to New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina lands in August 2005. “Days before the storm / there was a burning-up sun.” Then wind and water quickly replace the sun. The narrator and her family find shelter in an aunt’s house. Before long, it is February and time for Mardi Gras. The narrator and her brother, Babyboy, excitedly wait for the festivities to begin, but it looks as though Mardi Gras may not come this year. Price’s poetic free-verse text, with its strong, distinctive narrative voice, is full of New Orleans culture, from the “alligator tail in a po’boy bun” to the blast of Babyboy’s trumpet. The text captures the fear and hope that children in New Orleans experienced before and after the storm. Williams’s mixed-media collages are well detailed and eye-catching. For readers unfamiliar with New Orleans and Mardi Gras, the art — with its sense of community, motion, and ­celebration — provides an immediate, photo-like depiction of both. In an author’s note, readers learn that Mardi Gras almost didn’t come again during COVID-19 — instead of the traditional parade, people created porch floats to celebrate.

From the March/April 2022 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Nicholl Denice Montgomery

Nicholl Denice Montgomery is currently working on a PhD at Boston College in the curriculum and instruction department. Previously, she worked as an English teacher with Boston Public Schools.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing.