APPLE PIE AND ONIONS by Judith Caseley


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A gentle, unassuming story about a little girl whose grandmother tactfully helps her through the embarrassment the young so often suffer because of the natural behavior of their elders. As they walk around Grandma's city neighborhood, Rebecca enjoys the tales Grandma tells of her childhood as a new immigrant--sleeping on the fire escape to keep cool, trying to eat her first banana, skin and all--until Grandma spies old friend Hattie, wheelchair-bound, and chatters away with her in a foreign language, to the amusement of passers-by. But, ""No more stories,"" says the mortified Rebecca, turning away. Grandma, understanding, tells just one more, about the time she rode the subway with her father, who was dressed in dirty work clothes and carrying a sack of onions, pretending she didn't know him. But when they got home, ""Papa kissed me. . .and Mama made a stew with the onions."" And when Rebecca and Grandma get home, they use the apples they have purchased together to make an apple pie. Caseley's stylized, unsentimental illustrations have an authentic sense of place; they also subtly reinforce the relationships suggested by the text. She has produced several other perceptive picture books exploring family relationships, including the fine When Grandpa Came to Stay; this is a worthy companion piece.

Pub Date: March 16th, 1987
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Greenwillow