The Apple Pie That Papa Baked
Title: The Apple Pie That Papa Baked
Author: Lauren Thompson
When a doting father decides to make an apple pie for his beloved daughter, an enjoyable day is had by all, including the hungry farm animals who hover nearby in the hopes of getting a slice of the super tasty treat!
Starred Review The familiar cumulative tale “The House That Jack Built” receives a gentle, loving twist in this nostalgically illustrated story. The end is the beginning as a pigtailed girl introduces the apple pie “warm and sweet that Papa baked.” Then moving backward, the girl runs from her ramshackle house out to the tree “crooked and strong,” where shiny red apples are waiting to be picked. The roots, “deep and fine,” feed the tree that grows the apples that go into the pie. Then the text becomes ever more expansive: rain waters the roots, clouds drop the rain, the sky carries the clouds, the sun lights the sky — until, finally, the world, blooming with life, spins around the sun and causes the natural wonders that result in one special pie. The text is dear, and it’s well matched by delightful illustrations. Bean uses the best of old and new in artwork that harkens back to the works of Lois Lenski, Robert McClosky, and especially Wanda Gag. With dun-colored backgrounds and black-and-gold line work (occasionally brightened with red), the intricately detailed art is reminiscent of the time when picture books were rarely full color. In a brief note, Bean explains how he works: extensive drawing, then scanning into his computer, where he recomposes and recolors the images. The almost wordless concluding spreads, which picture father and daughter sharing the pie with their animal friends, exude love.