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Shanté Keys and the New Year's peas
2007
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Fiction/Biography Profile
Characters
Shantâe Keys (Girl), African American, Goes in search of some black-eyed peas for the New Year's day dinner
Genre
Fiction
Juvenile
Multiculturalism
Didactic
Topics
New Year's Day
Holidays
African American
Food
Large Cover Image
Trade Reviews

  School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2-It's New Year's Day, and Shanti's Grandma is "weak in the knees" from cooking "chitlins, baked ham,/macaroni and cheese,/Greens and hot corn bread,/but no black-eyed peas!" If the family doesn't eat "cowpeas," it means a year of bad luck, so Shanti goes out into the neighborhood in search of "blackeyes." She visits a Chinese woman, a Scottish grocer, a Mexican restaurant owner, and a Hindu family. In turn, each neighbor explains his or her culture's differing New Year's practices with an oversimplification that leans toward ethnic stereotypes. The book tries to do too much, taking the focus off Shanti and her family. The illustrations, done in candylike colors, are unappealing. On the plus side, the lighthearted rhyme presents various cultural food customs associated with the holiday. A look at New Year's traditions around the world and a recipe for Hoppin' John are appended.-Teresa Pfeifer, Alfred Zanetti Montessori Magnet School, Springfield, MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Summary
Shanté Keys loves New Year's Day! But while Grandma fixed chitlins, baked ham, greens, and cornbread, she forgot the black-eyed peas! Oh no--it'll be bad luck without them! So Shanté sets out to borrow some from the neighbors.
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