We read most of our apple books in the fall, but somehow we've managed to read four in the last week. I love this kind of reading coincidence and am always on the lookout for it: it's the idea behind bookstogether. In this case, the apple books aren't about picking apples or making them into apple pie (both good things that happen a lot in apple books), but about making apple friends (slightly more unusual). Here are two of them:
- In A Friend for Dragon by Dav Pilkey, a snake tricks Dragon into thinking a shiny red apple is his friend. The two spend a wonderful day together ("You are a good listener," says Dragon). But Dragon becomes concerned when the apple won't talk to him the next morning ("Maybe it's a crab apple," suggests the doctor). What happens next is tragic and hilarious and ultimately very satisfying. This is the first of five early readers featuring Dragon; we love them all, but A Friend for Dragon is my favorite.
- In The Apple Doll by Elisa Kleven (Farrar Straus Giroux, 2007), Lizzy is worried that she won't make any friends at school. She turns an apple from her favorite tree into a doll she names Susanna, but her new friend isn't welcome at school, either (no food or toys allowed during class, except on sharing day). Lizzy keeps Susanna at home, until she finds a way to make her into a real doll--and make new friends at school, too. Instructions for how to make an apple doll are at the back of the book (thankfully, because both Leo and Milly now want to make one. So do I!). And I love the endpapers in this book: apples in the front, apple dolls in the back.
In the other two books, Miss Hickory's body is made of an apple twig, and Little Little Sister grows from an apple seed. Really, how many books about apple people can there be?