APPLES TO OREGON: Being the (Slightly) True Narrative of How a Brave Pioneer Father Brought Apples, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Grapes, and Cherries (and Children) Across the Plains

Deborah Hopkinson, Author, Nancy Carpenter, Illustrator , illus. by Nancy Carpenter. Atheneum/ Schwartz $15.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-689-84769-1

The creators of Fannie in the Kitchen present another satisfying slice of Americana in this capricious caper, loosely based on a true story. "My daddy loved growin' apples. And when he got ready to pull up roots and leave Iowa for Oregon, he couldn't bear to leave his apple trees behind," states the vivacious young narrator, with the fitting name of Delicious. Her father builds two large wooden boxes, fills them with "good, wormy dirt" and fruit trees, and loads them onto a wagon. "Oh, and by the way, he took us along too," she adds. As the girl's colloquial account follows the family of 10 across country, Carpenter's oil paintings provide effervescent particulars, such as Daddy bowed out at the front of the wagon, leading the team of oxen, while Delicious, addressing the audience full-on, nearly misses her ride West. Carpenter's brushstrokes, both delicate and broad, plus her rubbery characters add up to a more rugged style than her fine line renderings in Fannie , yet the artwork conveys just as much humor. Youngsters will revel in the fact that it is only through the efforts of inventive and indefatigable Delicious that the precious cargo survives its journey—through hail, drought and frost—to Oregon, where father and daughter plant a successful orchard. Daddy has the delectable last word: "Delicious, you'll always be the apple of my eye." This tallish tale is sweet to the core. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 08/30/2004
Release date: 08/01/2004
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 40 pages - 978-1-4169-6746-0
Portable Document Format (PDF) - 40 pages - 978-1-4424-8449-8
Prebound-Glued - 40 pages - 978-1-63419-642-0
Prebound-Sewn - 40 pages - 978-0-606-37370-8
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