Young Reader in the Making

Young Reader in the Making

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Book 133: How to Bake an American Pie

How to Bake an American Pie, written by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Raul Colon, Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2007.  (Preschool/Early Elementary)

How to Bake an American Pie was written to be a Fourth of July book.  I didn't have this book on the Fourth of July.  I do, however, own it in time for Veterans' Day, which still feels quite relevant.

The text in How to Bake an American Pie is a lovely poem about ideally what it is to be an American and what forms America.  Karma Wilson, author of the charming "Bear" books, is equally charming here and surprisingly poignant.  As an adult, it reminds me of what is best about my country and countrymen.  After a fractious election season, I savored every heart-warming word.  For a child, the book gives ideals that are attainable, if not always present.

As much as I love Jane Chapman as the illustrator for the "Bear" books, I think Raul Colon was a perfect choice to illustrate this sweet and powerful poem-story.  In addition to his illustrations also being sweet and powerful, they are wonderfully whimsical in a way that actually enhance the poignancy of this book.

So I will read this book to my young son for Veteran's Day, and later for the Fourth of July, and many, many days in between.


  1. Thanks, Karen, for this good review. I am always looking for books to enhance my storytelling programs and in my teaching.

  2. Thank you, Linda. This is a very enjoyable read. Karma said she wrote this three weeks after 9/11, which I found very telling.