This fabulous book by Marjorie Priceman is our Five in a Row book this week. The book tells you how to cook a pie if the market happens to be closed; simply travel to Italy for wheat and France for eggs and Sri Lanka for cinnamon and Vermont for apples. The watercolor illustrations make it fun to follow the heroine around the world as she gathers the ingredients for her pie.
It’s a great book to read this time of year for kindergarten with apple picking and apple treats and apple crafts. And of course for us, we used it as an opportunity to read more books.
The obvious book to go along with How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World is How to Make a Cherry Pie and See the U. S. A., also by Priceman. The same little girl wants to make a cherry pie but this time travels around the U.S. to gather the raw ingredients needed to make the cookware she needs. It’s also cute, but the concept feels a little more forced than in the original.
How to Bake an American Pie by Karma Wilson has a similar feel to the Priceman books but is more about a figurative pie than a real one.The rhyming text goes a step beyond some of our favorite Wilson silly (wonderfully silly) books like the Bear books or Whopper Cake. The concepts in the text will go over the head of young children (mix liberty and fruited plains, season with God’s grace) but the whimsical illustrations starring a cat and dog baker will appeal to them.
The pie in this very sweet book by Penny Ives is also figurative , but appropriate for even the very youngest in the family. The recipe for Rabbit Pie involves six sleepy rabbits that need to have “the dirty bits removed” and scrubbed, six cups of milk poured in slowly and left to rest in a soft bed overnight until served int he morning with carrots. And don’t forget the sprinkling of kisses.
Figurative pies are all well and good, but sometimes you want a real honest to goodness pie. This book by Lauren Thompson fits the bill. It’s written in a “This is the house that Jack built” style with just enough repetition that is enjoyable but not tedious. As much as I enjoyed the text, I loved the illustrations by Jonathan Bean even more. The illustrations are almost exclusively in black and gold, with a bit of red for the apples. They are deceptively simple, but apparently the process involves three different ink drawings on vellum that then are scanned into a computer and then recomposed and colored. Bean deservedly won an award for the illustrations here and the comparisons in various reviews to Virginia Lee Burton and Wanda Gag are well deserved.
Both boys enjoyed this book about Jacob, a first time pie baker, by Cari Best. Jacob is making his first pie and trying to apply the rules of his favorite TV chef (“happy bakers make happy pies”, “everyone can use a little help”, focus on the task at hand, never give up). He comes up with some of his own rules by the end. I liked that his parents and sister are patiently supportive of him even as they have their own separate agendas. John liked that there was more of a story to this book than in the others mentioned here. David liked that it was about cooking and that it was full of onomatopoetic words interspersed in the text.
Three guesses as to what we had for dessert tonight. In the spirit of full disclosure I should let you know that it was made by H. and the boys while I was at work. I really don’t do it all, although I did quite enjoy eating it.
Check out Hope is the Word to see more of what parents and kids are reading together.