What's So Terrible about Swallowing an Apple Seed?

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When Rosie accidentally swallows an apple seed, her big sister Katie tells her that before long apple tree branches will bloom right out of her ears. Soon Rosie is imagining both the hazards and delights of having branches growing from her ears, and Katie is learning how fast a little white lie can grow. Written by bestselling author and psychologist, Harriet Lerner, and her big sister, Susan Goldhor, with delightfully funny illustrations by Catharine O'Neill, this is a special story about straying from the ...
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Overview

When Rosie accidentally swallows an apple seed, her big sister Katie tells her that before long apple tree branches will bloom right out of her ears. Soon Rosie is imagining both the hazards and delights of having branches growing from her ears, and Katie is learning how fast a little white lie can grow. Written by bestselling author and psychologist, Harriet Lerner, and her big sister, Susan Goldhor, with delightfully funny illustrations by Catharine O'Neill, this is a special story about straying from the truth, forgiveness, and the boundless powers of a child's imagination.

1996 ‘Pick of the Lists' (ABA)

When Rosie swallows an appleseed, her sister Katie tells her that an apple tree will grow out of her ears.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Judy Silverman
Big sisters can be so mean! Follow Rosie's vivid imagination to its logical (?) conclusion after her big sister, Katie, tells her that an apple tree will grow from her stomach. Soon poor Rosie imagines branches growing out her ears. She won't be able to do cartwheels or play hopscotch, and she even begins to feel her ears start to itch. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad though-all the animals would love her! When she tells her friend Bonnie the horrible secret and asks her to look inside her ears, Rosie learns the truth. Then Rosie confronts Katie, who's actually glad the lie is over. All ends happily, although at times Katie still misses her apple tree.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2Almost as well known as the story of the apple tree in the Garden of Eden is the childhood myth of swallowing an apple seed and having a tree grow in your stomach. Big sister Katie predicts irreversible consequences when Rosie accidentally swallows an apple seed. Rosie becomes more and more worried as Katie spins out her lie; she gives in to her own power needs and Rosie's worshipful gullibility. Life will never be the same again, as branches grow out of her ears, Rosie speculates, and "all she could be when she grew up was a hat rack." On the other hand, Katie kindly points out, apples would be plentiful, and branches could be decorated for birthdays. By the time the truth is out, Rosie misses her apple tree a little. Meanwhile, readers have had an imaginative journey of fantastic possibilities, aptly illustrated with airy, humorous paintings that are full of action. In addition to the theme of learning how to make one's own conclusions without relying only on others is the idea that change has both positive and negative possibilities. A lighthearted, honest celebration of the imagination.Carolyn Jenks, First Parish Unitarian Church, Portland, ME
Kirkus Reviews
O'Neill's sunny illustrations abet Lerner and Goldhor's first children's book but can't hoist it aloft. Katie teases her little sister, Rosie, about the consequences of accidentally swallowing an apple seed: A tree will shortly take root in Rosie's stomach. Katie assures her the branches will grow out of her ears and get all the sunshine they need. Swearing the younger girl to secrecy, she carries the deception a step further by examining Katie's ears at night for incipient budding. Even when Rosie is sad and can't sleep, a guilt-stricken Katie, afraid to tell the truth, comes up with more elaborations on the lie to cheer her sister up. When Rosie reveals her secret to a friend, she learns the truth and confronts Katie, who blames the victim ("I can't help it if you believe everything I say!") but is secretly relieved. Determinedly lighthearted in telling and pictures, the book feels superficial: Katie gets off the hook without any scrutiny of what is really a cruel and prolonged prank. For a sharper observance of truth and consequences, there's the Caldecott-winning classic by Evaline Ness, Sam, Bangs, and Moonshine.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060245238
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/1/1996
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.28 (w) x 10.29 (h) x 0.38 (d)

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