cover image All for Pie, Pie for All

All for Pie, Pie for All

David Martin, , illus. by Valeri Gorbachev. . Candlewick, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-7636-2393-7

As warm and comforting as fresh-baked apple pie, this cinnamon sweet picture book about cooperation and sharing is just right for a family read-aloud. The Cat family is so satisfied with the apple pie Grandma Cat bakes that they leave only one last slice on the table before they take their naps. That leftover piece becomes a whole meal for the Mouse family, and their leftover crumbs in turn end up as perfect fare for the Ant family. Martin's (We've All Got Bellybuttons! ) text, with its alluring repetition, can be quickly memorized by a preschooler: "Little Brother Cat ate a piece./ Big Sister Cat ate a piece./ Momma Cat ate a piece...." What the text lacks in complexity, it makes up for in geniality and a quickly moving plot, with more than a baker's dozen appealing characters. Gorbachev's (The Giant Hug ) homey full-bleed pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations brim with joy, as one family after another shares the feast. When Grandma Cat wakes up from her nap and says, "I'm hungry. Should I bake another pie?" each family, in turn, shouts, "Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes ." Cats, mice and ants ("even little Baby Ant") all work together on Grandma's huge kitchen table to make another pie. The book celebrates the importance of family mealtime, but also provides an example of an amiable community where sugar, flour and harmony are all mixed together with love. Ages 3-5. (Sept.)