Monday, February 4, 2013

The Apple Pie that Papa Baked by Lauren Thompson

 The Apple Pie that Papa Baked by Lauren Thompson, illustrated by Jonathan Bean

Rating: 4 stars

There's something so very special about the bond between father and daughter, and books that showcase this oh-so-important relationship are welcome on my shelf.  In this book, the father is a gentle and strong (such an important mix) farmer, who can both drive horses and bake a pie.

Using a cumulative rhyme, Lauren Thompson lists the ingredients of apple pie.  But it's not the obvious ones that my kids could list after baking pies for years with me--cinnamon, butter, lemon juice, cornstarch, apples.  Nope.  The ingredients in the book go deeper.  Here's what I mean:
This is the rain, cool and fresh,
that watered the roots, deep and fine,that fed the tree, crooked and strong,
that grew the apples, juicy and red,
that went in the pie, warm and sweet,
that Papa baked.
The wonderful illustrations by Jonathan Bean add a whole lot--the smiley sun shines down on the apple tree, the girl, and her father.  They are warm, comforting, beautiful--in a not-so-traditional way.  The story and illustrations make me think of John Steinbeck's novels, and the descriptions of farming in them.

Just a simple tale about a man baking for his daughter--and a little reminder that a gift from the heart, made with your hands, and shared with one you love, is definitely the best.

(And in case you now want to bake apple pie, click here for the best recipe around.)

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