Shante Keys and the New Year’s Peas

Shanté Keys loves New Year’s Day! But while Grandma fixed chitlins, baked ham, greens, and cornbread, she forgot the black-eyed peas! Oh no—it’ll be bad luck without them! So Shanté sets out to borrow some from the neighbors. Does Miss Lee have peas? What about Mr. MacGhee, or Shanté’s good friend Hari? None of them do—but, as Shanté discovers, they have fun foods and traditions for their New Year’s! Now, if only Shanté can find good-luck peas in time for dinner!

  • 32 Pages
  • 10.75" x 8.5"
  • 9780807573303
  • January 2007

Buy from Albert Whitman

  • 32 Pages
  • 10.75" x 8.5"
  • 9780807573310
  • October 2017

Buy from Albert Whitman

  • 9780807595602
  • March 2015

Other Places to Buy


  • Bright, colorful illustrations portray Shanté’s energy and determination to save her family tradition…this is a simple way to introduce young children to other cultures and traditions. The recipe for Grandma Louise’s Hoppin’ John provides a fun activity for families.

    - Kirkus Reviews

  • In rhyming text and vibrant illustrations, this upbeat story celebrates family, community, and multiculturalism, highlighting an African-American family’s New Year’s food traditions, including “lucky” black-eyed peas…The story, with abundant dialogue, is written in couplets, with all lines ending in a long “e” sound, and the expressive art warmly portrays characters’ interactions in bright, rich hues and lively detail.

    - Booklist

  • The lighthearted rhyme presents various cultural food customs associated with the holiday. A look at New Year’s traditions around the world and a recipe for Hoppin’ John are appended.

    - School Library Journal


Marion Eldridge

Shante Keys and the New Year's Peas

Common Core



  • Accelerated Reader Points: 0.50
  • ATOS Level: 4.40