PAR-TAY!: Dance of the Veggies (And Their Friends)

illus. by Don Tate. 32p. Alazar Pr. Apr. 2018. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9780997772029.
PreS-Gr 1—This cool and fun-loving tale features anthropomorphic vegetables and fruits that sneak out of the refrigerator to "Par-Tay!" when their owners leave. As soon as the car pulls away, a jazzy ensemble, including Eggplant on piano, Basil on the bass, and Tomato on saxophone, begins to play, encouraging all the other friends to join in by dancing. Each vegetable or fruit has a unique personality, from the Hip-Hop String Bean who "[ripples] her arms, like waves in an ocean" to the "ever-patient" sweet potato sisters who "dance as sweet as pie." This will make an entertaining read-aloud since every other line rhymes and each spread ends with a different celebratory exclamation. Tate's illustrations capture the exuberance as well as the different personalities by giving each fruit and vegetable specific details, such as sunglasses, a backward turned baseball cap, or ruffled tutu skirts. After a wild night, the vegetables and friends do a slow dance back to the fridge, where they are happy to "relax in the delicious coldness." Greenfield concludes the story by answering the question, "What is a vegetable?" in four concise paragraphs. Plus, she provides a list of all the vegetables and fruits that appear in the story (nine of each type), but the health benefits of each are not discussed.
VERDICT Young children will enjoy this pairing of healthy foods with the joys of dancing and music.

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