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How to Bake an American Pie
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How to Bake an American Pie

3.52  ·  Rating Details ·  152 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
How do you bake an American pie?

Preheat the world until fiery hot with a hunger and thirst to be free. Now find a giant melting pot on the shores of a great shining sea.

From the bestselling author of Bear Snores On comes a remarkable recipe for America.

Including a dash of purple mountain majesties, cupfuls of courage, and a pinch of liberty, this beautifully illustr
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published May 22nd 2007 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
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(showing 1-30)
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Jul 02, 2012 Kathryn rated it really liked it
I love Wilson's Bear books but this one didn't quite touch me as much as I thought it could have. It felt a teensy bit clichéd to me and the illustrations just didn't match the text enough for my taste. It was all a bit abstract and I'm not sure how much kids would get from it. That said, it did have some lovely lines and I appreciate the sentiment.
I discovered a picture book at the library this week that is new to me. Perhaps you know it, and it is just right for the Independence Day holiday, a celebration of all those through history to today who are part of America's wealth in people. It's written by Karma Wilson and illustrated with fabulous art by Raúl Colón. This recipe for America is written beautifully in rhythm and rhyme. The story is told by a dog and a cat, gathering ingredients, stirring and mixing to produce a special American ...more
Jul 04, 2010 Dolly rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a fun little story to read on Independence Day. It is full of pithy platitudes, but is sweet and has a nice rhythmic flow and rhyming text. The illustrations are fun too. Probably one of those books that adults can appreciate more than the children do.
Chelsea Carey
Oct 28, 2016 Chelsea Carey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lit-for-children
Review: (Historical) This childrens book discusses what makes America so great, and ties it all together by making each characteristic (courage, bravery, etc.) as ingredients to a pie. I absolutely loved this book, it uses rhyming and tid bits from well known songs like the national anthem, America, and This Land is Your Land.

Content Areas:
For this book I would definetly use it for learning about the history of our nation. After reading this to my class, I would have ask them to research a spe
Jan 24, 2017 Jessie rated it it was ok
I thought the illustrations here were clever and went with the text well.

I'm much more ambivalent about the text.
Terrie Wolf
Jul 01, 2014 Terrie Wolf rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone
Perfectly Delicious For All Ages! Of course, this is a work intended for children K - 3rd Grade, but the verse is lyrical and the "pictures" are enough to make your mouth water. This is not your average book about Independence Day. Rather, it is a lovely little offering about the important things like freedom, tradition, and respect. The best part of all is these ingredients all come together via the best apple pie recipe ever! A snippet:

"Preheat the world until fiery hot with a hunger and thirs
Johna Brown
Nov 17, 2013 Johna Brown rated it liked it
I enjoyed this cute "Patriotic" text it was very creative. It incorporated things from the Star Spangled Banner and the constitution. The author uses characteristics that typically Americans use to define America. This book would be perfect to read around Labor Day, Independence Day, or Memorial Day.As a teacher, I would read this story to my students as a whole group. I would read it at the beginning of the school year to help students warm up to the new environment and embrace their own identi ...more
Mar 05, 2011 Candice rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Most people who want a nice 4th of July book to read to children.
Shelves: picture-books
A cute little patriotic book. I probably should have saved this to read on July 4. It uses some phrases from America the Beautiful to show how a dog and a cat bake an American pie. "Now find a giant melting pot on the shores of a great shining sea" and "Now roll out a top of spacious skies to cover this county of ours." The illustrations are so imaginative. Some cover the entire two-page spread without any words at all. As I read I thought that illustrator Raul Colon must have had so much fun cr ...more
Aug 10, 2013 Kira rated it it was amazing
Everyone with children needs to get this book and read it! Actually, I think it's a fun read for adults too :) Sentimental and poetic, Karma Wilson has published yet another masterpiece into Children's Lit. The witty text is littered with familiar phrases from The Star Spangled Banner and the constitution, with gentle reminders throughout that America is the great melting pot and under God's grace, and built by hard work and loyal hearts. I loaned this from the library but I plan on purchasing i ...more
Aug 06, 2013 Karen rated it really liked it
The text in How to Bake an American Pie is a lovely poem about ideally what it is to be an American and what forms America. Karma Wilson, author of the charming "Bear" books, is equally charming here and surprisingly poignant. As an adult, it reminds me of what is best about my country and countrymen. After a fractious election season, I savored every heart-warming word. For a child, the book gives ideals that are attainable, if not always present.

