Monday, April 18, 2005

Pie in the Sky

Ehlert, Lois. 2004. PIE IN THE SKY. New York: Harcourt. ISBN 0152165843
[Suggested Grade Levels Pre K - 1]

Dad says that the tree in the yard is a pie tree, but no pies can be seen! However, as spring progresses, we can see all sorts of other things in the tree: birds, blossoms, insects, a raccoon and finally, cherries! Dad takes the cherries and makes a pie and it is the best pie ever! This beautifully constructed book could be considered both a concept book and a participation book.

Children learn about events that happen in a fruit tree during the spring, from the formation of buds to the development of the fruit as well as the kinds of creatures that live there. However, on each page there is a rhyming “I spy” segment that lists colored items for children to search for. These poems are more complex than the main text. For example, on one page it says: “I see brown cherry pits, red wing tips, on cedar waxwings, and white rings around robins’ black eyes. But no pies.” This encourages listening in children as well as visual activities such as learning colors. The language is appealing and uses techniques such as alliteration: “Buds we saw last fall are bursting into bloom” making it fun to read aloud. This text also encourages children to participate by answering questions such as: What are the animals doing? The illustrations are highly creative and colorful collages using a variety of textured materials such as corrugated cardboard, twigs, colored handmade paper, metal, wires as well as paints and colored pencils. This creates a visually exciting collection of illustrations. The bright colors and simple, yet detailed pictures encourage the reader to closely examine them.

This book encourages children to learn about nature as well as baking and colors. Children might discuss what they have seen in their own gardens in the spring or their experiences in cooking.

Children can also be encouraged to discuss the types of materials that were used to make the collages and perhaps make their own collages.

Other books by Ehlert that could be compared to this one:

By Ellen Reed

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