Scottish author-artist Alison Murray uses the alphabet to tell the story of an irrepressible black-and-white puppy who tries everything to get a bite of his young owner’s homemade apple pie. On the spread that features the letter A, we see a girl putting the finishing touches on an “apple pie.” The following pages feature B for “bake it,” C for “cool it,” and D for “dish it out.” Meanwhile, charming retro-style illustrations resembling block prints depict the puppy taking notice of the delicious smell coming from the oven and hoping his mistress will give him a taste. A crumb discovered on the floor only makes him more determined to have a bigger piece of pie. We see him “jump up for it” and we see him be “kept away from it.” We see him “ogle it” and “pine for it.” Finally, as we near the end of the alphabet, the puppy tugs on the tablecloth. W is for “whoops”—and you can guess what happens to the apple pie after it hits the floor. The last spread shows the puppy, his belly full of pie, fast asleep and happily snoring away (“z z z z z z”).
I’m loving all the ingredients in Murray’s Apple Pie ABC. Here, she mixes appealing vintage-style artwork, a clever presentation of the alphabet, and a simple story with just enough naughty behavior to enthrall preschoolers. The result: a tasty new title to add to any alphabet book collection.
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Of all the children’s books that feature apples, what’s your favorite? What do you like to use in the classroom or read with your kids?
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