cover image One Red Apple

One Red Apple

Harriet Ziefert, illus. by Karla Gudeon. Blue Apple (Chronicle, dist.), $16.99 (36p) ISBN 978-1-934706-67-1

"Pick a red apple from a tree" is the first of several simple directives that comprise this picture book about the life cycle of an apple, from the creators of Hanukkah Haiku. After a girl delights in a crisp, red apple, birds surround two apple cores ("Leave an apple core for the birds to eat"). Next, dozens of seeds swirl through the air in spiral currents ("Watch tiny apple seeds scatter in the wind"), above a pastoral scene of rolling hills, patchwork fields, and a barn. A sapling sprouts and becomes a tree whose dramatic growth is revealed with a lift of a half-page flap. Soon the fruit is ready for picking and the cycle completes. Ziefert's spare, straightforward text is ably accompanied by Gudeon's folk art, which is dominated by strong reds, greens, and browns, and often framed by borders that play off the various scenes (a floral border matches the bounty of a farm stand). The subtle joys of nature and its growing cycles will be appreciated by children far younger than those suggested by the publisher. Ages 8%E2%80%94up. (Sept.)