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Mary Lynn Plaisance

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Reviews of The Sha Bebe Trilogy by: Sabne Raznik
By Mary Lynn Plaisance
Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Rated "G" by the Author.

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I wanted an honest review of my three books, and that's what I got.

I didn't expect the review to be perfect and it was not, but I like it. I don't agree with the children's book category, but I like the review.
Thank you Sabne Raznik ! 

______________

 

 

_________________________

*** Professional Review of BOOK I ***

"Do You Believe?
Mary Lynn Plaisance, The Land of Sha Bebe, Book I: In the Land of Sha Bebe (BeBs Publishing, 2004), 80 pages, folklore, $19.95 U.S.

 

Plaisance created a kind of Cajun muslin doll she calls Sha Bebe and copyrighted them in the 1990s. This is the first book of a trilogy about the dolls- a world she made up just for them. Part folklore and part fiction, the idea of both the dolls and the books is a charming one that is full of distinctly Cajun flavors.

This first volume is written in simple, sometimes repetitive sentences and has the feel of a bedtime story meant for young audiences. It is clearly introductory to a much richer and fuller story as presented in the second and third books. It is almost entirely one conversation between Emily, who is enduring a particularly stinging grief, and the Sha Bebe dolls that come to comfort her, Beau and Jolie. In it they tell her all about the land of Sha Bebe and teach her The Sha Bebe Waltz.

The book is accompanied by many photos of the dolls participating in various activities within their world which help one to visualize the explanations offered in the conversation. The dolls themselves are absolutely adorable.

I look forward to discovering their world more fully as I read the other volumes."

Review by: Sabne Raznik
From Word Weavers
________________________________________________________________________


*** Professional Review of BOOK II ***
 

Mary Lynn Plaisance,
The Land of Sha Bebe, Book II: Cajun Fairies,

Plaisance originally meant for this book to be entitled Chaos, but when Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and Mississippi in August 2005 that word became synonymous with the fabled City of Music, the Big Easy. The association was painful enough to Plaisance that she adjusted the title accordingly, so that we now have Cajun Fairies.

This second installment of the In the Land of Sha Bebe series allows us to actually enter the enchanted world of the dolls as if we were Sha Bebe dolls ourselves. Initially, we are given a first person view of that peaceful, happy world. Then things begin to go wrong as if a glitch in a TV screen. The land is threatened by the mean Cajun Fairy Robes Pierre who has a longstanding grudge against Queen Faustina. The trouble is that no one in the Land of Sha Bebe can remember Robes Pierre or the events that inspired his vendetta. We are then taken along for the ride as the resident dolls of Sha Bebe fight to save their land.

This book takes to extraordinary places, from the sugarcane fields that cradle the Land of Sha Bebe to the swamps beyond the bayou to the French Quarter of the city of New Orleans in all of its pre-Katrina glory. The writing is still obviously directed at children, but is more interesting over all. Some of the finer details are muddled and some things are overstated, perhaps even repetitive. However, the book moves quickly enough to keep you reading. One has the feeling that these books would make better animated movies than they do books. Who knows whether that just may come about?

The real charm of these books and their muslin doll characters is that rare and wonderful glimpse of the Louisiana Cajun culture. There should be more written and preserved about this colourful, unique little world.

Review by: Sabne Raznik
From Word Weavers

___________________________________________________________________________
Professional Review  of BOOK III

Salleau Prie!

Mary Lynn Plaisance, The Land of Sha Bebe,Book III: The Wizard of Swamp Alley, (Authorhouse, 2007), 200 pages, teen/adult fiction, $18.70 U.S.

In this third installment of the The Land of Sha Bebe series, Plaisance offers us a slightly more complicated plot that is clearly influenced by the horrors of Hurricane Katrina and the nightmare weeks that followed.

This book also takes us inside the Land of Sha Bebe, and beyond it. We are introduced to the parallel dimension where everything is opposite of Sha Bebe Land and to a Cajun wizard with diamond-shaped eyes whose fiddle-playing keeps the balance between the two dimensions. The evil dolls in the Land of Lackluster, known as The Unruly, have kidnapped him, interfered with that balance, and are now terrorizing New Orleans by taking over human bodies. The good dolls of Sha Bebe must somehow rescue the wizard to set the balance right, save the good humans of New Orleans, and save the Land of Sha Bebe from being invaded and destroyed by The Unruly.

Though listed as teen/adult fiction, this is still clearly written for a somewhat younger mind. It still feels much like a drawn-out bedtime story. The details are more organized, except for the issue of time. I couldn't figure out how to place it in time at all, but perhaps Plaisance desired the timeline to be fudged since the dolls themselves seem not to care about accurate time keeping as long as the run-of-the-quilts is on schedule.

There was a bit too many references to spiritism in this particular book for me. I stayed far away from the Harry Potter craze for reasons of personal taste, and this book borders the limits for me. I'm not too sure if I look forward to the next book as a consequence, but I hardly think that would be much of an impediment to the average reader.

Plaisance's story-telling methods improve with each book as do her dolls.

Review by: Sabne Raznik
From Word Weavers
________________________________________________________________________


*** Professional Review of The Sha Bebe Trilogy ***
A combined review of the three books by
Sabne Raznik from Word Weavers.
----------------------------
Do You Believe in the Land of Sha Bebe?

**Mary Lynn Plaisance, The Land of Sha Bebe, Book I: In the Land of Sha Bebe(BeBs Publishing, 2004), 80 pages, folklore, $19.95 U.S.

**Mary Lynn Plaisance, The Land of Sha Bebe, Book II: Cajun Fairies,(Authorhouse, 2006), 213 pages, folklore, $13.40 U.S.

**Mary Lynn Plaisance, The Land of Sha Bebe, Book III: The Wizard of Swamp Alley, (Authorhouse, 2007), 200 pages, teen/adult fiction, $18.70 U.S.

Plaisance created a kind of Cajun muslin doll she calls Sha Bebe and copyrighted them in the 1990s. Then she wrote a series of books about the dolls- a world she made up just for them. Part folklore and part fiction, the idea of both the dolls and the books is a charming one that is full of distinctly Cajun flavors.

So far there are three books in the series. They read like darling bedtime stories and are clearly meant for younger audiences. Sometimes the details can be a bit off, especially with regard to time, but it could be Plaisance desires that affect since the dolls themselves care little about time in terms of years.

The first book reads as almost one long conversation where the Sha Bebe dolls tell a human about the ways of their land. The following two books actually take you into the Land of Sha Bebe as it is threatened by different evil forces. The second and third books are by far better written and more interesting. The plots are influenced by the events of Hurricane Katrina in August 2005 and move quickly enough to keep you reading. They make wonderful relaxation reading, if you don't mind some references to spiritism. Overall, one gets the feeling these would make entertaining animated movies. Who knows if maybe they will be one day?

The books also feature many photographs of the dolls participating in various activities within their world which help one to visualize the explanations offered in the conversation. The dolls themselves are absolutely adorable.

The real charm of these books is the muslin doll characters and this rare and engaging glimpse into Louisiana's Cajun culture. There is simply not enough in mainstream literature and culture about this unique and colorful little world in the south. May this be he trickle of water that will become a river of information about Cajun culture!
---------------------------------------
Professional Review by: Sabne Raznik
From Word Weavers

Join us here:

http://www.myspace.com/weaversofwords

 

 

 

You can get all three books 
at a reduced price on
my web page below
while the books last.

http://www.shabebe.com

 

 

       Web Site: In the Land of Sha Bebe

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