Shante’ Keys and the New Year’s Peas
By Gail Piernas-Davenport

Albert Whitman and Company
ISBN 13: 978-0-8075-7330-3
Age Levels: 5-9/Grades: K-4
Pages: 32
Size: 10.75 x 8.5
Illustrations: Full color
Library Binding

What is New Year’s like at your house? I grew up eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day, and eating black-eyed peas is a tradition of the Keys family, too. But when Shante’ and her family come for the New Year’s dinner, Grandma Louise has forgotten to buy them! What could happen just because you don’t eat some silly peas, you ask. Well, it means you’ll have a year of bad luck!

When Grandma sends Shante’ to find the peas, we find out a lot about the New Year’s customs of the neighbors–Chinese New Year, Hogmanay in Scotland, New Year’s Eve in Mexico and the Hindu Diwali celebration–but she doesn’t find any peas! Is the Keys family doomed? Well, you’ll just have to read the book to find out what happens! The book rhymes so I think you’ll have fun reading it! It was written with kids in grades Kindergarten through fourth in mind.

The illustrations were painted by Marion Eldridge, a terrific artist. You can visit Marion’s web site at Be sure to take a peek at the great trailer Marion made on YouTube for the book!


Barnes and

Activity Guide

Since Shanté Keys and the New Year’s Peas is a picture book about New Year’s food traditions, there are many ways to incorporate it into the curriculum. To help you explore ideas to use the book, I’ve written a free resource guide that shows the many subject matters in which the book can be integrated.


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