Apples A to Z
written by Margaret McNamara; illustrated by Jake Parker
Source: Orange County Public Library
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When you look at the cover of this book, you see two cute characters and maybe assume this will be a light romp with plenty of rhyme and not a lot of information. Apples A to Z surprisingly most resembles a piece of informational text more than any other genre. Fox and Bear don't mess around when it comes to apples. They will teach you about grafting where a branch of one kind of apple tree is attached to a branch of another tree. This creates healthier trees. N is for nutritious where we learn that apples contain fiber which helps the stomach digest other foods. Our two apple enthusiasts also show us the difference between apple cider and apple juice. This is pretty heady stuff for preschoolers and K-1 students. My favorite letter is V which stands for varieties. On this page there are 26 different types of apples listed and illustrated, one for each letter of the alphabet. The back matter includes information about Johnny Appleseed, figurative language involving apples, jokes, and a recipe for making applesauce.
If you work with preschool or kindergarten students and teach a unit on apples, you need to find this book. I wouldn't read the whole book in one setting, but would spread it out over a week's time. The vocabulary in Apples A to Z is terrific. Words like yield and harvest are good terms to learn as they can be used in many different contexts. This book would also be a good model for creating booklets as most sections are two or three sentences long which is a good length for beginning booklet writers.