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The Apple Pie That Papa Baked Hardcover – July 24, 2007

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; English Language edition (July 24, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416912401
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416912408
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.4 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #867,533 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2—A father lovingly prepares a treat for his daughter in this charming story. The cumulative text begins with the apples ("These are the apples, juicy and red, that went in the pie, warm and sweet, that Papa baked") and then moves on to the tree that grew the fruit, its roots, the rain," the clouds, the sky, the sun, and finally the world ("blooming with life"). Bean's fine folk-style artwork complements the lyrical text. The illustrations were each drawn in black ink on three separate sheets of vellum, scanned into a computer, and recomposed and colored. They use only red, black, and yellow, and the simple palette and buff-colored pages make the images sharp and elegant. The pictures effectively and humorously move the story forward, depicting the activities of the characters and several tag-along farm animals as they pick the apples, prepare the pie, and head back to the tree for a picnic. While the text blossoms out to encompass the whole world, the illustrations focus on the homey setting and the affection shared by father and daughter, keeping the story grounded until its sweet conclusion. A delightful and engaging read.—Catherine Callegari, Gay-Kimball Library, Troy, NH
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* The familiar cumulative tale "The House That Jack Built" receives a gentle, loving twist in this nostalgically illustrated story. The end is the beginning as a pigtailed girl introduces the apple pie "warm and sweet that Papa baked." Then moving backward, the girl runs from her ramshackle house out to the tree "crooked and strong," where shiny red apples are waiting to be picked. The roots, "deep and fine," feed the tree that grows the apples that go into the pie. Then the text becomes ever more expansive: rain waters the roots, clouds drop the rain, the sky carries the clouds, the sun lights the sky—until, finally, the world, blooming with life, spins around the sun and causes the natural wonders that result in one special pie. The text is dear, and it's well matched by delightful illustrations. Bean uses the best of old and new in artwork that harkens back to the works of Lois Lenski, Robert McClosky, and especially Wanda Gag. With dun-colored backgrounds and black-and-gold line work (occasionally brightened with red), the intricately detailed art is reminiscent of the time when picture books were rarely full color. In a brief note, Bean explains how he works: extensive drawing, then scanning into his computer, where he recomposes and recolors the images. The almost wordless concluding spreads, which picture father and daughter sharing the pie with their animal friends, exude love. Cooper, Ilene

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Customer Reviews

The illustrations are gorgeous, the content is fantastic.
T. Tripp
His Papa does bake a delicious apple pie so it was the perfect book to share.
Nancy F.
I can see kids liking this book, and asking for it to be read repeatedly.
R S Cobblestone

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on August 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
There's a difference between self-centered nostalgia and respectful inspiration, but the line between the two is difficult to walk. Every season there's a handful of books that try to reference the authors and illustrators of the past with mixed results. If it goes wrong then the book ends up feeling like a pale knock-off of the classics we already know and love. If the book goes well then you know that the author/illustrator knew how to separate their inspiration from their own creativity. There's a reason I didn't review Lauren Thompson and Jonathan Bean's "The Apple Pie that Papa Baked" right off the bat. I think I may have been a little afraid to pick up the story. It looked so pretty that I was afraid that picking it up and reading it would lead to sorrow, tears, and rending of garments (not necessarily in that order). You can imagine my surprise and delight then when I finally worked up the nerve to skim the pages, only to find the book readable and a true stunner from beginning to end. Inspiration meets true original quality in this inspired cumulative tale. The kind of book simply designed to be treasured.

Told in a cumulative format, a small girl discusses the various steps taken by her father to produce a pie. The first line is "This is the pie, warm and sweet, that Papa baked." The second line, "These are the apples, juicy and red, that went in the pie, warm and sweet, that Papa baked." And so on. As the story encompasses the tree that grew the apples, the roots the fed the tree, the rain that watered the roots, etc. we watch father and daughter pick the apples, make the pie, and attract the attention of most of the denizens on the farm.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Glenda Childress on August 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Lauren Thompson's The Apple Pie That Papa Baked puts the homey dessert into a cosmic framework in this delightfully nostalgic story of apple-picking time.

The story begins with a little girl wakening in her rustic farmhouse to the sound of a rooster's crowing and the happy sight of her father heading out to the orchard with his apple-picking ladder. Following him, the child catches up in time to spend the day together collecting apples, until the hungry pair return to share the making of a delicious juicy apple pie.

Thompson's lyric text echoes the format of the traditional "This is the house that Jack built...." story as it takes a sweeping view of the cycle of life which brings an apple pie to our table:

em>This is the world, blooming with life,
That spins with the sun, fiery and bright,
That lights the sky, wide and fair...</em>

The text celebrates the water cycle which "drops the rain, cool and fresh" to water the roots of the crooked but strong tree which bears the fruit which yields a treat for the eye and, warm and sweet, for the child, her father and us, too.

Jonathan Bean's 1940's-style illustrations, reminiscent of Helen Sewall's original illustrations for Wilder's "Little House" books, utilize a sepia and black palette and curving lines which evoke the cycles of the earth and sun perfectly. A perfect story for reading aloud at home (preferably while the pie bakes) or at school during those seasonal units on fall and apple-harvesting time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mindy VINE VOICE on June 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover
It's so simple, both the illustrations and text, that I thought he would tire of it quickly but not so! It's one of his favorites! The repetitive story has rich and lustrous words that, while complex, could still be understood by the young. The illustrations are just black and brown with red accents which make the red items pop. My son loves to point to the apples, juicy and red, because they're bold and pop off the page.

I would say this book is very similar to The House in the Night. Fans of that book would undoubtedly like this book too. (And vice versa.)
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Apple Pie That Papa Baked is a cumulative tale. Each segment of the story progressively builds on itself, and repetition is used in a lyrical way. For the most well-known example of this type of storytelling, see The House That Jack Built.

I knew author Lauren Thompson (Little Quack), but did not know illustrator Jonathan Bean (Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat, Mokie and Bik). I do now. Bean's ink overlays are at once nostalgic and fresh, with inspiration from the likes of Wanda Gag and Robert McCloskey.

So what's the problem? Well, mainly, I dislike the line, "that Papa baked". While only three words, those three words are the most important words in the entire book; indeed, as the refrain, they repeat ten times. Is this simply a matter of syllabic preference? I don't think so. In fact, proper rhythm is critical, and Thompson's reworking of the keystone line ("that Jack built") results in a less satisfactory cadence. Linguistically, this has to do with emphatic stress. I am also not in love with the final flourish: "for me...and for you!
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