Pickin' Peas

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Pickin peas. Land on my knees! sings a pesky rabbit as he merrily eats his way through the pea patch Little Girl has planted. But when Little Girl snatches him up and takes him home to put in a box until pea season is over, the rabbit is soon singing a new tune as he plans his escape. With a nod to Brer Rabbit, Pickin Peas is based on two folktales collected in Alabama and Virginia at the end of the last century. The lively storytelling voice of Margaret Read MacDonald, matched with Pat Cummingss bright, bold ...
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Overview

Pickin peas. Land on my knees! sings a pesky rabbit as he merrily eats his way through the pea patch Little Girl has planted. But when Little Girl snatches him up and takes him home to put in a box until pea season is over, the rabbit is soon singing a new tune as he plans his escape. With a nod to Brer Rabbit, Pickin Peas is based on two folktales collected in Alabama and Virginia at the end of the last century. The lively storytelling voice of Margaret Read MacDonald, matched with Pat Cummingss bright, bold pictures, makes this funny battle-of-wits tale perfect to tell out loud, letting everyone share in the fun of chanting its rhymic refrain!

Author Biography: Margaret Read MacDonald loves telling stories and likes to put them in books so other folks can tell them too. Her award-winning book The Parents Guide to Storytelling (HarperCollins, 1995) helps parents and kids tell stories like Pickin Peas. She lives in Kirkland, WA.

Coretta Scott King Awardwinner Pat Cummings has written and illustrated many popular books, including Clean Your Room, Harvey Moon! and her new board book, My Aunt Came Back. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Because a pesky rabbit picks peas from her garden, a little girl catches it and puts it in a box, but that doesn't solve the problem.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
MacDonald's A Parent's Guide to Storytelling slight retelling of a Southern folktale centers on an energetic African American girl and the rabbit she discovers helping himself to the peas in her garden. As the young gardener sings her way through the rows of pods "Pickin' peas. Put 'em in my pail", the crafty animal does the same "Pickin' peas. Land on my knees!" until she realizes he is following her. Grabbing the intruder below the ears, the child takes him indoors and stuffs him into a small box, where she threatens to keep him "till pea-picking season is OVER." Before long, however, the critter outwits his captor and, in a rather anticlimactic ending, escapes to the outdoors, where he chants, "Gonna eat all I want/ 'Cause you can't catch me!" Cummings's Clean Your Room, Harvey Moon! brash, contemporary art seems at odds with the folksy quality of the tale whose heroine is referred to only as "Little Girl". Slim pickings here. Ages 4-8. June
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-A retelling of a folktale originally collected in Alabama at the turn of the century. Little Girl plants a garden, then harvests the peas in the summer, singing "Pickin' peas./Put `em in my pail." Meanwhile, a pesky rabbit follows along behind her, eating the smaller peas that she'd left behind to grow some more. He croons, "Pickin' peas./Land on my knees." The girl, realizing she's not alone in the garden, discovers and catches the rabbit, putting him in a box "till pea-picking season is OVER." Not surprisingly, the wily animal tricks his captor into letting him go, and the next morning, he's back in the garden again. The folksy tone of the text and the contemporary illustrations, which depict an African-American girl in shorts, a tank top, and sunglasses, don't quite mesh. An author's note explaining the origins of this tale and offering storytelling tips as well as a tune for the song invented by MacDonald appear at the end.-Tana Elias, Meadowridge Branch Library, Madison, WI
Kirkus Reviews
This down-home retelling of a southern folktale features a spirited little girl and the rascally rabbit who eats her carefully grown and tended peas. Little Girl becomes fed up with the rabbit's appetite for her prized pods, so she captures him, but he's too clever to be held for long. He entertains—and outsmarts—the girl for his freedom, but readers know that the two will continue to play this game for a long time to come. A perfect read-aloud, this story brims with rhythm and energy. Cummings's characters have as much personality as the text itself, while MacDonald (The Old Woman Who Lived in a Vinegar Bottle, 1995, etc.) includes suggestions for storytellers and a tune to sing the story to. Contributing to the fun is a design that makes clever use of three colors of text to distinguish the voices, encouraging participation in this entertaining tale. (Picture book/folklore. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060279707
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/1/1998
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.33 (w) x 11.33 (h) x 0.37 (d)

Meet the Author

Margaret Read MacDonald has written over 60 books. Margaret brings folktales to life in her picture books with a playful, lilting language that delights and engages children of all ages from 4 to 84. She has traveled the world entertaining audiences and collecting tales from other cultures. Her PhD in Folklore combined with her experience as a children's librarian gives added meaning and authenticity to the retelling of these classic stories. When she isn't traveling, she lives in Seattle, Washington.

Pat Cummings' work has been recognized with the Coretta Scott King Award, the Orbis Pictus, the NAACP Image Award and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award. After graduating from Pratt Institute she began a career as a freelance illustrator, working on editorial, advertising, theatrical and, eventually, picture book projects. Pat is the author and/or illustrator of over 35 books, both fiction and non-fiction. She has also worked as a producer and writer for Nickelodeon's Gullah Gullah Island and now teaches children's book illustration and writing at Parsons, The New School for Design and Pratt Institute. Former gifted and award-winning students of her class include David Eza Stein, Hiroe Nakata and Julian Hector. Born in Chicago, Illinois, Pat was an Army brat and grew up in Germany, Okinawa, Kansas and Virginia. She and her husband Chuku Lee live in a loft in beautiful downtown Brooklyn, New York.

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