Pie in the Sky

by Lois Ehlert

Lois Ehlert again invites young children to look closely at nature in a droll, observant... read more

Lois Ehlert again invites young children to look closely at nature in a droll, observant picture book. “Dad says it’s a pie tree,” the young, unseen narrator explains about a tree in the yard of their new house. “I’ve never seen pies growing on trees. Wouldn’t that be something?” And it is. Each two-page spread reveals changes in the tree and its environment as the seasons move from spring to summer and into early autumn. Visually many of the changes are bold and dramatic, as buds blossom into bright white flowers that gradually transform into round orbs of fruit. These change color over time, from green to orange to ripe red—they’re cherries, of course! The primary story line chronicles the most obvious of those changes that the child observes. Smaller type reveals other things this keen-eyed narrator notices in each color-rich scene, from a robin’s dark gray tail and a “gray rain sky” to “black spots and tips on butterfly wings.” “But no pie,” is the repeated refrain. The payoff at the end of the story is a sweet one—cherry-pie sweet—but the real reward in the book—and for the young narrator—is the time spent looking so closely and clearly at the world. Ehlert’s magnificent collage compositions are created from a wide array of media. (Ages 3–8)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2005

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