Reviews for Apple

Booklist Reviews 2012 August #1
As the title indicates--with it's bold, red presentation--this book is about just one thing: an apple. Each snow-white page contains a single word, faced by McClure's eye-catching, black-and-white papercuts that tell the story. The tale opens with fall, showing an apple at the base of a tree. A girl takes the apple from her kitchen and puts it in her backpack: hide. Each turn of the page reveals one more thing that happens to the apple. The girl shares it with friends and then forgets it on the ground. It returns to the earth. (The author's note explains that it's in a compost heap to be broken down so the soil it mixes with can become a rich food for plants.) In spring, a new plant emerges. The note's explanation of how an apple tree grows does not quite square with the one-word narrative. In fact, the author's note says apple seeds rarely grow into trees, though it happens on occasion. This is best used with a young audience who will enjoy following this one particular apple through its journey. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Spring
A little girl sneaks an apple into daycare then forgets it on the playground. The apple is put in the compost and sprouts the following spring as a seedling. Although the one-word-per-page text ("Fall / Find / Sneak / Hide...") makes choices that may perplex young readers, McClure's dynamic black-and-white cut-paper images with red accents are a sure draw.

Kirkus Reviews 2012 July #2
Primitive-looking cut-paper illustrations depict an apple's travels from tree to kitchen to backpack to picnic and eventually into soil, where it takes root as a new seedling. Run your fingers across this satisfyingly square book's cover and feel the subtle, smooth outlines of a ripe apple and simple letters. You'll immediately sense the solid, soothing storytelling at work inside, achieved through astute manipulations of paper. McClure's masterful cut-paper pictures appear more chunky and primitive here than in other works (To Market, to Market, 2011, etc.), appropriate in a book about plant processes as old as the Earth. Solitary verbs centered on white left-hand pages definitively describe the apple's journey. Their red, all-uppercase, hand-drawn block lettering compliments rustic black-and-white pictures that look a lot like whittled woodblock prints. Beginning readers can latch onto these firm words, point at their hefty letters and discern sounds and meanings. Older readers will appreciate McClure's use of a velvety, Valentine red to highlight the apple; these isolated instances of color pull children into each leg of a small odyssey, making a little apple's peregrinations seem deserving of acute attention. Backmatter includes "The Life Cycle of an Apple Tree" and "Composting," described in simple language that manages to be both sophisticated and conversational. Four panels capturing the four seasons sit on the opposite page: a summation of an apple's year in pictures and an assured ending. This deconstructed lesson in plant regeneration, composting and life cycles will reach apple-eating readers of many ages. (Picture book. 3-8) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 May #4

An afterword says that this is actually McClure's first book, which she created in 1996, hand-bound, and sold locally. Small and square, it features a single word in block letters on each left-hand page, opposite one of McClure's signature cutouts. A girl takes an apple from the pile her mother is using for pie ("sneak"), slips it into her school knapsack ("hide"), and leaves it on the playground ("forget"). The apple makes its way into the compost and then into the ground, where it sprouts: "Spring." The technical ability required to use a single piece of black paper and a pair of scissors to represent intangibles like the movement of air or a reflection on the water is a rare gift; parents and children can spend rewarding time together merely figuring out how McClure (To Market, To Market) has created positive and negative space. For McClure, the apple--which adds a flash of red to the otherwise b&w images--joins the natural world to the human world, and adds beauty to its surroundings wherever it's found. Ages 3-6. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Aug.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2012 November

K-Gr 1--Fourteen words follow images of an apple from the moment it falls from its tree, is gathered up and taken home, spirited off the kitchen counter by a child, shared with friends, and abandoned in the grass. From there it is picked up and composted and, after a long winter, it sprouts anew. Paper-cut artistry broadens the brief text while the contrast of the apple's red against black and white background draws the eye on each page. Seasonal views are not forgotten, with four panels displaying branches of the trees through glances of a passing year: "Forget," "Quiet," "Return…." The apple left beside a half-eaten sandwich in the tall grass rests under a night sky and then falls under the spade into compost. A summary of the life cycle of an apple tree is appended. The book is eye-catching from the cover, but the brief text will need explanation; the emphasis on the cycle of life makes this a useful classroom and library addition.--Mary Elam, Learning Media Services, Plano ISD, TX

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