How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World


.Written and Illustrated by Marjorie Priceman

Dragonfly Books, 1994

Making an apple pie is really very easy.

To make a pie, you just need to get all the ingredients at your local market, mix them, bake them and you’re done. But what if the market is closed? Well, then you’ll need to pack a suitcase and head to Europe. You can pick wheat in Italy, then head to France to pick up a chicken (since French chickens lay the best eggs). After that, it’s a quick trip to Sri Lanka for some kurundu tree bark (for cinnamon) and then to England for a dairy cow to provide the milk. On your way to Jamaica for sugar cane, get some salt from the ocean’s saltwater. Stop by Vermont to pick your apples (and don’t forget to get an extra one for the cow and chicken you’re bringing home) and rush home quickly so your ingredients don’t spoil. When the pie is baking, you can invite some friends to share it and remember that apple pie is great with vanilla ice cream, which you can buy at your local market. And if the market is closed, you can have the pie by itself.

Sri lanka

Better not disturb that leopard while getting your cinnamon.

What a fun idea for a book! Author/illustrator Marjorie Priceman gives her main character a wonderful adventure, travelling the world to collect ingredients for her pie. In the course of her travels, we wind up thinking a little more broadly about where all these things come from. The book includes a world map on the endpapers and a recipe for apple pie for those folks who find their mouths watering for some pie by the end. (Too bad it didn’t come with a plane ticket for those of us who were struck by a desire for world travel!) The artwork is bright and colorful, with lots of glimpses of all the foreign lands that our main character visits in her quest for the ingredients. The book’s ending is a perfect comedic button to end the story. I can see lots of ways this book could be used for lessons and for showing kids that the things we pick up in our local store have their own origins.

And what did we learn? What I take away from this book is that it’s good to think about all the ingredients you use for any project and make sure they’re top quality.


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