Synopses & Reviews
When the first apples of the season--Ida Red and Paula Red, Twenty Ounce, McIntosh, and Ginger Gold--show up in the city markets, it's time to take out the big pot and make applesauce. Eden Lispon's lovingly recounted description of a family's applesauce-making ritual describes the buying, peeling, cooking and stirring; the wait for the sauce to cool and the first taste. Mordicai Gerstein's paintings are full of the colors and flavors of the season: red apples, orange leaves, blue skies. Here's a lovely picture book celebrating an American family tradition.
"This is the first and only picture book by Lipson, the longtime New York Times children's books editor who died in May; it stands as a wonderful tribute to her considerable contributions and talents. Accompanied by Gerstein's (A Book) gemtlich vignettes, Lipson introduces a family of urban-dwellers whose ties that bind are made of applesauce. As the youngest child and narrator explains, from 'just about the time school opens, when it is still hot and summery but vacation is over,' until December, the family, with Grandma at the helm, comes together to produce pots and pots of homemade puree. Lipson's down-to-earth lyricism makes it clear that every step of the process has its rewards even shopping inspires the narrator to savor the panoply of apples at the farmers' market ('first come Ida Red and Paula Red, Twenty Ounce and MacIntosh, Ginger Gold and Jonagold'). Best of all, applesauce season brings out the connoisseur in everyone: in one of the funniest scenes, Gerstein shows the narrator and his family adjusting the seasoning with the scholarly intensity of chemists. The book is a terrific nudge toward establishing family cooking rituals the recipe on the final page should close the deal. Ages 4 8." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
“[A] smartly observed, warm-hearted tale . . . . Happily there is more than enough for seconds.” -The New York Times Book Review
“The angle of Dad's shoulders as he squeezes between everyone to reach in with his spoon is one of those brilliant details in a children's book that conveys the warmth of family.” —Newsday
“Exuberant watercolors follow along as a happy urban family buys, quarters, cooks, seasons, purees and savors the thick gooey stuff. Get out the food mill.” —The San Francisco Chronicle
“His [Gersteins] sly humor is a perfect match for the straightforward narrative, which ends with a recipe and a glimpse into the boys sunny future-full of apples, of course.” —School Library Journal
“The final page includes a detailed recipe and an illustration of the boy, now a dad, in the kitchen cutting apples with his daughter, sharing a smile.” —Horn Book
“In a crowded orchard of apple books, this one stands out.” —Kirkus Reviews
“A wonderful tribute to her [Eden Ross Lipson] considerable contributions and talents.” —Starred, Publishers Weekly
“A wonderful story of apples, applesauce and family traditions.” —Infodad.com
About the Author
Eden Ross Lipson was children's book editor of The New York Times Book Review until 2005, and is the author of the authoritative New York Times Parent's Guide to the Best Books for Children. Mordicai Gerstein is the author and illustrator of The Man Who Walked Between the Towers, winner of the Caldecott Medal, and has had four books named New York Times Best Illustrated Books of the Year. Gerstein was born in Los Angeles in 1935. He remembers being inspired as a child by images of fine art, which his mother cut out of Life magazine, and by childrens books from the library: “I looked at Rembrandt and Superman, Matisse and Bugs Bunny, and began to make my own pictures.” He attended Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles, and then got a job in an animated cartoon studio that sent him to New York, where he designed characters and thought up ideas for TV commercials. When a writer named Elizabeth Levy asked him to illustrate a humorous mystery story about two girls and a dog, his book career began, and soon he moved on to writing as well as illustrating. “Im still surprised to be an author,” he says. “I wonder what Ill write next?” Gerstein lives in Westhampton, Massachusetts.