It’s Confetti Park Storytime! In this episode, we hear a wonderful New Orleans tale based on our favorite contemporary street vendor, Mr. Okra. The story was written in collaboration with Mr. Okra by Lashon Daley, and illustrated by Emile Henriquez. We are so lucky to have the story narrated for us by the author!
And who is Mr. Okra? He is Arthur Robinson, a real life man who lives in New Orleans today! He a street vendor who sells produce from a truck. We all New Orleanians love to hear his recognizable call. From the inside flap of the book:
“Up and down the streets of New Orleans, Mr. Okra drives his brightly painted truck. All over the city, you can hear his call: ‘I got oranges and bananas! I got tomatoes, cucumbers, and avocadoes!’ His fresh, healthy fruits and vegetables are as colorful as Mardi Gras floats, as green as the St. Charles Streetcar, and as different as the animals at the Audubon Zoo. Taste and tour New Orleans in this colorful story.”
Lashon Daley came to New Orleans to work with a nonprofit rebuilding organization as an AmeriCorps member. During that time, Daley discovered the joys of performing as a storyteller, sparking her interest in New Orleans folklore and the stories residents tell. Today she is in Berkeley, California, where she is pursuing her PhD in performance studies.
The colorful illustrations in the book were created by Emile Henriquez, a native New Orleanian who was born in the French Quarter. An art teacher, he also illustrated The Oklahoma Land Run, Toby Belfer Learns about Heroes and Martyrs, The Battle of New Orleans: The Drummer’s Story, D.J. and the Debutante Ball, D.J. and the Jazz Fest, and D.J. and the Zulu Parade.
Thank you, Lashon, for sharing your lovely book on Confetti Park!
And here is Mr. Okra himself performing with the Confetti Park Players.