Here is a high-interest story that beginning readers will enjoy over and over again. The life cycle of an apple is presented simply and sweetly, beginning with a growing tree filled with big red apples. One apple falls from the tree and is discovered by a worm, who eats a little hole in the apple. A bird eats the worm and takes a peck out of the apple. A little boy then finds the apple, eats it and tosses the core to the ground. The seeds are patted into the earth and, once again, a tree grows. The illustrations by Judith Hoffman Corwin are a particular standout, presented in a quiltlike array of stitched-fabric pictures. The textures, colors and patterns blend themselves beautifully into a delicious mosaic. 2000, Cartwheel Book/Scholastic, . Ages 3 to 7. Reviewer: Catherine Campbell Wright
Tony Johnston is the author of nearly 100 picture books and early readers, including The Iguana Brothers, illustrated by Mark Teague. Her first novel, Any Small Goodness: A Novel of the Barrio, was named an NCTE Notable Children's Book in the Language Arts, an IRA Notable Book for a Global Security, and a Judy Lopez Memorial Honor Book. It was also awarded the first annual Southern California Booksellers' Association Children's Book Award. Ms. Johnston lives in California with her husband.