Skip to Main Content

A Song of Frutas

Illustrated by Sara Palacios
See More Retailers

About The Book

From Pura Belpré Award–winning author Margarita Engle comes a lively, rhythmic picture book about a little girl visiting her grandfather who is a pregonero—a singing street vendor in Cuba—and helping him sell his frutas.

When we visit mi abuelo, I help him sell
frutas, singing the names of each fruit
as we walk, our footsteps like drumbeats,
our hands like maracas, shaking…

The little girl loves visiting her grandfather in Cuba and singing his special songs to sell all kinds of fruit: mango, limón, naranja, piña, and more! Even when they’re apart, grandfather and granddaughter can share rhymes between their countries like un abrazo—a hug—made of words carried on letters that soar across the distance like songbirds.

About The Author

Photograph (c) Shevaun Williams

Margarita Engle is the Cuban American author of many books including the verse novels Rima’s RebellionYour Heart, My SkyWith a Star in My HandThe Surrender Tree, a Newbery Honor winner; and The Lightning Dreamer. Her verse memoirs include Soaring Earth and Enchanted Air, which received the Pura Belpré Award, a Walter Dean Myers Award Honor, and was a finalist for the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction, among others. Her picture books include Drum Dream GirlDancing Hands, and The Flying Girl. Visit her at

About The Illustrator

Photograph © Sara Palacios

Sara Palacios is the recipient of a Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor for Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match and the illustrator of several other picture books, including A Song of Frutas, The Flying Girl, and Martina Has Too Many Tías. Sara graduated with a degree in graphic design and went on to earn BFA and MFA degrees in illustration from the Academy of Art in San Francisco. A native of Mexico, Sara now lives in San Francisco. Visit her at

Product Details

  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (August 3, 2021)
  • Length: 40 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781534444898
  • Ages: 4 - 8

Browse Related Books

Raves and Reviews

* "Palacios' beautiful artwork renders the city in rich, saturated colors with bustling crowds of people set against brightly hued buildings . . . Engle deftly weaves Spanglish through the conversational text . . . an author's note [enhances] the experience of this heartfelt read. . . "

– Booklist, Starred Review

* "Palacios’ vibrant illustrations beautifully capture the joy and liveliness of the event. . . A joyful celebration of Cuban tradition and family ties."

– Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

* "Palacios gives a visual richness to the spreads, portraying streets teeming with people of various skin tones talking, dancing, and buying. . . Engle’s mix of Spanish and English flows easily off the pages."

– Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

"Engle’s text is rich in sensory details . . . Palacios’s digital illustrations are characterized by soft lines and warm colors that augment the positive mood throughout. . . Fond reminiscences and a nuanced cultural depiction make for another warm ode to Engle’s beloved isla."

– Horn Book Magazine

"[A] note of separation marks the apt and poignant segue to Engle’s historical and cultural notes on street vending . . . The sun-soaked colors and invitingly tactile texturing of Palacios’ digital artwork will draw readers to the joyful visit."


"Bright, colorful spreads share the beauty and vibrancy of the streets of Cuba and the joy shared by the family. Delightful verses sprinkled with Spanish express the girl’s love of family and home. . . A heartfelt story full of love for family and traditions, highly recommended for picture book collections. . ."

– School Library Journal

Awards and Honors

  • ALA Notable Children's Books
  • CCBC Choices (Cooperative Children's Book Council)
  • Kansas NEA Reading Circle List PrimaryTitle
  • Red Clover Book Award (VT)
  • North Dakota Children's Book Award
  • Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year Selection Title

Resources and Downloads

Activity Sheets

High Resolution Images

More books from this author: Margarita Engle

More books from this illustrator: Sara Palacios