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Pickin' Peas

Pickin' Peas

Author: Margaret Read MacDonald
Illustrator: Pat Cummings

I read this delightful folktale in an 1897 issue of WORKMAN, a journal of African-American affairs. It was collected in Calhoun, Alabama.

Little Girl plants a garden of peas, but Mr. Rabbit eats her crop. She catches him, but he offers to dance for her and soon escapes. It is the delightful singing refrain and Pat Cumming’s bright and close-up illustrations which make this book such a hit with kids. And with that sassy rabbit peering out from the book jacket, it jumps right off the shelf into their hands.

Type Year Publisher Price Length   ISBN
Paperback  2014  August House  $8.95  32 pages  978-1-939160-83-6 

Additional Information and Resources


Retell the story
After hearing the story a few times, divide your group into teams and let them retell the story. One is the rabbit, one is little girl.

Primary girls at several schools have told me that they are “playing” this at recess. Something about singing Mr. Rabbit’s song and then jumping at the end. Sounds like fun. But I can’t tell you how they do it.


MRM TELLS PICKIN' PEAS Filmed by Jeff Gere in Hawaii, May, 2016


"rollicking read-aloud" "The offbeat graphics crackle with delight at the tall-tale doings."  ...Parenting Magazine

"The retelling is fresh and is anchored by the repetition of the bouncy, catchy refrain. The illustrations are bold, bright, and action-packed"  ...School Library Journal

"A perfect read-aloud, this story brims with rhythm and energy. Cumming’s characters have as much personality as the text itself."  ...Kirkus Reviews

"The retelling is fresh and anchored by the repetition of the bouncy, catchy refrain. The illustrations are bold, bright, and action-packed. "  ...Booklist July 1998

"The pictures work well from a distance and the strong text balances the visuals."  ...Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, Sept, 1998 Janice del Negro


Tennessee Volunteer State Award
This award is chosen by children.   

Parenting Magazine Reading Magic Award

Bowker Best Books for Children

Wisconsin Golden Archer Award
One of five nominees for award.   

Children's Catalog 19th ed.

Best Books for Children 7th ed.

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