Reviews for All For Pie, Pie For All

Booklist Reviews 2006 September #2
This genial picture book begins with Grandma Cat making an apple pie. After Little Brother, Big Sister, Momma, Poppa, and Grandma each eat a slice, the cats contentedly take naps. While they sleep, the Mouse family carts off the last piece of pie to its own snug home. After Little Brother, Big Sister, Momma, Poppa, and Grandma Mouse share their pie, the mice snuggle down for naps, too. While they sleep, the ant family carries off the crumbs, polishing off all the remaining pie. Meanwhile, Grandma Cat awakes and makes another pie, this time with help from all the cats, mice, and ants. This book lends itself well to reading aloud, for children will enjoy chiming in with the many repeated lines in the story. Washed with watercolors in warm, tawny hues, the ink drawings create a series of charming domestic scenes featuring jovial families of the various species. Good fare for young children. ((Reviewed September 15, 2006)) Copyright 2006 Booklist Reviews

ForeWord Magazine Reviews 2006 November/December
Bespectacled Grandma Cat knowingly glances over her shoulder at the Cat family, Mouse family, and Ant family, who are already thinking about how much they will enjoy sharing---down to the last bite---the delicious apple pie she has baked. The author, whose previous books include We've All Got Bellybuttons! and Piggy and Dad Go Fishing, was inspired for this tasty picture book by his own pie-baking experiences and the motto of the Three Musketeers. The whole Cat family enjoys Grandma Cat's pie, leaving a single piece. While the Cats nap with their stomachs full, the Mouse family, led by Grandma Mouse, has its dessert, leaving only six crumbs. While the Mouse family, now also full, naps, the Ant family, lead by Grandma Ant, eats its dessert. Finally, Baby Ant, yelling "Pie," walks off with the very last crumb. When Grandma Cat decides to bake another pie, she has fifteen helpers: cats, mice, and ants. Anyone who has cooked with young children will see the humor in this situation: the "helpers" make a mess, which the illustrator portrays as a swashbuckling adventure in baking. As the plot suggests, Martin's narrative contains plenty of repetition, almost rebus-like, which will appeal to preschoolers and emergent readers alike. The bold text is well integrated with the colorful pen-and-watercolor illustrations. Gorbachev, a prolific illustrator of children's books including The Giant Hug), creates cozy settings with washed colors and the kinds of details that delight small children, like Baby Ant wheeling a blueberry in a stroller, a picture that captures both the purposefulness and difficulty of a toddler wanting to help grownups. Even the end papers show kitchen scenes that add subtext to the plot. The illustrations echo each other in the same manner as the text, making for a unified whole. The gentle message of sharing and cooperation will not be lost on listeners, yet the humorous tone prevents the story from becoming didactic. All for Pie, Pie for All is an ideal book for library story time or a great read-aloud from a parent or caregiver's lap. ©2006 ForeWord Magazine. All Rights Reserved.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2007 Spring
Grandma Cat bakes and serves her family an apple pie. While the cats sleep, Grandma Mouse discovers the last piece and shares it with her family, who nap while an ant family carries away the last crumbs. When all families wake up, they bake another pie together. While the plot lacks conflict, the detailed and colorful art creates a warm, bustling environment. Copyright 2007 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2006 September #2

As warm and comforting as fresh-baked apple pie, this cinnamon sweet picture book about cooperation and sharing is just right for a family read-aloud. The Cat family is so satisfied with the apple pie Grandma Cat bakes that they leave only one last slice on the table before they take their naps. That leftover piece becomes a whole meal for the Mouse family, and their leftover crumbs in turn end up as perfect fare for the Ant family. Martin's (We've All Got Bellybuttons! ) text, with its alluring repetition, can be quickly memorized by a preschooler: "Little Brother Cat ate a piece./ Big Sister Cat ate a piece./ Momma Cat ate a piece...." What the text lacks in complexity, it makes up for in geniality and a quickly moving plot, with more than a baker's dozen appealing characters. Gorbachev's (The Giant Hug ) homey full-bleed pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations brim with joy, as one family after another shares the feast. When Grandma Cat wakes up from her nap and says, "I'm hungry. Should I bake another pie?" each family, in turn, shouts, "Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes ." Cats, mice and ants ("even little Baby Ant") all work together on Grandma's huge kitchen table to make another pie. The book celebrates the importance of family mealtime, but also provides an example of an amiable community where sugar, flour and harmony are all mixed together with love. Ages 3-5. (Sept.)

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School Library Journal Review 2006 September

PreS Grandma Cat’s apple pie is devoured by her family, a mouse family, and a family of ants. The book’s charm is in the joyous, deliciously appealing pen-and-ink and watercolor spreads detailing the domestic life of each group and in the repetitive narrative structure of the story, which has very few words. “Little Brother Mouse ate a piece./Big Sister Mouse ate a piece./Momma Mouse ate a piece./Poppa Mouse ate a piece./Grandma Mouse ate a piece./Six crumbs were left./And then the mice took naps.” A natural for storyhours, this title will be savored by listeners just discovering the delicious world of books.Kathleen Whalin, York Public Library, ME

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