Monday, May 21, 2012

Book #142: The Apple Pie that Papa Baked by Lauren Thompson, Illustrated by Jonathan Bean

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This tale uses a cumulative narrative to tell the reader about the apple pie that Papa baked for his young daughter. First, we are presented with the pie, warm and sweet, and then the apples that went in the pie, and then the tree that grew the apples that went in the pie that Papa baked. The girl and her father harvest the apples, peel and core them, and finally share the pie with their animal friends on the farm. By the end of the book, the girl has explained how the sky, sun, clouds, and rain have helped Papa to bake the pie.

The gently rhythmic text is repetitive and uses wonderful adjectives to describe each element, from the “juicy and red” apples to the clouds that are “heaped and round.” The illustrations were created using a combination of traditional and digital techniques. Bean used one sheet of vellum for each color, black, gold, and red and drew each one in black ink. Each sheet was scanned into the computer separately and then colored and layered digitally. The result are stylized illustrations with a great sense of distance and a wonderful hand drawn atmosphere.

The structure of this story makes it a wonderful candidate for a flannelboard story. The first time you introduce a new element – the sun, the tree, the apples – place that item on the flannelboard. As each element is repeated in the story, point to it on the board and have the kids fill in the blank. If you don’t have a flannelboard, you can use objects or laminated pictures. You could also tie an action to each element so that the story becomes physically interactive.

Use this as a part of a storytime about food or apples and pair it with rhymes like, Applesauce and Ten Red Apples. And I don’t know about you, but just the mention of pie makes me hungry! Check out Thompson’s apple pie recipe created to go with the book. If you don’t have time or enough apples to make pie for everyone, serve apple slices (dried or fresh) after reading the story.

This is another book I discovered in my quest for good Father’s Day books. Use it for a Father's Day storytime along with the book from yesterday’s post, My Father Knows the Names of Things.


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