Pie in the Sky

( 2 )


Do pies grow on trees? Join a father and child as they watch over their backyard cherry tree—and all the colorful living things surrounding it—throughout the seasons. At the end of the summer, they harvest the cherries together and make a delicious pie for the whole family to enjoy.

This stunning new book from bestselling author Lois Ehlert features color concepts, backyard natural history, vibrant collage illustrations, and, best of all, a ...

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Do pies grow on trees? Join a father and child as they watch over their backyard cherry tree—and all the colorful living things surrounding it—throughout the seasons. At the end of the summer, they harvest the cherries together and make a delicious pie for the whole family to enjoy.

This stunning new book from bestselling author Lois Ehlert features color concepts, backyard natural history, vibrant collage illustrations, and, best of all, a recipe for making cherry pie. Yum!

A father and child watch the cherry tree in their back yard, waiting until there are ripe cherries to bake in a pie. Includes a recipe for cherry pie.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Keenly aware of the cycles of the natural world, Ehlert (Waiting for Wings) focuses her eye for vibrant hues and her ear for fascinating rhythms on a cherry tree and its many fruitful characteristics. An unseen child narrator is dubious when Dad says that the large tree in the family's yard is "a pie tree." ("I've never seen pie growing on trees. Wouldn't that be something?") But as the seasons pass, the child observes a bustle of activity in the tree at every turn: honeybees buzz around flowery cherry blossoms, birds nest in the branches, caterpillars hatch from chrysalises-and, finally, the red fruit ripens, attracting birds and other al fresco diners ("It's a cherry feast!"). By book's end, Ehlert moves from the outdoors in, depicting how the family harvests and prepares the cherries for a luscious pie (measuring out ingredients, which add up to a complete recipe-except for the crust). In this clever blend of field guide, artist's notebook and cookbook, the author/illustrator creates a series of intriguing seek-and-find collages composed of rich acrylics and pastels, cut, handmade papers and, yes, real cherry tree branches. Throughout, an economy of words and the narrator's chipper tone keep Ehlert's vision on track. Extending the basic elements of the story, she challenges readers to locate various creatures or objects on each page, prompted by small type that follows the pattern, "I see.... But no pie." All in all, a delicious outing. Ages 3-7. (Apr.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Our young narrator puzzles over Dad's statement that their tree is a "pie tree." What grows on it first are buds that burst into bloom in the spring. Then something else is growing there that makes the birds very excited. "It's a cherry feast!" It's time to pick the cherries and make a pie. The very simple text in large type continues with instructions for making the pie, which is a treat for all, including the birds. Along with the story text are, in small print, descriptions of all the items to be found in each double-page collage, along with added baking instructions. How Ehlert's masterful collages are made is detailed at the end of the book. They make attractive scenes while representing the birds and plants with naturalistic care. The photographs of these illustrations as printed have an intriguing three-dimensional quality, adding to their value as teaching resources. There are involving half-pages to turn, while holes in the jacket and cover reveal the red underneath forming the cherries for the pie the birds are pecking. A natural history lesson with a reward at the end. 2004, Harcourt, Ages 3 to 7.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-This engaging story with gorgeous artwork opens, "This tree was here when we moved in. Dad says it's a pie tree-." Readers watch as it changes from bud to flower to fruit bearing. Ehlert uses a variety of mediums in her collage illustrations, including acrylic and watercolor paints, colored pencils, crayons and pastels, and several types of paper. Each spread is an amazing work of art on its own, filled with beautiful birds, lush cherries, and vividly colored scenery. Pictures are exquisitely designed and laid out. Each spread includes a piece of the ongoing story (in large, bold font) and an "I spy" section that details items for children to look for (in smaller type, using more extensive vocabulary). This book can serve independent readers at several levels, and would make a wonderful read-aloud as well. It also supports curriculum units on different types of birds, seasonal changes, and cooking. An easy-to-follow recipe is also incorporated into the story. The attractive cover has actual steam holes cut into the pie, making it a visual and tactile treat. Children will clamor for Pie in the Sky.-Corrina Austin, Locke's Public School, St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Mystified by a parental comment that the tree out in the new back yard is a "pie tree," a child keeps watch through the seasons, noting the successive appearance of buds, leaves, flowers, visiting wildlife, and finally luscious cherries. Color conscious as always, Ehlert has the young narrator systematically note hues-"I see a blue jay feather with black stripes and a white tip. But no pie"-in typographical undertones beneath the larger main text. Once the cherries that have survived the birds and squirrels are picked, Dad turns them step by step into that promised pie-not in enough detail (particularly in the making of the crust) to be a true recipe, but mouth-watering all the same. Die-cut holes and half-pages disappear after the first spread, which makes them seem more of a come-on than an enhancing design feature, but Ehlert's typically vivid collage art shines through such tricks. (Picture book. 6-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780152165840
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 4/1/2004
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 522,906
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD530L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.25 (w) x 10.25 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

LOIS EHLERT is the creator of many award-winning picture books about nature, including the bestselling Waiting for Wings. She lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2011

    Page in this book was torn.

    The book appeared to be used. One of the pages was torn out.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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