In a rhyming cadence reminiscent of black work songs, a hot day of picking peas during the Depression is described through the eyes of children. In the sweltering heat, the youngsters engage in a pea-picking race and anticipate the treats they will buy with their pennies. Although the black-and-white illustrations are stark, they do set the tone for what farm life during those bleak years was like for many people. The sketchy drawings are relieved somewhat by playful borders of pea vines and pennies, and the images of a black family working together are strong. Young readers will marvel at what five pennies could buy. Libraries wanting to add more black family stories to their collections may consider this as an additional purchase. --Denia Lewis Hester, Dewey School, Evanston, IL
Angela Shelf Medearis, author of The African American Kitchen, is the founder of Diva Productions, Inc., the organization that produces her multicultural children's books, cookbooks, videos, and audiocassettes.