This book will make readers hungry for applesauce.
There’s a theory that the old Disney live-action movies were popular because the kids acted like adults and the adults acted like kids. In this book, Katy has no choice but to act like an adult. Her aunt is in labor, and her mother can’t be home until after the baby is born. It’s the Jewish New Year, and Katy was expecting to make applesauce with her mom—following the family tradition—but all her dad can do is stare helplessly at the ingredients lined up on the counter. Katy starts typing on the computer until a recipe pops up. Younger readers may find it very satisfying when her father asks, “What’s next?” This book is full of such small, satisfying moments. The highlight may be a sequence in which, one by one, Katy’s friends, her rabbi and even the neighborhood crossing guard bring her apples. They know her mother is away. The characters in McMahon’s illustrations, painted in warm colors, all look like people readers might want to know. In the last scene, Katy reaches into her pocket and pulls out a jar of applesauce for the new baby. It’s just what an adult would do.
This is a simple story and on the face of it a slight one, but underneath, it’s an extremely moving tale. (Picture book. 2-7)