The park is the perfect place for culinary imagination—and friendship.
Maggie’s pleased that the park is empty and quiet, perfect for making Salad Pie. Then Herbert appears and asks what she’s doing. The park’s no longer empty or quiet. Still, she goes ahead with her plan. As Herbert watches, she walks in a wide arc around him, gathering stems of clover, dandelion leaves, some soft crab apples. She mixes them in her floppy hat, then tosses in some wood chips. A few fall out onto the ground, and Herbert scurries to pick them up. He tries to drop them back into the salad, and Maggie grabs his wrist to make sure he doesn’t touch. But she accepts the pieces. “Magnificent,” she declares, then climbs the slide, up up up and, at the very top, starts to sing and dance. When she loses her footing, she and her Salad Pie take a tumble, but Herbert is there to catch her and all the flying pieces. This time she lets him help. The missteps in BooydeGraaff’s tale of budding friendship make it all the more interesting and believable. Langdo’s watercolors bring character to the forefront; Maggie has light-brown skin and a wild mop of springy brown hair, while Herbert is a leggy white boy with short brown hair.
Warm and winning. (Picture book. 4-7)