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The Runaway Beignet by Connie Collins Morgan

Pelican Publishing Company

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You're not gonna taste this little beignet! In this confectionary folktale adaptation, a lonely baker gets his wish when he sprinkles magic sugar on a beignet and it comes to life. The little beignet boy runs away but is in danger of being eaten by the hungry people of New Orleans. He leads a wild chase through the French Quarter, visiting famous sights along the way. This delightful book, with wacky illustrations and a sassy refrain, will run straight into readers' hearts.

The Runaway Beignet celebrates the folklore of New Orleans. The beignet’s rambunctious romp through the city provides a glimpse of the musical heritage of New Orleans, a city known by many as the birthplace of jazz. Also showcased in the beignet’s chase are historical landmarks that remain cornerstones for cultural preservation. The French Quarter, also called the Vieux Carre’, the St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square, and the French Market are links to the city’s past. The dialects spoken by each character give a flavor of the ethnic influences that make New Orleans a cultural melting pot. Woven into the story are costumes worn during the Mardi Gras celebration that represent folk traditions. The main character of the story, a beignet boy, represents an important food tradition. French colonists brought beignets to New Orleans when they left Europe. 

From the Inside Flap

You not gonna taste this little beignet!” ―Beignet Boy

In the heart of New Orleans lives a baker named Marcel who makes the most delicious beignets in the entire city. While his heart is filled with kindness, his home is cold and lonely. To repay some gratitude, a mysterious stranger grants Marcel a wish with his magic bag of sugar in this Louisiana-flavored retelling of The Gingerbread Man. Out of the sugared pastry pops the beignet boy! With a penchant for trouble, he zips down Canal Street, through Jackson Square, and into the French Market. His hilarious antics and New Orleans cultural icons are scattered like powdered sugar on the deliciously re-spun story. This tale will delight readers of all ages.

Illustrator Herb Leonhard brings this little beignet to life with a mischievous grin and a sprinkle of sugar. His images of New Orleans dance across the pages, bringing a true taste of the city to the story. Author Connie Collins Morgan draws upon her memories of life in Louisiana―and her favorite treats―to make this retelling stand apart from the rest with an infectious jazz beat and the sweet aroma of magic sugar.

Connie Collins Morgan grew up with her Cajun family in Lafayette, Louisiana. The nearby bayous provided a rich environment for her imaginative mind, while her cultural upbringing provided inspiration for her fancies. Her delight in the power of words led her to a degree in elementary education from the University of Southwestern Louisiana and then to an MFA in children’s literature from Hollins University. It was at Hollins that she began to explore her childhood fantasies and turn them into fully developed tales. Morgan teaches in Middletown, Maryland. She and her husband live in the Blue Ridge Mountains of West Virginia near their children.

From the Back Cover

You not gonna taste this little beignet!” —Beignet Boy

In the heart of New Orleans lives a baker named Marcel who makes the most delicious beignets in the entire city. While his heart is filled with kindness, his home is cold and lonely. To repay some gratitude, a mysterious stranger grants Marcel a wish with his magic bag of sugar in this Louisiana-flavored retelling of The Gingerbread Man. Out of the sugared pastry pops the beignet boy! With a penchant for trouble, he zips down Canal Street, through Jackson Square, and into the French Market. His hilarious antics and New Orleans cultural icons are scattered like powdered sugar on the deliciously re-spun story. This tale will delight readers of all ages.

Illustrator Herb Leonhard brings this little beignet to life with a mischievous grin and a sprinkle of sugar. His images of New Orleans dance across the pages, bringing a true taste of the city to the story. Author Connie Collins Morgan draws upon her memories of life in Louisiana—and her favorite treats—to make this retelling stand apart from the rest with an infectious jazz beat and the sweet aroma of magic sugar.

Connie Collins Morgan grew up with her Cajun family in Lafayette, Louisiana. The nearby bayous provided a rich environment for her imaginative mind, while her cultural upbringing provided inspiration for her fancies. Her delight in the power of words led her to a degree in elementary education from the University of Southwestern Louisiana and then to an MFA in children’s literature from Hollins University. It was at Hollins that she began to explore her childhood fantasies and turn them into fully developed tales. Morgan teaches in Middletown, Maryland. She and her husband live in the Blue Ridge Mountains of West Virginia near their children.

About the Author

Connie Collins Morgan grew up minutes away from the magical bayous of Lafayette Parish in Louisiana. Her deep passion for the power of the written word led her to a degree in elementary education from the University of Southwestern Louisiana and then to an MFA in children’s literature from Hollins University. She and her husband live in the mountains of West Virginia near their four children but far from her Cajun home. Her French heritage, however, remains always close at heart. Her first book with Pelican, The Runaway Beignet, was also a collaboration with illustrator Leonhard.

Herb Leonhard received a BFA in illustration from the Pacific Northwest College of Art. His award-winning work has appeared in D Magazine, among other publications. He is the illustrator of several other Pelican books, including St. Patrick and the Three Brave Mice, Way Out West on My Little Pony, A Southern Child’s Garden of Verses, Leonardo’s Monster, I Know a Librarian Who Chewed on a Word, A Is for Alliguitar: Musical Alphabeasts, and Southern Mother Goose. Leonhard lives in Prosser, Washington.