Children's LiteratureHandsome painted woodcuts illustrate this hybrid�an apple information book with text that forms acrostics when read downward. The acrostics move readers from the apple in the lunchbox to observations about a spring orchard, blossoms and pollination, cutting an apple crossways to see the "elegant little flower" within, and harvesting. One page extols the many curious and wonderful names of apples, such as Tobias, Wolf River, Esopus Spitzenburg, Prairie Spy, and the good old McIntosh and Golden Delicious. A family of children is shown making dried apples, pressing cider, making applesauce, and sitting on the basement steps counting the apple products, including apple butter and jelly, stored there. Charles Micucci's The Life and Times of the Apple (Orchard, 1992) is more straightforward with statistics and facts, diagrams of the grafting procedure, for instance, timelines, and other "apple-cations." It would make a nice follow-up to this book. But Powell's book stands on its own as a tasty example of how very little text and good illustrations can do so much to delight and inform readers about a subject many take for granted. 2003, Whitman, Ages 4 to 8.
Susan Hepler, Ph.D.