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Cherries and Cherry Pits Paperback – April 29, 1991


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Cherries and Cherry Pits + A Chair for My Mother 25th Anniversary Edition (Reading Rainbow Books)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 4
  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books (April 29, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688104789
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688104788
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 9.1 x 0.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #196,461 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The creator of A Chair for My Mother, Something Special for Me and other stories for children introduces us to another irresistible heroine. Bedemmi loves to draw pictures with colored markers and write stories that always start "with the word THIS." Exquisitely decorated and deceptively simple, the book alternates between the narrator's spare descriptions and evocative watercolors, and Bedemmi's own captivating tales and vivid, imaginative drawings. The book's title refers to Bedemmi's storiesall of which involve folks "eating cherries and spitting out the pits, eating cherries and spitting out the pits." What about all those pits? Bedemmi has an "important plan." She will plant them in her yard so they will grow "until there is a whole forest of cherry trees right on our block." Williams's latest work is another glowing tale of the transformational power of a child's creativity and love.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 2 Bidemmi, a young black child, draws splendid pictures. "As she draws, she tells the story of what she is drawing," always starting with the word "this." Bidemmi's brightly colored words and pictures introduce children to the man with the nice face that's dark brown; to the tiny, white, grandmotherly lady; and to the tall boy who is much like Bidemmi's own brother. Finally, Bidemmi tells her story, revealing her wish for her neighborhood and her world. Each story involves cherriesbuying, sharing, and enjoying them. The man with the nice face shares them with his children, the tiny lady with her parrot, the tall boy with his little sister. Bidemmi will eat her cherries and then plant the pits, nourish them, watch them grow, and share the fruit with people from all over the neighborhood. Williams uses a first-person narrator to tie these tales together. Very different styles of illustration further define who is speaking. Soft, beautifully-crafted watercolors depict Bidemmi as the narrator speaks. As Bidemmi herself tells her stories, fresh, child-like, highly detailed illustrations done in lustrous colored markers are used. Well formated text and illustrations complement, enhance, and extend each other. All together, this is a fresh and imaginative book which exudes a respect for and understanding of children. Maria B. Salvadore, District of Columbia Public Library
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Vera B. Williams lives in New York City.

In Her Own Words..."Throughout my childhood I was encouraged to make pictures, tell stories, act, and dance--all of this at a heaven in our New York City neighborhood called the Bronx House.

"Saturdays I painted with a crusading art director, Florence Cane. In her book The Growth of the Child Through Art, I appear under the name Linda. I was sixteen when the book appeared and embarrassed by it. But at age nine I had been totally proud when a painting of mine was exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art and I was later shown in the Movietone News explaining to Eleanor Roosevelt its Yiddish title, "Yentas."

"In 1945 I went to Black Mountain College in North Carolina, a unique educational community. I graduated in 1949 in graphic art, which I studied with Josef Albers. Along the way I planted corn, made butter, worked on the printing press, and helped to build the house in which I lived with Paul Williams, a fellow student I married there.

"I wanted that connection of art and community to continue. And it did at the Gate Hill Cooperative, a community we built with other Black Mountain people, a poet, musicians, and potters. I lived and worked there from 1953-1970 (after which I moved to Canada). My children (Sarah, Jenny, Merce) grew up there. For them, we branched out into a school, part of the Surnmerhill movement. The gingerbread houses that led to my first book for Greenwillow I first made in sticky variety at our school. I have always liked to teach and have taught art, cooking, writing, nature study, for nursery age on.

"At forty-six, no longer married, living in a houseboat on the bay at Vancouver, British Columbia, I did my first book. But before that could happen, the fates decreed a stint of cooking and running a bakery at a small school in the Ontario countryside. My love affair with Canada included also a 500-mile trip on the Yukon River. Many of those adventures I put in Three Days on a River in a Red Canoe.

"I also write and draw for adults-short stories, leaflets, and posters. As a lover of children, I try to do what I can to help save their earth from nuclear disaster. This pursuit, too, has added its excitement to my biography, including, in 1981, a month's stay in the federal penitentiary in Alderson, West Virginia (an outcome of a women's peaceful blockade of the Pentagon). Perhaps this experience will some day appear in one of my books. So far I've found children's books a wonderfully accommodating medium where any of my various activities might pop up."

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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I can still remember my dad reading me this as a five year old.
Parents to HZ
Beautiful and inspiring in every way: an engaging story that honors children's abilities to make positive change, poetic text, vibrant illustrations.
Kate Shade
I love how this story tells the story of three different chaacters lives and the lives of their friends and family.
M. Flagg

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 17, 1997
Format: Library Binding
As a teenager not many of my friends like children's books, but I have and always will have a profound affection for them. "Cherries and Cherry Pits" continues to be a favorite of mine- your minds eye can relish on the fresh, colorful drawings whilst you read of the simple pleasures derived from a yummy little fruit. This book always leaves me with a little dance in my step, an artistic itch in my fingers and a mouth watering for cherries
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. Flagg on October 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
I have loved Cherries and Cherry Pits for as long as I can remember. I love how this story tells the story of three different chaacters lives and the lives of their friends and family. I remember it being read me when I was in kindergarten. I love everything about the book down to the hand drawn pictures that depict how many children draw at that age. I still have my original copy of the book and will keep it forever.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ulyyf on August 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
Let me say, before we start out, that this is a wordy book. It's definitely more suited for the older end of the 4-8 crowd.

This is a story of a young artist. She draws three pictures of three people, and tells the stories of how they eat cherries on three occasions.

Then she finally tells her own story, and her own plan, about how she intends to save the pits from her own cherries and plant them, until there is a "forest of cherry trees" she can share with the whole world.

Simple, strong story. The young nieces sit for it, and I love it too.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Margaux on April 20, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was one of my favorite books as a child. I originally purchased it at my elementary school's book fair. During the course of the years, moving, etc., it was lost. I began looking for it online and located it on Amazon. I absolutely love this book and am glad I was able to find it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By lemonzest on July 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover
As an adult, I've slowly been re-collecting my favorite books from childhood, and this book was at the top of my list of "must-haves". Vera B. Williams' illustrations, a combination of watercolor (for narrated parts of Bidemmi's life) and marker (for the stories Bidemmi draws and tells us), are incredibly vibrant and beautiful - kids can read this book and be inspired not only to draw like Bidemmi does, but also to tell stories in her style, which is very much the way a child might narrate their own picture story. The text is also wonderful, full of stories about cherries and all the people who love to buy and eat them. I suggest you or your kids have some cherries on hand before you read this book, because you'll be craving fruit by the end!
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