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RUM-A-TUM-TUM by Angela Shelf Medearis Kirkus Star


by Angela Shelf Medearis & illustrated by James E. Ransome

Age Range: 5 - 9

Pub Date: April 15th, 1997
ISBN: 978-0-8234-1143-6
Publisher: Holiday House

As captivated by African-American street calls as Alan Schroeder was in Carolina Shout! (1995), Medearis (Haunts, 1996, etc.) offers readers an eye-filling, ear-filling tour of Market Street in New Orleans. "Okra, cucumbers,/squash and potatoes,/come and sample/my plump tomatoes," calls one vendor from the vegetable stand, and the mother of the girl who narrates "sniffs, squeezes, and pokes each pile." Bread, strawberries, shrimp, and apples are all for sale, but mixed into the business of the day are the "black-clad mourners" making their way down the street with a coffin, and the traveling band that blows "hot jazz notes." Ransome works in perfect concord with the text: Fruit glistens, horns shine, faces glow, while the architecture in the background firmly anchors the setting. Exhilarating. (Picture book. 5-9)