Monday, May 02, 2011

Molly MacRae Monday: Picture Books and Pies

Molly MacRae leads off May for us with her 1st Monday blog.-AA


My life seems to revolve around two activities – cooking and anything to do with books.

A part of my day job that I love is being the first one in the children’s department at the public library to handle the new books. I get to check them in and arrange them on the shelves, choosing which ones to highlight by placing them face out. New books, especially new picture books, are fresh, crisp, bright, and shiny. They make me giddy.

At home I’m either cooking or I’m squirreled away writing or reading. And of course, it’s not just books I read. I like stopping by Amy’s blog to see what wild concoctions catch her eye from her collection of vintage cookbooks. But I especially like to read about her latest cake and pie programs. I love pie.  

Last week I had a nice Zen moment when I found three new picture books on the W shelf. W for wonderful. Not only are they fresh new books, but they mention food right in their titles. And two of them are about pie. The first, by the talented Jacqueline Woodson, is Pecan Pie Baby. It’s the story of Gia, a young girl who isn’t looking forward to sharing her mother with any “ding-dang baby.” The illustrations, by Sophie Blackall, show a loving, multiracial family and a wonderful relationship between Gia and her mother, who both adore pecan pie. The second book, Cinnamon Baby by Nicola Winstanley, is about Miriam, an extraordinary baker. As I read the book, I could smell the herbs and spices Miriam mixes into her breads, especially the cinnamon which plays a crucial role in the happiness of her new family. The charming pen and watercolor illustrations, by Janice Nadeau, remind me of Ludwig Bemelmans’ illustrations for Madeline. The third book is Ugly Pie by Lisa Wheeler, illustrated uproariously by Heather Solomon. In it, Ol’ Bear goes a-huntin’ for an Ugly Pie but all he finds are good-lookin’ pies – and a collection of ugly ingredients. This is my favorite of the three books because not only do we get to read about all the pies, but it also includes the recipe for Ol’ Bear’s Ugly Pie – exactly the kind of recipe that makes me smack my lips and will probably gives Amy the yips.

Do you have a favorite picture book with a story about bread or cake or pie?

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