How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World - Marjorie Priceman
The premise of this book is truly preposterous, but it works. A little girl wants to make an apple pie, but the store is closed and so she can't get the ingredients she needs - flour, eggs, milk, cinnamon, salt, sugar and apples. Instead of waiting for the store to open she decides to go on a whirlwind trip around the world collecting the ingredients she needs. It's basically a cleverly disguised mini-geography lesson for young children. And, as I said, it works. This is an engaging and enjoyable little tale which takes young readers on a virtual trip to places like Italy, Sri Lanka, Jamaica, etc. I do have some minor quibbles about the art. It's not that the illustrations aren’t attractive and, in fact, I think they’re probably particularly appealing to children – very whimsical and impressionistic looking. But I was very disappointed with the map at the front of the book. The artist made some very odd and inconsistent choices with regards to labeling the countries/continents and bodies of water. The result is that it looks and feels rather slapdash. I should probably deduct a star, but we really enjoyed this book overall and I wouldn't want to discourage potential readers.