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Apple Pie Fourth of July Paperback – May 1, 2006

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (May 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152057080
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152057084
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 8.2 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #328,132 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The author and artist teamed for Buzz return for this carefully honed story about a girl's experience as a first-generation Chinese-American. Readers first encounter the unnamed narrator as she looks unhappily out the glass door of her parents' market, open for business even on the Fourth of July. Hearing the "boom, boom, boom" of the approaching parade, sniffing the apple pie baking in a neighbor's oven, she is distracted by the cooking smells from the store's kitchen, where her parents are preparing chow mein and sweet-and-sour pork. "No one wants Chinese food on the Fourth of July," she tries to explain, and her prediction seems right as the afternoon lengthily unfolds with almost no customers. "My parents do not understand all American things," she reminds herself, "They were not born here." But the evening brings a steady stream of patrons, and the holiday concludes with the family watching fireworks (invented by the Chinese) and eating what else? apple pie. The well-paced text heavily freighted at the beginning and swift by the end reflects the girl's changing emotions and moods. The art resembles cut-paper collage. Chodos-Irvine deploys sharply defined objects in a range of colors and patterns to construct harmonious, forthright compositions that will likely prove inviting to readers of many backgrounds. Ages 3-7.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 2-This simply told story explores a child's fears about cultural differences and fitting in with understanding and affection. A Chinese-American girl helps her parents open their small neighborhood grocery store every day of the year. However, today is the Fourth of July and her parents just don't understand that customers won't be ordering chow mein and sweet-and-sour pork on this very American holiday. As she spends the day working in the store and watching the local parade, she can't shake her anxiety about her parents' na‹vet‚. When evening arrives along with hungry customers looking "for some Chinese food to go," she is surprised but obviously proud that her parents were right after all: Americans do eat Chinese food on the Fourth of July. Nighttime finds the family atop their roof enjoying fireworks and sharing a neighbor's apple pie. Done in a "variety of printmaking techniques," Chodos-Irvine's illustrations are cheerfully bright and crisp, capturing the spirit of the day as well as the changing emotions of the main character. This second successful collaboration by the creators of Buzz (Harcourt, 2000) is one you won't want to miss.
Alicia Eames, New York City Public Schools
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Janet S. Wong (www.janetwong.com) is an award-winning author and anthologist of more than two dozen books for young readers, teachers, and parents. One of the most distinctive things about Janet Wong's body of work is its variety. There's at least one book for anyone--and EVERYONE!

Picture Books

This book was an L.A. Times Best Book of the Year for children--a lively read-aloud about a toddler's busy morning routine. Kids love buzzing along every time you point to the word BUZZ!

This book is not just for kids--with its hipster illustrations, it's a quirky gift for anyone who is good at "creative recycling." Give it to a 5-year-old future engineer along with a box full of assorted junk or to your dad for helping you clean your garage.

This book landed Janet a gig at the White House Easter Egg Roll--a "slice of community" story celebrating diversity.

Gorgeous illustrations by E.B. Lewis enhance this story about making a house feel like a home.

Poetry Books

TWIST: Yoga Poems
This book is for all ages, from 3-year-olds who love looking at Julie Paschkis's detailed illustrations (and can bend themselves into all of the yoga poses) to 73-year-old yoga teachers. In "Finding the Center," the author compares herself to a doughnut.

KNOCK ON WOOD: Poems about Superstitions
Teachers looking for books to use with the Common Core will enjoy discussing the Author's Notes about what the superstitions mean and comparing them with the way superstitions are presented in poems. A follow-up exercise is to have students interview family members about those same superstitions.

Janet Wong received the Claremont Stone Center Recognition of Merit for these two classic collections about the Asian American experience.

BEHIND THE WHEEL: Poems about Driving
Forty poems for teens about driving also use driving as a metaphor for a wide variety of life issues.

THE RAINBOW HAND: Poems about Mothers and Children
Children's favorites from this book include "Smother Love" and "Crazy Mother," while new mothers appreciate poems reflecting on the motherhood experience such as "The Gift of Breathing Slow."

ONCE UPON A TIGER: New Beginnings for Endangered Animals
As with KNOCK ON WOOD, this is another title that teachers will find useful in their teaching of the Common Core. Most of these poems about endangered animals are "pourquoi tale" poems with a folkloric feel, and yet critical readers will be able to recognize embedded facts once they read the nonfiction notes.

These mostly-lighthearted and nonpartisan poems about various aspects of an election--from debates to the electoral college to broader issues such as liberty--will spark discussion in classrooms and at home. TheDeclarationOfInterdependenceBlog.blogspot.com.

Chapter Books

The pressures of standardized testing in 4th grade push Rolly Maloo to ask Jenna to cheat; but only Jenna is caught. Should she keep her secret, or tell on Rolly Maloo? This hybrid graphic novel will be useful in starting discussions about cheating (why we do it, how to say no, and how to deal with being caught in a lie). A Horace Mann Upstanders Award Honor Book (recognizing books where a character stands up for something important).

This "easy reader for 5th graders" focuses on the unlikely friendship between a lizard-loving girl and a tech geek. A Washington Sasquatch finalist and BCCB Blue Ribbon Award winner.

In this sequel to the popular MINN AND JAKE, Jake visits his old home in Los Angeles and learns "you can't go back home again"--but a string of hilarious mini-disasters involving self-tanning lotion, ants, buffet meals, and Disneyland can teach you to appreciate your new friends more than ever!

Books that Teachers Like:

A picture book about the writing and revision process--cited on Common Core lists as useful.

A "Meet the Author" book that gives insight into the writing process with a "just do it" message to put ideas down on paper "before they wriggle away."

