Autumnal City: Applesauce Season

Applesauce Season 
Author: Eden Ross Lipson
Illustrator: Mordicai Gerstein
Pub. Date: 08/04/09
Pub.: Roaring Book Press

Fall is marching on, but it's not too late to make applesauce!

A boy looks forward every year to fall, when his entire family gathers to make applesauce. The young narrator takes us through the entire journey, from market to kitchen to table describing how the applesauce changes throughout the season, how his family eats the applesauce and even how he imagines he will eat applesauce when he is grown up.

What I like most about Applesauce Season is there is no trip to a rural apple farm and absolutely no sense that this is a cause for mourning. The book opens thus:
We live in the city. There are no apple trees, but there are farmers' markets where there are lots of apples. Sometimes my grandmother goes to the market, sometimes my mom and dad go, sometimes my big sisters. If I don't have soccer, I go, too.
Obtaining apples from the farmers' market, freshly picked for urban families, is presented as a perfectly legitimate and joyful event.   The title page illustration are of the characters looking out at the cityscape dreaming of apples in anticipation, the young narrator races out of school to meet his grandma and a beautiful two page spread of the market with the cityscape in the background is lively and complete with dogs straining at their leashes. Gerstein's reputation as an illustrator is firmly established and the overall impression from his sparkling watercolors is good, old-fashioned cheer. In almost every single tableau, the people are  smiling, and it's hard not to join them by the time you've finished reading this book.

Big Kid says: (Taking book away) Let me see all those kinds of apples...
Little Kid says: I like red apples best.

Want More?
Visit the illustrator's website.
Read about the author at the NY Times: Remambering Eden Ross Lipson (includes artwork from this book).
Read a review at the NY Times or Waking Brain Cells.


Playing by the book said...

Hi, just in response to your query on my blog, I have to say that no, the book isnt' really set in a city to any meaningful extent. Definitely a fun story, but not one I would have thought really matches the theme of your blog. Hope that helps.

Stacey said...

I have such found memories of my mother making applesauce when I was little (she left the skins on so the sauce was pink!) and I never once went apple picking. So there!

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