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PPBF: The Tumbleweed Came Back

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Written by Carmela LaVigna Coyle

Illustrated by Kevin Rechin

Rio Chico Books for Children, 2013

Book Jacket: We captured up the wicked weeds and stuff them in a trunk, then dropped it in the Rio Grande and watched it till it sunk.

When a pesky tumbleweed drops in for lunch one day, hilarity ensues. In this zany retelling of the popular folk tune "The Cat Came Back" what starts out as a small problem grows into a giant conundrum as one tumbleweed turns into ten, then twenty, then thousands. Granny and her two lively grandchildren do their best to rid their farm of the scratchy menaces but the harder they try, the more the tumbleweeds take over.

First of all, I want to mention that I was inspired to find / read this book from Roxanne Troup's March On With Mentor Text post today. You can see it here:

Next, I have to share that I LOVE this book! As a child, I spent summers and time around the campfires singing "The Cat Came Back"!

Old Mister Johnson had troubles of his own
He had a yellow cat which wouldn't leave its home;
He tried and he tried to give the cat away,
He gave it to a man goin' far, far away.

But the cat came back the very next day,
The cat came back, we thought he was a goner
But the cat came back; it just couldn't stay away.
Away, away, yea, yea, yea

The song has always stayed with me and it made both my child and adult self so happy to see this fun nod to that song!

Active, fun, imaginative and zany, with perfectly paired illustrations and a refrain that the reader can join in on, this book checks all the boxes. It even has a satisfying ending. Until... LOL I'm sure that families will enjoy this book as well as teachers who want to challenge their students to find a comical and clever way to get rid of the tumbleweeds!

I rate this book five stars and no tumbleweeds!

Purchase The Tumbleweed Came Back Here.

REVIEW BY: Lynne Marie

Lynne Marie is the author of Hedgehog Goes to Kindergarten -- art by Anne Kennedy (Scholastic 2011), Hedgehog's 100th Day of School -- art by Lorna Hussey (Scholastic 2017), The Star of the Christmas Play -- art by Lorna Hussey (Beaming Books 2018), Moldilocks and the 3 Scares -- art by David Rodriguez Lorenzo (Sterling 2019 and Scholastic 2019), Let’s Eat! Mealtime Around the World -- art by Parwinder Singh (Beaming Books 2019), The Three Little Pigs and the Rocket Project AND The Three Little Pigs and the Rocket Project Coloring Book -- art by Wendy Fedan (Mac and Cheese Press 2022), and American Pie -- art by Dea Lenihan (Dancing Flamingo Press 2022).

She’s also the Owner and Administrator of both (which is currently taking 2022 Members at and, as well as a long-time Travel Agent with (! She's been a Cybil's Judge in the Fiction Picture Books and Board Books category since 2016. Recently, she's been handed the ReFoReMo torch from Kirsti Call and Carrie Charley Brown, which will return under it's new name March On With Mentor Texts in March, 2022 ( You can join her at her weekly Tinker and Talk Book Chat here: Tinker and Talk Book Chat by The Picture Book Mechanic | Facebook

When she’s not searching for stories all over the globe, she lives on a lake in South Florida with her family, a Schipperke named Anakin and several resident water birds. Visit her at Lynne Marie is represented by Marisa Cleveland of



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