The Apple Pie That Papa Baked

Common Sense Media says

Folksy artwork enlivens tasty web-of-life tale.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Papa bakes a pie for his daughter, and she enjoys it even more because she shares unselfishly.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the cumulative phrases of this book make it fun, and the illustrations are just as appetizing as the apple pie they describe. More about the making of the apple than the baking of the pie, this story celebrates the interconnectedness of life.

Parents say

Kids say

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What's the story?

The story starts with a steaming, freshly baked apple pie. Then building backwards from apple to tree to roots, water, rain, clouds, and so on, an excited young girl shows how the "apple pie that Papa baked" came to be.

Is it any good?


THE APPLE PIE THAT PAPA BAKED is as homey as Gramdma's kitchen, yet it's modern, rich, and even scientific. In simple language that is also poetic and true, Lauren Thompson tells the heartwarming story of how the apple pie comes to be, including a quick introduction to the whole ecological web of life. And, as a final loving touch, she adds that the true enjoyment comes in sharing the pie with all the creatures on the farm. With that, the circle is made complete.

Retro illustrations by Jonathan Bean add a folksy kind of wholeness to the story. The pigtailed girl's excitement as she wakes to follow her gangly farmer father to the field, the changing expressions of the farm animals that join them, the gnarled branching of the apple tree, the wide-eyed sun that hangs in the sky over-looking it all ... these, and other, detailed images are done wholly in yellowish-brown and black, with the dash of red for the apples highlighting each scene. Even Bean's artistic process, which he describes as the layering of three vellum pages each printed in a separate color, adds to the richness of this cumulative story.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the simple idea of apple pie grows into the more complicated story of how the apple came to be. And they will love talking about the different creatures who appear as the story grows, and how all nature seems to work together. Also, why was it important that the girl shared the pie in the end?

Book details

Author:Lauren Thompson
Illustrator:Jonathan Bean
Genre:Picture Book
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Simon & Schuster
Publication date:July 24, 2007
Number of pages:32
Read aloud:5
Read alone:6

This review of The Apple Pie That Papa Baked was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 2 and 2 year old Written byCP Padre January 12, 2011

Cute book to read with Papa

This is a cute and funny book that my two year old loves to read with his Papa. It is a compiling rhyme and does a good job illustrating consequence in a fun way.

What other families should know
Educational value


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