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A Book for All Seasons

The Pie That Molly Grew written by Sue Heavenrich and illustrated by Chamisa Kellogg, published by Sleeping Bear Press.

A girl watching her pumpkin grow.
The Pie that Molly Grew by Sue Heavenrich, Chamisa Kellogg, & Sleeping Bear Press

The first lines of The Pie that Molly Grew will grab readers like a vine into this jolly and informative rhyming picture book on how Molly's pumpkin pie started off as a seed.

In the rhythm and repetition reminiscent of The House that Jack Built, Sue Heavenrich cleverly teaches readers the science and beauty of how nature works.

Some favorite lines include:

"These are the Leaves as big as your head,

turning sunlight to food wherever they spread

to store in the roots that reach down and branch out,

to anchor the plant

that began as a sprout

to grow from the seed that Molly sowed."

The cozy and bright illustrations by Chamisa Kellogg add to the joy of watching, anticipating, and appreciating the pumpkin and eventual pie that comes from Molly's care and nature's brilliance. Where there's pie, there's people... Indeed, the final spread shows a loving celebration among family and friends.

The Pie that Molly Grew is a worthwhile story to read all year, no matter the season.

Back matter offers a brief history of American pie, how to plant a pumpkin seed, recipes to make pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie, and an explanation on the importance of bees in the helping pumpkins grow.

Imagine It!

Molly didn't grow an actual pie, but she did grow the main ingredient in her pie -- pumpkin!

Do you have a favorite vegetable dish or fruit dessert? Or does your family have a special recipe that is made at special times of the year? What are the principal ingredients?

Imagine "growing" that dish or dessert.

What vegetable or fruit seed would you plant?

Research books at the library about gardens and fruit bushes or trees. A librarian will be able to direct you to the right shelves. If your town has a farmers market, ask one of the farmers how their produce grows. Or, you could do an internet search about your chosen produce.

In what season will you need to get started? In what season will you be able to enjoy your creation? What are the steps your produce will experience from seed to harvest?

Draw pictures, write a story, or draft a poem to illustrate the growth of the seed all the way to when it becomes the ingredient to cook or bake in your recipe.

For an extra challenge, try revising the above lines highlighted in the review to describe your vegetable or fruit.

With a grown-up, make the recipe for your family and friends and tell them what you've learned.

Imagine how enjoyable and delicious that would be!

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