Official Book Launch at Louisiana Book Festival

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Petit Pierre and the Floating Marsh

Petit Pierre and the Floating Marsh

to represent Louisiana at the

National Book Festival


Petit Pierre and the Floating Marsh picture book will represent the State of Louisiana at the National Book Festival on Saturday, September 24, 2016 at the Washington Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon Place, NW Washington, DC. Meet and greet the author and illustrator as they hand out bookmarks, coloring sheets, stickers and stamps to children at the event.

Petit Pierre and the Floating Marsh, written by Johnette Downing and illustrated by Heather Stanley, is a heartwarming coastal restoration story about a young pelican who does not want to leave the nest. With the help of his wetland friends, Petit Pierre discovers that home is not that far away.

pelican_publishing_company_logoPublished by Pelican Publishing Company, the book was created in partnership with the New Orleans Pelicans and the Audubon Nature Institute to encourage reading, new_orleans_pelicans-logoand to connect children with the beauty of Louisiana’s wetlands and the importance of coastal restoration. A “Friend a Pelican” pledge is included in the book to empower children to be good stewards of the environment. Proceeds from Petit Pierre and the Floating Marsh support wetland education initiatives.audubon-nature-institute-logo2

The official book launch will take place at the Louisiana Book Festival on October 29, 2016 at the State Library, 701 North 4th Street, Downtown Baton Rouge, LA. The book launch will include a book donation ceremony in which the Audubon Nature Institute and the New Orleans Pelicans will donate, to the Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser and the State Librarian Rebecca Hamilton, two books for every library in the state of Louisiana. A reading of the book and a book signing will follow.


 “We are proud to be teaming up with Audubon Nature Institute on Petit Pierre and the Floating Marsh in an effort to connect children to the importance of coastal restoration. In addition to utilizing the book locally, we hope that the reach extends beyond the Gulf South as the health of our region has a larger impact, as well. Petit Pierre and the Floating Marsh, with its amusing illustrations and story, gives us the chance to educate children in an engaging, fun way about the importance of saving the coast. As we look ahead to the future of our city and region, it is imperative that our younger generations understand the importance of a healthy coastline.”

-Tom Benson. New Orleans Saints/Pelicans Owner 


“This may be the first time an NBA team has teamed up with a non-profit, author and illustrator to teach children about coastal restoration,” said Audubon President and CEO Ron Forman. “This unique collaboration will help preserve the environment and encourage learning, which is at the heart of what we do at Audubon. Louisiana is facing a land loss crisis and risks losing 1,750 square miles of land, equivalent to more than 10 million basketball courts. Both the Pelicans and Audubon Nature Institute recognize that coastal Louisiana is in jeopardy and believe that this cause is of the utmost importance for the economic future of the state and region.”


“The first time I read Petit Pierre and the Floating Marsh, I loved the fun illustrations, but also understood the overall message of the importance of a healthy coastline for our region. I hope young students will enjoy hearing about the different homes of the Gulf’s favorite animals and take note that all of them live in the wetlands. As they learn more about the coastline and the animals that live there, children will hopefully be eager to learn more, and be compelled to care for animals.”

-Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans Player 


“A simple but sweet story, elegant illustrations and tidbits of science make up a powerful story of Louisiana’s vanishing wetlands in Johnette Downing’s new book, “Petit Pierre and the Floating Marsh.” And if that wasn’t enough, the book encourages kids to pledge involvement in making the world a better place. It’s an ideal combination and one that children will adore.”

-Chere Coen, Louisiana Book News


Johnette Downing 2008 HeadshotAbout the Author and Illustrator

Hailed as the “Pied Piper of Louisiana Music Traditions” and the “Musical Ambassador to Children,” Johnette Downing is dedicated to sharing her Louisiana roots music and books with children across the globe. The author of nineteen picture books, three board books, and ten recordings, Johnette has received 22 international awards and has performed worldwide.


heather-stanleyHeather Stanley is a New Orleans illustrator and graphic designer whose love of animals and nature stems from a lifetime of exploring the natural world. Stanley is the Director of Creative Services at Audubon Nature Institute managing an innovative team for both graphic and website design. She has a BFA in Advertising and Design from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and an MFA in Illustration and Design from Radford University in Virginia.


Appearances and Book Signings

  • Saturday, September 24: National Book Festival, Washington DC, 9am – 10pm Petit Pierre and the Floating Marshhas been selected to represent Louisiana at the National Book Festival!
  • Saturday, October 29: Official Book Launch, Louisiana Book Festival, Baton Rouge, 10am-5pm
  • November 5 from 10-2, Book Event, Lakeside Mall, Metairie, LA
  • Saturday, November 12: New Orleans Book Festival, New Orleans, LA, 11am-12:00pm
  • Saturday, November 12: BirdFest, Audubon Zoo, New Orleans, LA, 2pm-3:30pm
  • Friday, November 25: Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, New Orleans, 11am-1:30pm
  • Saturday, November 26: Maple Street Book Shop, New Orleans, 11am-1:30pm


For More Information

Check out the press release on the Audubon Nature Institute website at –

See the Petit Pierre and the Floating Marsh Flicker page at –

Louisiana Book Festival –

Johnette Downing –

Heather Stanley –




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