Friday, September 7, 2012

Julie Paschkis's APPLE CAKE Is On the Table!!!

Well, it's September, and I have apples on my mind. Our apple tree branches are bending down, loaded with Liberty apples - an old-fashioned apple I love - and we can pick and gobble that luscious fruit whenever we like (and we do like, often.) So I'm thinking of apple poems - Robert Frost drifts up, of course, as do several nursery rhymes, but so do these lines (you can see the whole poem by Hattie Howard here):

Oh, the peach and cherry may have their place,
And the pear is fine in its stately grace;
The plum belongs to a puckery race
And maketh awry the mouth and face;
But I long to roam in the orchard free,
The dear old orchard that used to be,
And gather the beauties that dropped for me
From the bending boughs of the apple tree.
From the bending boughs of the apple tree.

One other reason for thinking about apples: Julie Paschkis's new book, Apple Cake: A Recipe for Love, has just been released by Harcourt, and - no surprise - it's wonderful. Such a sweet story, and it's good for all ages (makes a nice wedding/anniversaty gift, too) plus Julie added a recipe for apple cake on the end page. Yummmmmm. Here's the glowing review from Kirkus:

“Beautiful, kind, brilliant Ida… / always had her nose in a book.” So begins this lighthearted and airy tribute to the powers of love and persistence. Alphonse tries to be interesting, but he is unable to get Ida’s attention. He presents her with bouquets and butterflies and serenades her with guitar music, but still her eyes never leave the pages. He makes a cake, which turns into quite a production indeed. Paschkis takes a marvelous detour from her familiar style here. The pages are open, filled with white space and almost translucent gouache colors. Readers see Alphonse going to the ends of the earth for the ingredients: riding a horse up a mountain for apples, harvesting butter from the sun and sugar from clouds, climbing a tree to grab an egg from a nest, spooning salt from the sea and catching flour and baking powder from the sky. If all this weren’t enough to prove his love, Alphonse dives into the bowl himself to stir the cake! The smell of the cake baking eventually gets Ida’s attention, releasing a flood of butterflies and sunshine onto the final pages. Sweethearts of any age will celebrate the joy of love and shared simple pleasures. 

Hooray for simple pleasures! Fall is just around the corner - so write an autumn poem and bake some apple cake!
Happy apple eating, everyone!


The Poetry Friday round-up is being hosted this week by Katya Czaja over at Write. Sketch. Repeat. Head over there to see what other people have posted.


  1. I love apples and Julie's new book! She'll be dropping by Alphabet Soup for a visit soon :). Total yum!

  2. Just ordered the book--thanks for letting us know about it! I'm eager to see the illustrations--as Kirkus says, yes, apparently a departure from Julie's style but that man on the cover is All-Paschkis!

  3. I wrote an apple poem for this week, too, Julie! It's been years and years and years since I went apple picking with my family, carrying those bushels home and, for months after, opening the fridge to rummage for my mother's delicious cinnamon apple sauce or her fabulous apple pie.

    I really miss doing that, but I think of it whenever I roll out the dough.

    Thanks for the lovely poem and the tip on Julie Paschkis's new book. :)

  4. Julie - Thanks so much for this post. And I love the lilting loveliness of the apple poem. It fits the pome.

  5. Thank you, Julie, for sharing this delectable poem and post! I love Julie Paschkis's work and can't wait to see this new direction. Happy apple picking.