Old Granny Smith wants an apple pie for dinner but she doesn't have any apples. Filling a basket with plums from her tree, she sets off hoping to barter her way to the right fruit. She trades her plums for feathers, the feathers (for pillow stuffing) for flowers, the flowers for a cold coin from a prince, the coin for a puppy, and the puppy forfinallyapples. Then, all the traders follow her home and help her make an apple pie, and "together, they ate every last crumb." the bas-relief illustrations, made from baked-clay and mixed-media of found objects, create a 3-D, Claymation effect. From Granny's lace cap and embroidered apron to her woven basket and fuzzy dog, the fascinating tactile details will have young and old poring over the pages. Complete with a pie recipe and notes from both the author and illustrator that cite the origin of the tale (the Englsih folktale "An Apple Dumpling") and directions on how to make bas-reliefs, the book is a delicious treat to be shared anytime.
Children's Literature - Heidi Hauser Green
Granny Smith wants to bake an apple pie for dinner. She has everything she needsexcept apples! So she picks some plums and heads out the door thinking she might find someone in need of plums with apples to trade. Instead, she finds a woman in need of plums with feathers to trade. Being good-hearted, Granny makes the trade. Further down the road, she finds a pair of children in need of feathers; in return, they give her a splendid bouquet of flowers. Then she finds a prince in need of a gift for his ladylove; he gives her a gold coin for her generosity. A hungry family receives the coin from Granny and gifts her with a puppy. Will Granny ever get the apples she seeks? Based on an English folktale called The Apple Dumpling, Susan VanHecke's retelling is a beautiful celebration of kindness, giving, caring, friendship, and community-building. There could be no finer ending than this, which finds Granny bringing all of the many people back to her house to make and share a sumptuous apple pie. Carol Baicker-McKee's three-dimensional, mixed-media bas-reliefs are the perfect visual companion to this story. Each of the clever, three-dimensional illustrations hints at what is coming next in the story, and every one includes a tiny ladybug. Children will enjoy the images for their own merit, and they will have fun hunting through them for clues and bugs. This book is a delight; my four-year-old has declared it to be her "favorite!" Includes a recipe for apple pie. Reviewer: Heidi Hauser Green
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4—This delightful cumulative story is based on the English folktale "The Apple Dumpling." Granny Smith has everything she needs to make apple pie except for apples, so she picks a basket full of plums from her tree and sets off to see if she can trade them for the missing ingredient. One woman takes the plums to make jam in exchange for some feathers, two children are happy to receive the feathers and give her some flowers, and so on, until she finally ends up with a basket of shiny apples. Granny invites all the people she met back to her house where they help her make the pie and then eat "every last crumb." The outstanding baked clay and mixed-media illustrations are expressive, colorful, and detailed: there is a wonderful picture of Granny standing in her kitchen reading a recipe and realizing that her apple crate is empty. An author's note, information about the illustrations, and a recipe are appended, and fun activities are available at a dedicated Web site. Told with folkloric flair, this scrumptious tale is perfect for reading aloud to a broad range of ages. Pair it with Linda White's Too Many Pumpkins (Holiday House, 1996) or include it in an apple-themed unit. Every library will want a copy.—Kirsten Cutler, Sonoma County Library, CA
Granny Smith (get it?) decides to have an apple pie for dinner, but the one ingredient she lacks is-apples! But she does have plums, so off she goes with her basket of plums and trades them in succession for feathers, flowers, a gold coin, a puppy and, finally, the apples. On the way home, she invites her newfound friends to her house and together they make an apple pie for a communal dinner. The good-hearted text, adapted from an English folktale called "The Apple Dumpling," according to the author's note, scans well and will be a welcome addition to a storytime or family read-aloud. Baicker-McKee's bright, mixed-media collages include clay, fabric, pipe cleaners and other items, creating a pleasingly tactile look-a puppy in the cover illustration (set on Granny Smith green) tugs at Granny's apron, rumpling it noticeably. An apple-pie recipe (with homemade crust!) is appended, with instructions for adult assistance. (illustrator's note) (Picture book. 3-6)