Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Bring me some apples and I'll make you a pie: A story about Edna Lewis

Bring me some apples and I'll make you a pie: A story about Edna Lewis

Robbin Gourley
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 8
Clarion Books, 2009   ISBN: 978-0618158362

Edna Lewis was born in the early 1900's in a Virginian community that was founded by freed slaves. She grew up learning to love and appreciate the bounty of the earth. She learned to make all kinds of wonderful dishes using the fruits, vegetables, and nuts that grew in the fields and countryside around her. She was a firm advocate of cooking with what is seasonal and local, and she grew up to become a famous chef and cookbook writer.

In this picture book, the author explores what a typical farming, and therefore cooking, year would have been like for young Edna and her family. She begins with the children and Edna's aunt harvesting the first greens of spring. After a winter without fresh food these greens taste sweeter than corn, milk, or tea.

In the summer, there are sugar baby melons, corn, and vine ripened tomatoes. And, in the fall, the family competes with the squirrels and the possums for the nuts that fall from the trees. By the time the winter rolls around the pantry in Edna's home is full of delicious things to eat.

In this beautifully lyrical picture book, Robbin Gourley perfectly captures the connection that Edna Lewis had with the land and with the food that it provides us. Punctuated with rhymes and songs that Edna would have heard when she was a child, this picture book is a joy to look at and to read.

At the back of the book readers will find some recipes for the kinds of dishes that Edna Lewis cooked.