Monday, January 22, 2007
One Green Apple
Bunting, Eve. 2006. ONE GREEN APPLE. Ill. by Ted Lewin. New York: Clarion. ISBN 0618434771 [Suggested Grade Levels K-3]
It is Farah’s second day of school in a new country. Even though no names of specific countries are given, it is apparent that Farah is from an Arab country. Not speaking English and wearing a “dupatta” set her apart from the other children and she feels different. The fact that some of the children’s smiles are less than friendly only adds to her feelings of isolation. On this day the class is going on a field trip to an apple orchard. When the children are told to pick one apple, Farah chooses a small green one. Through mild protests she tosses it into the apple press where it mixes with the red ones the other children have picked. The result is a delicious cider. The metaphors in this story may be obvious to some, but the message is a satisfying one. When a boy moves aside to allow Farah to join the children making cider, she is pleased and her joy is noticeable. Using first-person narrative and simple yet compelling language, Bunting conveys very real emotions.
Lewin’s large sunny illustrations complement the text beautifully. The life-like images and expressive faces mirror the emotions described in the text. Readers who have ever experienced feelings of being different will relate to this tender story.
Invite children to discuss how they can make new students feel welcome. Make a list of these suggestions and revisit the list periodically throughout the year. Encourage children to try out their suggestions, too.
Other books for children about recent immigrants in a new school:
Aliki. MARIANTHE’S STORY: PAINTED WORDS AND SPOKEN MEMORIES. ISBN 0688156622
Pak, Soyung. SUMI’S FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL EVER. ISBN 067003522X
By S. Zulema Silva Bewley