Bring Me Some Apples and I’ll Make You a Pie: A Story About Edna Lewis

Robbin Gourley, Author . Clarion $16 (45p) ISBN 978-0-618-15836-2

In her children’s book debut, cookbook author/illustrator Gourley (Cakewalk ) celebrates food, as cultivated on a farm and as used to cultivate family bonds. Recounting African-American chef Edna Lewis’s childhood in a Virginia farming community, the cheery watercolor spreads follow Edna and various relatives (“Sister,” “Daddy,” “Auntie”) from spring to first snow as they harvest strawberries, dandelion greens, peaches, pecans and more. Edna appreciates each crop, as well as the honey-gathering: “A swarm of bees in May is worth a load of hay./ A swarm of bees in June is worth a silver spoon./ A swarm of bees in July is not worth a fly,” she recites; similar folk sayings or songs accompany mention of each new food, proof of its centrality to the characters’ happiness. Dynamic paintings, increasingly lush as summer intensifies, add vigor. Children whose experience of food supply is limited to grocery stores, school cafeterias and other eateries will relish this nostalgic view. A short biography of the late Lewis concludes the narrative, and five mouth-watering recipes for Southern staples are welcome extras. Ages 4–8. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 12/01/2008
Release date: 01/01/2009
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 48 pages - 978-0-544-80901-7
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