From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 2. Lucious fruits and vegetables, snappy street cries, and strutting musicians bring to life the melange that was New Orleans 100 years ago. A young girl awakens to the shout of a banana seller, visits the market, somberly watches a passing funeral, and joins an impromptu parade. Her adventures and observations are recounted in jazzy verse that is interspersed with traditional vendors' cries and punctuated with the "Rum-a-tum-tum" of the bands' drums. Many of Ransome's vigorous street scenes completely fill double-page spreads; others highlight piles of ripe produce, glistening fish, and mischievous cats. The illustrator's vibrant, glowing colors and broad brush strokes enhance the bouncy, upbeat rhythm of Medearis's rhyming text. While very different in mood and momentum from Alan Schroeder's Carolina Shout! (Dial, 1995), both books provide enlightening author's notes about street cries and employ a charming young lady to lead the way on a jubilant excursion through an earlier time in a fascinating place. Appropriate for independent reading, this is best shared aloud for a "finger-snapping, toe-tapping" experience.?Carol Ann Wilson, Westfield Memorial Library, NJ
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Ages 4^-8. Ransome's paintings are glorious in this celebration of the market in the French Quarter of New Orleans at the turn of the century, and Medearis' poetic rhyme captures the rhythm of the street cries and the ragtime beat of the marching band. A young girl is awakened by the shouts of the street vendors ("Nice little snap beans / pretty little corn"). She runs to the window, opens it wide. What she sees are "Creole women in red bandannas," shouting vendors with baskets on their heads, fruit sellers with juicy watermelons, shoppers searching for best buys. There is no real story, but the momentum builds in words and pictures from the time she wakes up and runs downstairs to the climax when she joins the parade. The beautifully composed, richly colored paintings are filled with light and movement, from market street scenes to close-ups of luscious vegetables. The child is part of it all, reaching for fruit, watching, listening, and then joining in, high-stepping, whirling, and twirling to the hot jazz notes of the marching band. Hazel Rochman