Reviews for Apple Orchard Riddle

Booklist Reviews 2013 August #1
While most of Mr. Tiffin's students hurry out to the school bus for their field trip, Tara, daydreaming again, walks at her own pace. At the apple orchard, Mr. Tiffin asks his class to ponder this riddle during their tour: "Show me a little red house with no windows and no door, but with a star inside." Farmer Hills leads the tour of her apple trees, storage barn, and cider press. As the children explore the farm, they think about the riddle. In the end, Tara discovers the answer. An appended page of "apple orchard facts" rounds out the presentation. Though the farmer offers plenty of information during the tour, the students' natural-sounding comments and conversations keep the text from sounding too purposeful, and the riddle's solution brings the story to a satisfying conclusion. Karas' distinctive pencil, gouache, and acrylic pictures illustrate the story with their own quirky charm. This sequel to How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? (2007) is enjoyable as well as informative. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2014 Spring
Mr. Tiffin's class (How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin?) takes a field trip to the apple orchard. The story focuses on Tara, whose daydreaming causes her to lag behind the group but helps her solve Mr. Tiffin's apple-themed riddle. Gouache, acrylic, and pencil illustrations combine crisp lines and hazy colors to call forth a perfect apple-picking day. Summarizing apple orchard facts are appended.

Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2013 #4
We last saw Mr. Tiffin and his class digging through pumpkin innards to solve math problems (How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin?). This time, they take a field trip to the apple orchard to learn a few hands-on lessons from another favorite fall fruit. And this time, the story focuses on a student named Tara, whose penchant for daydreaming often causes her to lag behind the group. Illustrations rendered in gouache, acrylic, and pencil combine crisp lines and hazy colors to call forth a perfect apple-picking day. Farmer Hills guides students and readers through her orchard featuring a wide variety of apples, apple storage, a cider press, and cider donuts, while Mr. Tiffin's class tries to solve the riddle he has assigned ("Show me a little red house with no windows and no door, but with a star inside"). No one can solve the riddle until Tara comes up with the solution; her daydreaming has enabled her to see the apples in a new way. Karas's gentle art suits the text well, bringing life to the orchard and this class full of bright and funny kids. Endpapers feature different apple varieties, and the book closes with some summarizing apple orchard facts from Mr. Tiffin -- and also from Tara. julie roach

Kirkus Reviews 2013 June #1
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) Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 May #2

Mr. Tiffin and his loquacious students take a field trip to an apple orchard in this companion to How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? (2007). Before Farmer Hills (who is, refreshingly, a woman) gives a tour, Mr. Tiffin challenges the kids to solve a riddle: "Show me a little red house with no windows and no door, but with a star inside." The students absorb the farmer's explanation of the orchard's operations as they visit the apple storage barn, cider press, and apple-peeling machine, while considering whether these places might hold the key to the riddle. McNamara's conversational narrative lets the characters' personalities emerge, especially know-it-all Elinor, intuitive Mr. Tiffin, and daydreamer Tara, who does things in her own time and in her own way, and who eventually comes up with the answer to the riddle. Karas's wispy and loose mixed-media cartoons effectively portray the orchard's operations and capture the camaraderie among the students and their teacher. This good-humored story concludes with a note offering extra apple and orchard information. Ages 4-8. Illustrator's agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (July)

[Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC

School Library Journal Reviews 2013 June

K-Gr 2--Mr. Tiffin and his class from How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? (Random, 2007) head out on a field trip. As the students tour Farmer Hills's orchard, they are introduced to many varieties of apples, get a chance to pick some, and watch how cider is made. Mr. Tiffin also gives them a special assignment: "Show me a little red house with no windows and no door, but with a star inside." The children offer many guesses, but it is Tara, the daydreamer among them, who solves the riddle while thoughtfully munching on an apple core. Karas's detailed pencil and acrylic illustrations show the youngsters engaged in lots of hands-on learning, from examining an old tractor to recording their observations in a notebook. A page of apple facts is included. This engaging story will spark fruitful curriculum discussion.--Linda Ludke, London Public Library, Ontario, Canada

[Page 92]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.