|Song of frutas|
Author: Engle, Margarita
While visiting her abuelo in Cuba, a young girl helps him sell frutas, singing the name of each fruit as they walk, and after she returns to the United States, they exchange letters made of abrazos--hugs. Includes historical and cultural notes.
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|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 4.10
Points: .5 Quiz: 515033
Kirkus Reviews (+) (06/15/21)
School Library Journal (+) (10/01/21)
Booklist (+) (08/01/21)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/09/21)
The Hornbook (00/09/21)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 08/01/2021 *Starred Review* Engle’s latest lyrical picture book portrays an enchanting tradition in Cuba, wherein produce vendors push their carts throughout the neighborhood, singing songs to lure customers to their wares. Readers join the young narrator in a colorful town with the liveliest street vendors, including her abuelo, who markets his produce with rhythm and joy in a beautiful singing voice. His songs ring through the streets, amplifying Cuba’s vibrant culture, especially once he’s joined by other vendors, such as el tamalero, la yerbera, el viandero, el manisero, and la dulcera, who all sell their wares with their own rhythmic songs, weaving soul through the working day. Palacios’ beautiful artwork renders the city in rich, saturated colors with bustling crowds of people set against brightly hued buildings, and when the narrator goes back home to the U.S., the illustrations shift in tone, clearly signaling how much she misses her family in Cuba. Engle deftly weaves Spanglish through the conversational text, and bilingual readers will enjoy maneuvering between languages, maybe even singing along to the lyrical list of fruits in Abuelo’s cart. Engle includes personal insights, background context, and music recommendations in an author’s note that enhances the experience of this heartfelt read about Cuban culture and a love of far-flung family. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 10/01/2021 K-Gr 3—A young girl visits her abuelo in Cuba and accompanies him as he sells delicious frutas, calling out in song and inviting everyone they pass to come and have a look. Many pregoneros, singing vendors, call out in song together, their voices mixing and creating a beautiful melody that travels through the streets, carrying with it requests for candies, yams, tamales, and more. When the new year arrives, the young narrator loves to help Abuelo sell the grapes that people will use to make one wish for every month of the new year. Although the trips come to an end, and it is difficult for the young narrator and her family to return home, she takes comfort in knowing that she and Abuelo can still exchange letters full of love. Bright, colorful spreads share the beauty and vibrancy of the streets of Cuba and the joy shared by the family. Delightful verses sprinkled with Spanish express the girl's love of family and home, as well as her longing for a time when seeing family will not be so difficult. An author's note discusses the use of Spanish in the text, travel restrictions between Cuba and the United States, the history of pregoneros, and the tradition of eating grapes on New Year's Eve. VERDICT A heartfelt story full of love for family and traditions, highly recommended for picture book collections for children.—Selenia Paz, Harris County P.L., Houston - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.