Pastry Practice: Amelia Bedelia's First Apple Pie by Herman Paish
IT WAS A GLORIOUS AUTUMN AFTERNOON--THE PERFECT DAY TO RAKE LEAVES INTO PILE AND RUN AROUND THE YARD.
"FALL IS IN THE AIR!" SAID GRANDDAD.
"SO ARE THE BIRDS," SAID AMELIA BEDELIA.
Little Amelia points upward at the bright blue fall sky, where two flights of geese are soaring overhead, one in the classic V shape and a larger one in a double V.
"V.... W....? WHAT ARE THEY TRYING TO SPELL?" SHE ASKED.
But before Granddad can begin to deal with this typical Ameliaism, Grandma sends the two on a mission to pick just the right fruit for one of her fresh apple pies. It's time for little Amelia to help make her first apple pie. "Be sure to pick up Granny Smith," she adds.
Amelia is happy to comply. She races off to beat Granddad to the car and trips and lands on one of their leaf piles.
"HOW WAS YOUR TRIP?" JOKES HER GRANDFATHER.
"FUN!" SAID AMELIA."FALL IS IN THE AIR AND ON THE GROUND!"
Amelia Bedelia is a little disappointed that they are not stopping for the mysterious Granny Smith on the way, but delighted when she finds herself, not at the supermarket, but at the farmer's market, surrounded by many varieties of apples--Royal Galas, Golden Nuggets, Pink Pearls, and Delicious--although Amelia insists that they all taste Delicious to her.
Back at home, Grandma and Little Amelia get busy, paring apples, sprinkling on flour, sugar, and spices, and rolling out the dough, and soon a large, juicy pie goes into the oven. While it bakes, Grandma takes a break in the parlor, but little Amelia decides to make her own pie. With the leftover dough, she rolls two small circles just like Grandma showed her and fits the crust into Grandma's intriguing miniature pastry dish. In go the apples and seasonings, and Amelia slips her secret creation into the back of the oven so that it will be a surprise when her mom and dad arrive for dinner.
Soon Grandma bustles in, takes her golden brown creation out of the oven, and sits it on the outside picnic table to cool while she puts the finishing touches on dinner. Amelia Bedelia sets the table.
"IT SOUNDS LIKE THE BIRDS ARE HAVING A PARTY, TOO!" SAID AMELIA BEDELIA.
"MY PIE!" EXCLAIMED GRANDMA.
IT WAS TOO LATE. "GONE!" SAID GRANDMA.
"I THINK THEY MUST HAVE BEEN SWALLOWS!" JOKED GRANDDAD.
As always, Amelia Bedelia comes through to save the day. Her little pie is doubly welcome when it comes out of the oven, and soon there is another empty pie plate in the kitchen.
Herman Parish's latest Amelia adventure, Amelia Bedelia's First Apple Pie (Greenwillow, 2010), joins the earlier books in the young Amelia series, Amelia Bedelia's First Valentine and Amelia Bedelia's First Day of School, as useful introductions to Peggy Parish's mistaken mistress of the homonym and homophone. Those wonderful peculiarities of the English language are a bit over the heads of Herman Parish's intended audience here, so he carefully sticks to puns like "trip" and "fall" that preschoolers and first graders will understand. As a read-aloud runup to a classroom unit on that staple of the autumn curriculum, apple trees and apple picking, this book adds to the many tasty apple books already out there. Pair this one with any of those, particularly The Apple Pie That Papa Baked by Lauren Thompson, reviewed here.