Greenfield invites children to imagine what a fridge full of veggies might do once their people leave for the evening.
They dance, of course—once Cabbage summons them forth as the family departs. Greenfield’s beginning and ending passages are in free verse. In between, syncopated rhymes introduce the fruits and vegetables, many of whom take up instruments to “make a mighty music / for the party that’s to come.” After turns by Zucchini and Hip-Hop String Bean, “The baby limas wobble-dance, / can hardly stand at all, / their mamas run / and catch them, / the moment they start to fall.” Next up: hot chili peppers and a stately waltz from Mr. Corn and Ms. Arugula. “Then, / the sweet potato sisters / dance as sweet as pie, / pirouette and flit / and flutter, / curtsy with a sigh.” After working up a sweat, it’s time to slow-dance back into the “delicious coldness” of the fridge, “(sweet potatoes to the bin),” all contemplating “their / fantabulous / PAR-TAY. / YEAHHHH.” The gifted Tate’s illustrations resemble loose, translucent watercolors contoured by wide, waxy lines. Aside from some pink tutus for the sweet potato sisters and Mr. Corn’s neat mustache, the visual focus is on the veggies’ hip exuberance rather than gender stereotypes.
A rousing read-aloud begging for enthusiastic performers. (author’s note, references) (Picture book. 3-6)