Apples crop up not only in orchards from Maine to Washington state, but also in the September curricula of thousands of elementary schools across the country. Here, just in time for the autumn harvest, is a colorful entry. The brief text is clear and informative enough to satisfy the very young and to stimulate questions from slightly older children. Pollination is not mentioned in the body of the book, but the blossoms are "waiting for bees" and a honeybee is shown in the heart of a flower. Two pages of detailed data on pollination, grafting, and apple/human history are appended. Luminous pencil drawings in sparkling reds, greens, blues, golds, and white follow apples from winter buds to apple pies, ending with deer enjoying windfalls in a late autumn orchard. Also portrayed in this rich cycle are children and adults enjoying blossoms and fruit in equal measure, from crunchy bites to soft applesauce on a Hanukkah latke, from cinnamony pie to juicy finds in a Christmas stocking. This welcome companion to Gail Gibbons's Apples (Holiday, 2000) and Zoe Hall's The Apple Pie Tree (Scholastic, 1996) is as glossy, crisp, and appealing as the subjects themselves.
Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.