How to Make a Cherry Pie & See the USA

Last updated Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Author: Marjorie Priceman
Date of Publication:
ISBN: 375812555
Grade Level: 1st    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Jan. 2010

Synopsis: Grade 1–4—In this follow-up to How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World (Knopf, 1994), a spunky young baker is in the mood for cherry pie. She has the ingredients this time, but she's missing the equipment (bowl, pan, rolling pin, etc.) needed to get the job done. Traveling back and forth across the United States according to instructions that are given recipe style (and can be followed on the endpapers' map), she gathers natural resources from various regions (e.g., cotton from Louisiana to make pot holders) and heads home to manufacture the required objects. Smelting, spinning, weaving, carving, and glass making, the girl works until she has everything ready. The pie is a welcome addition to a July 4th celebration, where floats showcase the places she has visited. Priceman's story is expertly matched to her gouache paintings; loose and sketchy, vivid and childlike, they offer myriad details for each locale. In a school setting, the story is useful for introducing a unit on the United States and for teaching predicting skills. It's also silly enough to circulate just for fun.—Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA

Discussion topics:
•  What is your favorite Pie?
•  What pet is with the girl?
•  What is she doing on the cover? Where are they going?
•  Where have you been on the map (inside cover)
•  Have you ever baked?
•  Do you know how to spell Mississippi (teach them M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I jingle)
•  Reference each location on a map. (Need US map with states’ names, use the one on back of this sheet.)
•  Identify where four states touch each other (4 corners).
•  What is glass made of? (sand)
•  What is a steer?
•  Do you have to do all of these steps to bake a pie?
•  For what American holiday to we wear red, white and blue?
•  Do you travel with your pets?

Craft ideas:
•  Using the map provided on the back of this sheet, or the end pages of the book, have the children draw a picture of the USA. Then draw pictures of the materials the little girl used in the book to make a cherry pie.
•  Draw an outline of a cherry pie on construction paper, draw and then collage all of the things that the little girl collected to make her pie, (i.e. clay, glass, granite, wood, etc.)

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!