Sweet Magnolia

Sweet Magnolia

  • 795

By: Virginia Kroll / Illustrated by: Laura Jacques

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.

Look Inside the Book:

Author & Illustrator Bios:

Enter Virginia Kroll, author

Virginia Kroll attended Canisius College and the State University of New York at Buffalo. She was formerly an elementary school teacher and has raised six children of her own. It was Virginia's love of children that led her to begin her career as a children's writer in 1984.

Virginia has a special talent for understanding and communicating with children. Her efforts to cross cultural lines and address multicultural issues have won her the praise of critics and readers.

Read more about Virginia.

Laura Jacques, illustrator

Laura's career began in the field of advertising, which led her into the world of fashion illustration. She has illustrated several children's books, including At Home in the Rainforest, written by Diane Willow, Going to a Horse Farm, written by Shirley Kerby James, Wildlife Refuge: A Classroom Adventure, written by Lorraine Ward and Sweet Magnolia, written by Virginia Kroll.

Read more about Laura.

Awards & Honors:


  • Family Fun's Book of the Year
  • ABA Pick of the Lists
  • KIND Book Award
  • NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Books for Children K-12
  • Skipping Stones Honor Award


Editorial Reviews:

Creative Classroom

Sweet Magnolia, by Virginia Kroll, is the delightful story of a little girl's visit with her grandmother, a wildlife rehabilitator, in Louisiana. Throughout the visit, the child learns about Cajun and Creole culture and gains an appreciative understanding of wild animals as she helps to rehabilitate an injured bird. Sweet Magnolia won the KIND (Kids In Nature Defense) Book Award, given by the National Association for Humane and Environmental Education.

Library Talk

Virginia Kroll's Sweet Magnolia introduces both the wildlife of the Louisiana bayous and the Cajun culture, as six-year-old Denise goes south to visit her grandmother, a wildlife rehabilitator. They explore the bayou, save a baby bird, let it go, and enjoy jambalaya and the zydeco music and dancing at a fais dodo. Denise goes back to her family with a "lagniappe" from her trip. An attractive introduction with the added interest of an African-American family. Laura Jacques's vignettes and full-page acrylic paintings are almost too detailed, too stuffed with the flora and fauna of the region. But they tell a visual story of family love and of respect for the environment that parallel the text in a convincing way.


ISBN: 978-0-88106-415-5

ISBN: 978-0-88106-414-8

ISBN: 978-1-60734-386-8 PDF
For information about purchasing E-books, click here.

Ages: 4-7
Page count: 32
10 x 8

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