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Bring Me Some Apples and I'll Make You a Pie: A Story About Edna Lewis
Contributor(s): Gourley, Robbin
ISBN: 0618158367     ISBN-13: 9780618158362
Publisher: Clarion Books
    OUR PRICE: $16.19  
Product Type: School And Library - Other Formats
Published: January 2009
Annotation: Long before the natural-food movement gained popularity, before greenmarkets sprouted across the United States, Edna Lewis championed purity of ingredients, regional cuisine, and the importance of bringing food directly from the farm to the table. She was a chef when female chefs---let alone African American female chefs---were few and far between, and she received many awards for her work. With lyrical text and glorious watercolor illustrations, author/illustrator Robbin Gourley lovingly traces the childhood roots of Edna's appreciation for the bounties of nature. The story follows Edna from early spring through the growing season to a family dinner celebrating a successful harvest. Folk rhymes, sayings, and songs about food are sprinkled throughout the text, and five kid-friendly recipes and an author's note about Edna's life are included at the end.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Harvesting; Fiction.
Farm life; Virginia; Fiction.
Family life; Virginia; Fiction.
BISAC Categories:
- Juvenile Fiction | Cooking & Food
- Juvenile Fiction | Girls & Women
Dewey: [E]
LCCN: 2007046978
Lexile Measure: 810
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 1-2, Age 6-7
Book type: Easy Fiction
Physical Information: 10.25" H x 8.25" W x 0.50" (0.85 lbs) 45 pages
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 128161
Reading Level: 4.5   Interest Level: Lower Grades   Point Value: 0.5
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q46169
Reading Level: 4.3   Interest Level: Grades K-2   Point Value: 2.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2009 Fall)
Food writer Gourley peppers her text with American folk sayings and delicious descriptions in this fictionalized story about African American chef Edna Lewis, a pioneer of using local ingredients and traditional recipes. The lively watercolor illustrations show young Edna and her family harvesting strawberries, blackberries, peaches, and more throughout the year. Five recipes and an author's note are included. Copyright 2009 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2008 December #1)

In her children's book debut, cookbook author/illustrator Gourley (Cakewalk) celebrates food, as cultivated on a farm and as used to cultivate family bonds. Recounting African-American chef Edna Lewis's childhood in a Virginia farming community, the cheery watercolor spreads follow Edna and various relatives ("Sister," "Daddy," "Auntie") from spring to first snow as they harvest strawberries, dandelion greens, peaches, pecans and more. Edna appreciates each crop, as well as the honey-gathering: "A swarm of bees in May is worth a load of hay./ A swarm of bees in June is worth a silver spoon./ A swarm of bees in July is not worth a fly," she recites; similar folk sayings or songs accompany mention of each new food, proof of its centrality to the characters' happiness. Dynamic paintings, increasingly lush as summer intensifies, add vigor. Children whose experience of food supply is limited to grocery stores, school cafeterias and other eateries will relish this nostalgic view. A short biography of the late Lewis concludes the narrative, and five mouth-watering recipes for Southern staples are welcome extras. Ages 4–8. (Jan.)

[Page 46]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2009 February)

Gr 1–3—Edna Lewis was an African-American chef in New York City when neither women nor African Americans were generally in such positions. This story is loosely based on her childhood in rural Virginia where her family lived off the land. It was that upbringing that helped create the celebrated chef who understood the importance of fresh ingredients in her cooking. While young children may not understand about fresh ingredients and a career in cooking, they will enjoy learning about where the food they eat comes from. Gourley follows her character through the growing season, starting in early spring and ending with the autumn frost. The fruits, the berries, and the nuts they pick are all used in the meals the family eats, with the surplus being canned and preserved for the winter months. Gourley's luscious watercolors will have readers salivating as the berries plunk into pails and peach juice drips down chins. The story itself does run a little long for young listeners but the short ditties the children sing about what they are picking help to liven it up. Pair this title with Donald Hall's Ox-Cart Man (Penguin, 1979) to show children the rhythm of the seasons and a time when we were much more connected to the basics of life.—Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA

[Page 76]. Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.