Cover image for Granddaddy's street songs
Granddaddy's street songs
DeGross, Monalisa.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Jump At The Sun/Hyperion, [1999]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 cm
A grandfather vividly describes to his grandson a typical day from his youth, when he worked as a peddler selling fresh fruits and vegetables from a horse-drawn wagon throughout the city.
Reading Level:
AD 500 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.2 0.5 42106.

Reading Counts RC K-2 3.1 2 Quiz: 33294 Guided reading level: L.
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



Roddy loves to bring out the old family photo album and listen to Granddaddy tell stories about his so long-ago days as an arabber, a fruit and vegetable vendor. With his horse-drawn wagon laden with the freshest produce, Granddaddy would ride down the cobblestoned streets and narrow brick alleys of Baltimore, singing out his special calls to customers. Singing along with Granddaddy makes Roddy almost feel like he's an arabber, too, as if those long-ago days have come alive....

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Ages 5^-9. "Granddaddy," Roddy says, "tell me a story." Before Granddaddy can get started, though, Roddy runs to get what they need for "a good, long story": the family photo album. The pictures it contains are black and white, but Granddaddy's words bring vibrant color to his memories of the long ago days when he was an "arabber," a street vendor who sold only the "crispest, freshest and ripest produce" from his horse-drawn wagon. DeGross' sweetly nostalgic family story is rooted in fact. According to an appended note, African American street vendors were once a fixture of Baltimore streets, and many, like Granddaddy, developed individual calls--or street songs--to "advertise" their wares. Cooper's softly colored pictures capture the look and spirit of the past that still exists in the emotional bond it has forged between Roddy and his beloved arabber Granddaddy. --Michael Cart

School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-3-Roddy loves to listen to his grandfather's tales of "long ago, when things weren't like they are today," and nothing gets Granddaddy going better than the photo album containing "fuzzy black-and-white pictures" from "the summer of nineteen hundred and fifty-five" when he spent his days "arabbin'." An endnote tells readers that "ay-rab" was a term used in Baltimore to describe African-American vendors who traveled the city selling fresh fruit and vegetables from horse-drawn wagons. Each vendor had his own particular call and developed a special gimmick or style to attract customers. Peeler, who wore "funny-looking pants," was well liked, but the best was Granddaddy himself, whose oversized, patchwork umbrella and call of "If you like what you hear/Then you'll love what you see./Peaches, peaches, yes sirree," let everyone know he was coming down the street. Cooper's brightly colored yet softly muted pastels are a perfect mix of Roddy's youthful affection and Granddaddy's tender nostalgia. While the regional appeal of this story shouldn't be overlooked, the universal charm of these two characters can't be denied.-Alicia Eames, New York City Public Schools (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.