cover image Tiny Pie

Tiny Pie

Mark Bailey and Michael Oatman, illus. by Edward Hemingway. Running Press Kids, $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7624-4482-3

First-time children’s book authors Bailey and Oatman mix up a cooking fantasy that starts with a “grown-up party.” Molded salads and petits fours are on the buffet, but young Ellie the elephant is told to “stay out of the way—or else go to bed.” After a clandestine trip to the kitchen, a peep through a mouse hole reveals a tiny television studio filming a cooking show. As the host makes the apple pie of the title, he entertains the audience with nursery-rhyme patter about the five senses and their contribution to cooking: “And if they ask.../ ‘What good are your tiny ears?/ What can you hear?’/ Tell them you hear.../ ‘Apples on a chopping block—/ But please be careful, dear.’ ” The soiree that follows, with Ellie and the dressed-up mice dancing on the countertop, clearly trumps the adult gathering. Hemingway (Bad Apple) supplies retro glamour in plenty, from boxy television sets and chrome kitchen stools to Ellie’s mother’s frilly, polka-dotted apron. Food stories are perennial favorites, and an apple pie recipe itself, from famed restaurateur Alice Waters, is a tasty bonus. Ages 3–6. (May)