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Easy as Pie

Overview

Jacob learned the rules of baking from watching Chef Monty on TV, and now he is ready to make his own peach pie in his Easy-On Oven. Even when things get messy and Jacob's parents say there is no more time for baking, he is determined to see his pie through to the end. Cari Best's tasty text and Melissa Sweet's scrumptious collage illustrations combine to make a picture book as satisfying as a perfect slice of pie.

Easy as Pie is...

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Overview

Jacob learned the rules of baking from watching Chef Monty on TV, and now he is ready to make his own peach pie in his Easy-On Oven. Even when things get messy and Jacob's parents say there is no more time for baking, he is determined to see his pie through to the end. Cari Best's tasty text and Melissa Sweet's scrumptious collage illustrations combine to make a picture book as satisfying as a perfect slice of pie.

Easy as Pie is a 2011 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Cari Best has done it again with a charming text full of the meaning of life.” Library Media Connection, STARRED review

 

“A sweet look at a spunky kid with great problem-solving skills and some rules that are easily applicable to everyday life.” Kirkus Reviews

“While young readers can make Happy Peach Pie (recipe on the back jacket), this is about more than pie making. Important themes abound–love, security, cooperation, warmth, respect–and somehow all are tied to the simple acts of cooking and eating together. A delicious book for all collections.” -School Library Journal

“Sweet’s glowing, citrus-bright collage scenes capture all the warmth, energy, and fun in this well-paced story that folds sly messages about working through problems into the celebratory tale. Chef Monty’s list of rules and a recipe for “Happy Peach Pie” complete this sweet treat.” -Booklist

School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—Inspired by his favorite television show, Baking with Chef Monty, Jacob decides to make a pie. He finds a bowl of cut-up peaches in the refrigerator and ingredients for the crust in the cabinet. Though his sister tells him they are all going out to eat for his parents' anniversary, he keeps baking because one of Chef Monty's rules is to concentrate—no matter what. He pats the dough into the pan ("Pat! Snip! Cut! Trim!") and cleans up his mess when he spills the peaches. Though the steam holes in the crust look too large, he knows not to give up—another of Chef Monty's rules. When he slips on the damp floor, his sister catches the pie ("Jump! Up! Quick! Catch!") and he puts it into the oven where it hums while Jacob hums to himself. His parents wait as the pie bakes. To cool it quickly, Jacob plops ice cream on each slice, and everyone has pie—Jacob's anniversary gift to his parents—before dinner. With pencil and watercolor illustrations done in a palette of soft colors, Sweet captures the warmth and security Jacob feels in the kitchen. Words from Best's text are repeated in the art, especially the four-word sequences. While young readers can make Happy Peach Pie (recipe on the back jacket), this is about more than pie making. Important themes abound—love, security, cooperation, warmth, respect—and somehow all are tied to the simple acts of cooking and eating together. A delicious book for all collections.—Mary Jean Smith, Southside Elementary School, Lebanon, TN
Kirkus Reviews
Enthusiastic pie lover Jacob unwinds after school with his favorite TV program, Baking with Chef Monty. After, he starts a peach pie. As he is challenged in this task at every turn, it is a good thing that he follows Monty's eight rules of baking. Interrupted by his sister? Rule #2 states, "Concentrate on what you're doing-no matter what." His parents want to leave for the restaurant to celebrate their anniversary? Rule #7 says, "Always finish what you start." Luckily, his parents are patient. On this special occasion, dessert comes first. Readers left drooling can follow the peach pie recipe on the back cover. Sweet's playful pencil, watercolor and collage artwork suits the text to a T. Jacob's facial expressions are spot-on-readers will surely be able to tell that he truly loves his hobby. A sweet look at a spunky kid with great problem-solving skills-and some rules that are easily applicable to everyday life. (Picture book. 5-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374399290
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 3/30/2010
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 960,287
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Cari Best’s award-winning picture books include Sally Jean, the Bicycle Queen, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year. She lives in Weston, Connecticut.

Melissa Sweet has illustrated many picture books, including the Caldecott Honor book A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams (978-0802853028) by Jen Bryant. She lives in Rockport, Maine.

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Reading Group Guide

Chef Jacob made his own Happy Peach Pie in his Easy-On Oven. Here’s a real peach pie recipe that you can make in a real oven with the help of a grownup. Have fun!

Ingredients

1 package of 2 ready-made pie crusts

1 egg, beaten

5 cups peeled and sliced ripe peaches

1 tablespoon lemon juice

3 tablespoons flour

¾ cup sugar

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

¼ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  • Line the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie pan with one of the crusts. Trim the edges.
  • Brush the crust with some of the beaten egg using a pastry brush.
  • Place the peaches in a large bowl and sprinkle with the lemon juice. Mix gently.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Sprinkle over the peaches. Mix gently.
  • Pour the peach mixture into the pie crust. Dot with butter.
  • Cover the peaches with the other pie crust. Press down the edges with a fork and trim.
  • Brush some more of the egg over the top crust.
  • Cut several small triangles in the top crust.
  • Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes, then at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until the crust is browned.
  • Enjoy with some delicious ice cream!

 

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