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by Ann Purmell & illustrated by Joanne Friar

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-7613-2364-3
Publisher: Millbrook

Nothing says back-to-school more than an elementary school unit on apples. And newcomer Purmell’s is a wonderful addition to the curriculum. On Grandpa’s family apple farm, there is a job for everyone as Alex and Abigail and their aunts, uncles, and cousins work together to harvest the apples, sort and bag them, press cider, make apple products, and sell them in Grandpa’s store, The Apple Barn. From the wagon ride out to pick the apples, to the work done in the barn, the process of harvesting and processing them is described in detail. Readers will love to see how the apple cider press works. They will follow as the imperfect apples take a trip through the grater, which creates apple mush, on to the steel frame of the cider press where layer upon layer of apple mush is stacked up, then pressed. The cider flows out the bottom through a tube and into a holding tank where it’s kept cool. From here, it goes into the jugs that people will buy as unpasteurized cider. Friar’s (The Shape of Betts Meadow, not reviewed, etc.) drawings perfectly fit the topic. Details are rich and the colors are just right for autumn apple-picking days. The Cider Lore section at the back enriches the readers’ understanding with more details about apples and cider. For instance, cider is a blend of different types of apples that cider makers usually keep a secret. Also, no two pressings of cider ever taste exactly the same. A great new addition to an overstuffed field. (Nonfiction. 4-8)