Celebrate the nation’s birthday with three inventive picture books about the states.
“How to Make a Cherry Pie and See the U.S.A.” by Marjorie Priceman, is a companion to the marvelous “How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World,” published in 1994. In that book, a little baker traveled the world to gather ingredients for her pie.
In the new book, the baker decides she’s in the mood for cherry pie. She needs baking equipment, which she can get at the Cook Shop.
Alas, the shop is closed, so she sets out on a zig-zaggy cross-country journey with her dog to gather materials to make her own equipment.
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Coal to make steel for the pie pan comes from “the corner of Pennsylvania and Ohio” where the pair take a trolley deep into a mine. She gets cotton for the potholders from a farm in Louisiana and wood for the rolling pin from a forest in Washington state.
And so on.
Back home, she processes the coal, spins and weaves the cotton, carves the wood for the rolling pin and makes other raw materials into bake-ready tools.
Priceman’s illustrations are enchanting. Youngsters will learn a bit about the states and work and materials that go into kitchen items. Plus, they’ll enjoy the absurdity of the girl’s mission. There’s also a map and a recipe for cherry pie.
“The Scrambled States of America Talent Show” by Laurie Keller is the sequel to “The Scrambled States of America.”
Wacky, personified states put on a riotous show featuring talents such as juggling, telling corny jokes and reciting the state abbreviations.
Keller’s pictures are full of stories and speech balloons. The inside covers feature statehood dates and abbreviations.
“Adle & Simon in America” by Barbara McClintock is a third companion book. The first, “Adle & Simon” featured a brother and sister exploring the streets of early 20th-century Paris. The little brother lost his belongings along the way; the reader gets the job of spotting them.
The new book offers the same challenge, but depicts a train trip around the U.S.
Gorgeous ink and watercolor illustrations provide detail and evoke times gone by.
Rebecca Young: 253-597-8742, Ext. 6117
HOW TO MAKE A CHERRY PIE AND SEE THE U.S.A.
By Marjorie Priceman
Knopf, 36 pages
$16.99, ages 4 to 8
THE SCRAMBLED STATES OF AMERICA TALENT SHOW
By Laurie Keller
Henry Holt, 36 pages
$16.95, ages 4 to 8
ADELE & SIMON IN AMERICA
By Barbara McClintock
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 32 pages
$16.95, ages 4 to 8