Granddaddy’s Street Songs

Author/Illustrator: Monalisa DeGross, Illustrated by Floyd Cooper
Publisher: Jump At The Sun, a division of Hyperion Books
Publication Date: 1999
Awards: Black-eyed Susan Award
Genre: Historical fiction, picture book
Audience: Gr. 3+

Overview: In this historical fiction book set in Baltimore, a grandfather tells his grandson stories from long ago when he was a fruit and vegetable vender. The grandfather shares the special songs he used to sing to entice customers. The lyrical sound of this book and vivid pictures tell a great story about the history of this specific African American community. The beautiful pictures and crafted words will excite listeners, young and old. This is a great read-aloud book and a good example of a multi-cultural book that entertains while opening readers’ eyes to a culture with which they may not be familiar. The regional significance of this book makes it nationally relevant, but a must read for all Baltimorians and their children.

Activity: Children can try to create their own rhyme that a vender might sing. Practice and then perform the songs, as if they are calling customers just as the grandfather did in the story.

Reviewer’s Name: Sarah DeVan