In this follow-up to How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? (2007), a field trip to an apple orchard presents an occasion for daydreaming Tara to solve a riddle posed by her teacher, Mr. Tiffin.
While she and her classmates learn about various kinds of apples from Farmer Hills, they also puzzle over the titular riddle: “Show me a little red house with no windows and no door, but with a star inside.” After several wrong guesses, the class gives up, but contemplative Tara comes up with the correct answer: an apple. The “star inside” is the group of little seeds at the heart of the apple that Tara spies when she cuts hers in half at the middle. How is an apple a house? It can be a house for a worm, as, after all, “In a riddle, anything goes,” according to Mr. Tiffin. Throughout the book, the children enjoy cider and doughnuts, while also seeing how they are made. Paired with Karas’ distinctive, stylized pictures rendered in gouache, acrylic and pencil of the class’ trip, the simple story is ideal fodder for teachers to use in anticipation of their own apple-orchard field trips, particularly since it includes backmatter devoted to “Apple Orchard Facts.”
A sweet, slice-of-school-life story. (Picture book. 5-7)