A Song of Frutas

a song of fruitas  margarita engle

A Song of Frutas by Margarita Engle and Sara Palacios illus.

Imagine for a moment that your grandparents lived on an island far away and you only got to see them once a year.  Can you feel how exciting it would be to go to see them and spend time with them?

This young girl is visiting her grandparents in Cuba. Her grandfather is a singing street vendor.  Yes, that’s right, he makes his living (his money) by selling fruit in the streets of his community and to sell them he walks with his cart and he sings the names of all the fruits.  His granddaughter gets to go with him and sing the names of the fruits right along with him.

They sing loudly so they can be heard above the other street vendors who are selling chocolates and sweet potatoes and pointy paper cones filled with roasted peanuts.

The words of their songs rise up to the windows of the houses and the people come out to see what they can buy today.  That’s probably pretty different from your trip to the grocery store.  It’s a great way for people to see each other, talk to each other, hear songs, be a community.

Then, the girl has to go back home.  She still has her words and she can “sing” them to her grandparents in letters.

A beautiful story about living life a different way and about the powerful love of family even when they are far apart.

40 pages              978-1534444898           Ages 4-8

Keywords:  diversity, diverse books, grandfather, family life,  Caribbean, Hispanic, Latino, Latina, multigenerational, multicultural, customs and traditions, rhyme, performing arts, Social Studies Curriculum, 4 year old, 5 year old, 6 year old, 7 year old, 8 year old


Recommended by:  Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com


From Pura Belpré Award–winning author Margarita Engle comes a lively, rhythmic picture book about a little girl visiting her grandfather who is a pregonero—a singing street vendor in Cuba—and helping him sell his frutas.

When we visit mi abuelo, I help him sell

frutas, singing the names of each fruit

as we walk, our footsteps like drumbeats,

our hands like maracas, shaking…

The little girl loves visiting her grandfather in Cuba and singing his special songs to sell all kinds of fruit: mangolimónnaranjapiña, and more! Even when they’re apart, grandfather and granddaughter can share rhymes between their countries like un abrazo—a hug—made of words carried on letters that soar across the distance like songbirds.—from the publisher

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