eight apple-icious treats for fall reading and baking

Apple harvest is such a delicious season.
The soothing aromas of cinnamon, Granny Smith, and Pink Lady
seem like a great remedy for our bruised hearts this year.
Rustle up a tasty apple crisp, delectable pie, or potful of luscious, pink applesauce
with the recipes included in several of these books,
all of them celebrating a most generous fruit!

All for Pie, Pie for All
written by David Martin, illustrated by Valeri Gorbachev
published in 2006 by Candlewick Press

A delightful, lighthearted tale of one apple pie, three unique families inhabiting one household, and the joys of sharing and community.

Surprises abound as that pie is divided, and divided, and divided again so that young and old, large and oh-so-very-small, all get their due portion. A warm, happy story to read over and over with children ages 2 and up.

The Apple Doll
written and illustrated by Elisa Kleven
published in 2007 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Lizzy decides to overcome her worries about starting school by bringing along a piece of the apple tree she loves.

When her classmates tease her about it, her mom helps her turn her apple into an honest-to-goodness dried apple doll who is much admired. Instructions for making your own dried apple doll are included. Sunshine-laden, confetti-colored illustration work pours joy into these pages. Ages 4 and up.

The Apple Pie that Papa Baked
written by Lauren Thompson, illustrated by Jonathan Bean
published in 2007 by Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers

This tasty book is a progressive story, in which we work backwards from the finish line.  We’ve got the delectable pie from the start.

As the story goes along, we discover the apples came from a tree, which needed roots, which needed rain, and so on down the line, until we’ve expanded to the whole big wonderful world, blooming with life, providing us with mouth-watering pies.
Handsomely illustrated with nods to the aesthetic of classic illustrators Wanda Gag and Virginia Lee Burton. Ages 4 and up.

The Apple-Pip Princess
written and illustrated by Jane Ray
published in 2008 by Candlewick Press

In a faraway kingdom a king sets his three daughters a task: Do something to make me proud in the next 7 days. The winner will rule after me.  While the elder princesses are powerful and beautiful, it’s the quiet, third-born who has the wisdom to choose well and pursue the truly good.  This involves a tiny, brown apple seed, some precious elements of nature, and community good will. Plus a little magic and a companionable young boy.

Jewel toned illustrations, whimsical crowns and gowns, racially-mixed princesses, and some clever mixed media make this a luscious treat.  Ages 5 and up.

Apples and Robins 
written and illustrated by Lucie Félix
orig. published in France in 2013; U.S. edition 2016 by Chronicle Books

Follow the transformations in an apple tree and a robin’s nest through the seasons in this clever book using die-cuts and design mojo. Watch the tower of white rectangles…

turn into…

…a ladder with the turn of a page. Magic at your fingertips! Great fun plus learning, for ages 3 and up.

Applesauce Season
written by Eden Ross Lipson, illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein
published in 2009 by Roaring Brook Press

One little boy and his family are ready to cook up delicious potfuls of applesauce, an annual tradition in their household. Marketing together for pounds and pounds of apples, chopping, cooking, sugaring and spicing, mashing and tasting, are joyful tasks, but best of all is the eating. Mouthwatering!

The beauty of family working together, sharing the table with neighbors, appreciating nature’s flavors, make applesauce season a lovely time of year. Warm, jubilant illustrations in all sorts of apple-y colors and comfy people without pretense communicate an endearing homeliness. Included is a recipe for applesauce.  Ages 4 and up.

How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World
written and illustrated by Marjorie Priceman
published in 1994 by Alfred A. Knopf

The gal in this story has run out of ingredients for her pie, but does she borrow a cup of sugar from the neighbors? No,  she does not.

She sets out on an epic tour of the world to collect the choicest cinnamon, mellowest butter, freshest apples. This is what is called truly baking from scratch! An apple pie recipe is included in this joyful book. Ages 4 and up.

Our Apple Tree
written by Görel Kristina Näslund, illustrated by Kristina Digman
first published in Sweden; American edition published in 2005 by Roaring Brook Press

Elfkin charm radiate from this Swedish tale tracing the life of an apple tree from winter snows through delicate blossoms and straight on through to a golden-crusted pie. Yum!

Two tiny apple elves who call this tree home are our guides. So darling! A recipe for Apple Crisp is included. Ages 2 and up.
Happy baking and eating!