From Apple Trees to Cider, Please!

From Apple Trees to Cider, Please! coverFrom Apple Trees to Cider, Please!

″Grab the wagon, it’s a bright autumn day and the trees are full of ripe, red apples! There’s an apple festival underway at the farm and lots of work to do making cider. This visit finishes with a cider doughnut and a cup of freshly pressed cider. DELICIOUS! Told in crisp, action-driven rhymes from a young child’s point of view, From Apple Trees to Cider, Please! is a realistic account of how apple cider is pressed, flavored with the charm and vigor of a harvest celebration.″

Releases September 1, 2016 (Editions Scholastic)

Like my picture book series, also published by Albert Whitman & Company, From Apple Trees to Cider, Please! is inspired by fond memories and family and school visits to farms in beautiful Hunterdon County, New Jersey. Julia Patton’s whimsical illustrations are charming! I’m certain even one read will lead to a trip to the orchard and a refreshing encounter with a cup of apple cider and maybe even a cider doughnut, apple fritter, or fresh-baked pie…

From Apple Trees to Cider, Please! appeared with the apple harvest September 2015 and is available at bookstores everywhere!

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A mother and daughter go apple picking in a sprawling orchard, “past dappled leaves and through the loud/ and happy apple-picking crowd.” Chernesky (Sun Above and Blooms Below) describes the process of turning apples into cider: cleaning them, dropping them in the shredder, and cranking the press (“Twist and press to squish and mash./ See the cider splish and splash!”). The bustling orchard hosts seasonal fixtures like pumpkin-headed scarecrows, tractor rides, and treats like cider doughnuts and fritters, which are sampled by the orchard’s other high-spirited guests. Chernesky’s playfully chirrupy rhymes and Patton’s (PB&J Hooray) exuberant cartooning deliver a juicy taste of a quintessential autumnal experience. Ages 4–7. Author’s agent: Susan Hawk, Bent Agency. Illustrator’s agency: Bright Agency. (Sept.)—Publishers Weekly

More narrative than how-to, this book about cider making leads the reader from orchard to final product. A young girl with hair the color of autumn foliage enjoys apple picking with her mother. The trees are labeled with popular types of apples, all eventually headed for the cider mill. The girl and some other children help with the preparation so that the apples can go into the shredder and then a press, where they will be mashed into cider. The rhyming text verbally reinforces the excitement the kids feel about making cider, relishing verbs like crush, squish, and glug. A fall festival, where the cider and apples are sampled in various forms (cobbler, fritters, doughnuts), makes this seem like a truly enjoyable experience. The illustrations are cheerful, in a palate of fall colors, gamely capturing the atmosphere of the day. Homey and pleasant, this is a fine book for seasonal collections.— Kara Dean, Booklist

This visit to an apple farm is lots of fun for both the redheaded tyke who narrates and readers, who will learn how apple cider is made.

With her mother, the little girl picks a mixture of apples (the trees are nicely labeled) to take to the mill to be pressed for cider. First the apples are washed and checked for worms, then they ride a conveyor belt to the shredder. The apple mush is then put in the press and the crank is turned. A turn of the tap fills the jug with fresh apple cider. But their trip isn’t over yet: the little girl convinces her mom to stay for a festival at the orchard, where there are apple treats of all kinds. Chernesky uses some wonky structures and line breaks to suit the rhyme scheme, though the rollicking rhythm doesn’t falter: “Wow! Our wagon’s apple full. / Mom, let’s roll! I’ll help you pull… // …past dappled leaves and through the loud / and happy apple-picking crowd.” Patton’s illustrations appear to be digital, and they are busy and full of fall colors. In addition to the redheaded pair, the pictures also show a dark-haired, light-brown–skinned dad with his two sons and daughter.

Mouths will water for apple cider, and a trip to the local orchard is surely in order. (Picture book. 4-7)Kirkus Review

As she did with the delightful Pick a Circle, Gather Squares (Albert Whitman, 2013), Chernesky has taken a familiar subject and given it a fresh presentation. A little girl and her mother have gone apple picking. The rhyming couplets flow smoothly (“Reaching up we take our pick,/twist and pluck them. That’s the trick.”) and include lovely verbal images. The book proceeds from the apple-picking process to cider-making and ends with an apple festival. While Chernesky captures the enthusiasm of this fun fall activity in words, Patton captures it with her energetic digital cartoon illustrations as well. The pictures include details to pore over and engage the eye without being overly busy. In addition, a wealth of information, such as the names of various apples and the appearance of an actual cider press, is provided in the artwork. VERDICT Even if you are awash in apple books, this title will be an attractive and useful addition.—Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ, School Library Journal

Heading on an apple picking adventure this fall?  Well don’t walk out the door until you read the creative “From Apple Trees to Cider, Please!”  This book will give your little one a preview of all of the fun things you can do while at an apple orchard and will educate them about how apples are harvest and made into delicious products like cider.  Foodies, both young and old, will enjoy the farm to table approach to this book and it will undoubtedly get your taste buds watering.—“Fall Themed Books and Giveaway,” Queen of the Land of Twigs ‘N Berries

Step-by-step account of making fresh apple cider. Kids and adults will be charmed by the rhymes and the illustrations depicting the joys of apple picking and making cider. If you’re lucky enough to visit an apple orchard and pick your own fruit, do it! It’s a great experience for young and old. And if you’re not, you can still enjoy the adventure through words and pictures. —Juliana Lee, Crafting Stories

A frolicking rhyme explains how apple cider is made. —“Here Comes Autumn: New K-2 Books To Read Aloud,” Between the By-Road and the Main Road

As the old saying reminds us, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Well, for fall fun, we’re advising an apple-themed book a day! Children love to learn about the seasons, and they’ll long remember that it’s apple season when future autumn breezes blow. Here are our freshest picks for juicy fall reading: Sunday: Our Apple Tree, by Gorel Kristina Naslund. Learn about the life cycle of the apple from seed to fruit. Then, take the process further to find out about turning apples into cider with From Apple Trees to Cider, Please! by Felicia Chernesky.—“For Fall Fun, Read an ‘Apple’ a Day,” Kristen Berthiaume, Training Wheels Needed