Monday, June 27, 2011

Rah, Rah, Radishes!: A Vegetable Chant

Rah, Rah, Radishes!: A Vegetable Chant

Rah, Rah, Radishes!: A Vegetable Chant
by April Pulley Sayre
Beach Lane Books, June 2011
review copy provided by the publisher

April Pulley Sayre is the queen of chant books.

A few years ago at the CLA breakfast at NCTE, I sat beside April. We got to talking about her school visits, and she offered to perform her chant book, TROUT, TROUT, TROUT: A FISH CHANT, while I held the book up and turned the pages for our table-mates. She could recite that book from memory faster than I could turn the pages!

Her other chant books in that first series include BIRD, BIRD, BIRD: A CHIRPING CHANT and ANT, ANT, ANT: AN INSECT CHANT.

In her newest book, April takes us to the South Bend, IN Farmer's Market to romp and stomp and chomp the names of both familiar and unusual vegetables. Here's a bit of the backstory about why this book came to be:

"In 2006 I watched British chef Jamie Oliver's four-part BBC documentary, "Jamie's School Dinners," in which he interviewed children and found that many didn't know the names of vegetables. That shocked me, a girl who grew up picking vegetables on her grandparents' farm. I had to do something...
...RAH, RAH, RADISHES! A VEGETABLE CHANT is about having fun with vegetables--and with delicious words, colors, and shapes. The photos are a celebration of farmer's market produce; I photographed it at our local South Bend Farmer's Market."

Here's a sample of the jazzy rhythm, rhyme, and language:

Rah, rah, radishes!
Red and white.
Carrots are calling.
Take a bite!
Oh boy, bok choy!
Brussels sprout.
Broccoli. Cauliflower.
Shout it out!

The colors of the foods jump off the pages and the words beg to be shouted aloud. I'm sure this will be a favorite book for partner reading during next year's Poetry Fridays in my 4th grade classroom. (For a review and some inside images, go to jama rattigan's alphabet soup.)

April has a sequel planned: GO, GO, GRAPES! A FRUIT CHANT, and rumor has it that while in New Orleans for ALA she visited a Vietnamese fruit market to do a photo shoot. Stay tuned for another YUMMY chant book!


  1. Anonymous5:14 AM

    Hopefully I will find it in our library, the kids would love it! thank you for sharing. xoxo michele

  2. "Beg to be shouted aloud"

    Absolutely! April *is* the Queen of Chant Books. Gorgeous book packed with delicious fun. Can't wait for Go Go Grapes!

  3. Anonymous9:33 AM

    Looks awesome, thank you!!!

  4. I'm a HUGE fan of April's chant books and can't wait to see this one! As I read the information about the book's inspiration, I thought of how frequently the checker at my local grocery store needs me to identify the vegetables I buy. I was amazed when he didn't know what beets were.


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