A K-5 anthology of 218 poems by 76 poets, with curriculum connections for each poem. Edited by Janet Wong and children's literature professor Sylvia Vardell. (This is available in a Common Core version and in a Texas TEKS version.)

The three e-books in this series are also Vardell and Wong ventures; accessible poems at irresistible e-book prices; and easy to project onto a Smartboard or screen so that the whole classroom can read and discuss these poems at the same time.

About Janet Wong:

When Janet Wong is not writing, speaking at teacher conferences, or sharing writing tips with children in schools, she spends most of her time trying to grow blueberries and carnivorous plants at her home in Princeton, NJ.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Mazza HALL OF FAME on August 20, 2002
Format: Hardcover
"Apple Pie 4th of July" combines a story by Janet S. Wong with pictures by Margaret Chodos-Irvine. The story is narrated by an Asian-American girl whose family runs a Chinese restaurant. She is annoyed at her folks for keeping the store open on July 4th: "No one wants Chinese food on the Fourth of July, I say." But is she right or wrong? Read the book to find out!
The enjoyable story is perfectly complemented by Chodos-Irvine's colorful illustrations, which have an elegantly stylized quality to them. I especially liked the pictures of the family at work in the restaurant. "Apple Pie" is a wonderful story about entrepreneurship, and about how different cultural traditions contribute to the unique mix that is the United States.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jessi Platt on March 19, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This story is told by an Asian-American girl whose family owns a Chinese food restaurant. The narrator is frustrated and discouraged by the separation of American culture and her own culture. ("No one wants Chinese food on the Fourth of July, I say.") However, as five o'clock arrives, so do a few surprises.
Wong's simple tale and Chodos-Irvine's striking illustrations combine to form an endearing story about how the combination of different cultures forms the true culture of America.
Reading Level: Grades 1-2
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Eva Hashemi on November 14, 2007
Format: Paperback
"Apple Pie 4th of July" (2002) by Janet S. Wong ("This Next New Year","Buzz") could have a multitude of functions in your classroom, depending on the age of your students and your subject. For older students in Language Arts (3rd-5th), this book will provide an example of character development. In this story, a Chinese-American girl tells her Chinese parents that their customers do not want to eat Chinese food on the 4th of July. The girl believes that people only want American food like apple pie on such an American holiday. Her parents continue with their plans of offering Chinese food in their market. Your students will enjoy reading about this girl and discovering whether or not she is correct. You will appreciate the manner in which Ms. Wong develops this character. Since the girl's parents were born in China, this book will function as an introduction to immigration for younger students (K-2). As the girl is living within two cultures, this book will serve you well in a unit on multiculturalism (K-2). You should include in any discussion the colorful illustrations by Margaret Chodos-Irvine and the fact that the girl is dressed in red, white and blue. The illustrations depict a cultural blend of the traditional 4th of July parade and fireworks with Chinese main characters and foods.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amber @ The Musings of ALMYBNENR on July 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover
A young Chinese-American girl laments the fact that her family's combination convenience store and Chinese food restaurant is open every day except for Christmas day. Now it is the fourth of July and the nameless girl can hear the commotion of the parade on the street; yet, her family is cooking Chinese food.

Brought up in America, she firmly believes that Chinese food is just not the kind of food one eats on Independence Day. Her family's focus on tradition is irritating her on this patriotic day and she her desire to escape the store increases with each hour that passes as people come and go, buying things like ice and matches to keep the fun of the holiday going.

Apple Pie 4th of July caught my eye when I was searching for children's picture books related to the holiday. The cover pops and the design made me curious about the contents of this book.

With its bit of rhyme, this book is interesting in naming only one character, Laura, the one who makes the apple pie. Janet Wong did not name the main character in the book, which allowed more focus on the story and its message, but I found it interesting that the one character named was never part of the action or pictured.

The young girl, as I will continue to call her, believes no one wants Chinese food on this truly American holiday and she grows grumpier when her parents cheerfully produce dish after dish of Chinese-American cuisine. But in the evening when the store starts filling up with people who are in the mood for Chinese food, the girl realizes that being American has a deeper meaning; her understanding grows further when after the store closes, her family breaks from tradition in a small yet significant way.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Heejin Son on November 18, 2008
Format: Paperback
Janet S. Wong(1962-) was born in Los Angeles. She graduated from UCLA with her B.A in history and then Yale Law School. She worked at Universal Studios Hollywood as a lawyer. However, she changed her career from a lawyer to a writer for children's literature. Janet has achieved many successes as a result of her career change, and she and her books have received many awards and honors. She has a Korean-American mother and a Chinese-American father, and these three different cultures are shown on her books.
"Apple Pie 4th of July" also shows a different cultural aspect from America in the point of view of young girl. A girl who was born in America could not understand her parents who prepare to sell Chinese food even on 4th of July. She feels dissatisfaction about her parents since she thinks her parents do not understand the America Holiday. She wants to enjoy the America Holiday like other Americans but she is disappointed with the differences of her parents from others. The clear and colorful illustration describes well her feelings through her facial expressions. The girl full of discontent says, "Chow mein? Chinese food on the Fourth of July? No one wants Chinese food on the Fourth of July." Many children who have a different culture from the major culture where they live sometimes might feel shame or uncomfortable about their own culture. The parents and teachers need to let children whose culture is either the majority or minority know the variety of cultures in the world. In not only various countries, but also different homes in the same country, their own cultures exist. When children read this book, they can think about the diversity of cultures, and the parents and teachers need to guide children to have the correct concept about cultures.
Wong, J. S. (2002). Apple Pie 4th of July. Orlando, Florida: Harcourt, Inc.
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