As much as I love Jane Chapman as the illustrat
Jun 25, 2012 Heather rated it liked it
Shelves: from-library
37 months - O has asked me to read this a few times since bringing it home from the library. I think she enjoys the illustrations and she likes the rhyme. I don't think kids will understand the meaning of the text though. She has caught a couple of things... purple mountain majesty she knows is the Rocky Mountains we can see west of Denver, she commented on 50 stars being "ALOT" tonight and I explained the meaning. She recognized the Statue of Liberty and Mount Rushmore (as we were there last we ...more
Mar 10, 2008 Heidi-Marie rated it really liked it
This book was really good. The rhyme scheme was not too obvious. The pictures were very good. And the symbolism, though maybe a bit too high for the younger audience, is still wonderful for all who read it. As I am proud to be an American and am loyal to my blessed native land, I liked this book and all it represented to me.
Brooke Devarennes
This book was just alright. However, some of the elements were a bit stereotypical. It was cute how all of the "ingredients" for an American Pie were a Melting Pot, a Shining Sea, and Freedom, etc. This would be a great book to use during the 4th of July. There were great examples of alliterations, and parts of speech. Also this was a rhyming book and could be used for sequencing.
Sandy Brehl
Both the illustrations and the text contain details, references, and vocabulary suitable for curricular discussions at upper ages. The tightly metered and rhymed text has a lilting pace. The humorous images of the dog and cat throughout and splashes of familiar words and elements make it an effective read aloud for young children, too.
Peggy Archer
Jul 03, 2016 Peggy Archer rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book. It adds 'ingredients' that come from the land, the people who came to America, and things that remind us of what we all stand for together. I personally like that the author included 'pour in the pot plenty of faith, hope, and love.... Place in God's grace and allow to rise.' Well written in lyrical prose, and illustrations that combine reality with imagination.
Carla Mackay
Jul 02, 2013 Carla Mackay rated it it was amazing
one of my favorite books. simple, yet beautifully written. the illustrations are easy and catchy enough for the young ones.
my children love it. this story has become our Independence Day tradition...
Christian Padgett
Apr 10, 2011 Christian Padgett rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, america
Nice metaphor of using a pie to describe America. In the book, the author uses characteristics that typically Americans use to define America. From courage to national symbols, this book does a good job at making the reader think about how a pie and America are alike.
Jul 07, 2016 Sam rated it liked it
Shelves: storytime
Skipped one page toward the end because it got a little too preachy for public library storytime but aside from that, it was kinda neat. I liked the illustrations and the concept of adding a dash of purple mountains.

Nice rhyming makes for an easy readaloud.
May 24, 2015 Naomi rated it it was amazing
Karma Wilson is very quickly becoming one of my favorite children's authors. Loved this book although I do agree with other reviewers that the majority of the kids in its age range won't get it. Parents would need to teach to it.
The Brothers
Aug 02, 2016 The Brothers rated it really liked it
This was a heartening story about what it takes to make an American pie, i.e. what goes into our nation and being an American. I really liked how the author took our best ideals (even if we never quite achieve them) and mixed them all together in a welcome-all-comers pie.

Illustrations were cute.
Hannah Beachy
Mar 01, 2016 Hannah Beachy rated it really liked it
This book is a really fun way to introduce concepts about American history. It is written well and the illustrations are fun. It would be a great book to use for social studies integration. It was also just be a great book to have in the class that gets students excited about patriotism.
Nov 30, 2010 Dorothea rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens, history
Fun Independence Day book, incorporating the lines from the song "America the Beautiful" into the text. Good conversation starter for a 7 year old or older. My daughter and I enjoyed this book.
Shakila Lightfoot
Nov 26, 2013 Shakila Lightfoot rated it really liked it
How To on how to make a pie. They have to learn how to be descriptive so this would be a great book.
Mindy Reid
Nov 12, 2012 Mindy Reid rated it liked it
This wonderfully crafter poem includes pieces of our American heritage in recipe form. A fun read for primary aged students that incorporates many of our nation's best qualities.
Feb 20, 2008 Lisa rated it liked it
Shelves: kidland
It was a nice book, but I wouldn’t call it the best of the year. It would be great for a July 4th story time. I see adults liking it more than kids.
Jun 30, 2008 julie rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-my-kids
This was cute and very imaginative. The kids loved the illustrations! We are reading alot about patriotic themes and this went along great!
Apr 05, 2012 JaNeal rated it really liked it
A great book for the Fourth of July. I love how familiar patriotic phrases are woven into the verse. The pumpkin pie framework makes it feel complete. Nicely done.
Mar 16, 2010 Beth rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s
This is a creative display of the qualities and landforms that make The United States of America unique.

Now, I'm not sure that I want to eat a slice of that pie...
Your rating of this book will depend on whether these familiar American phrases make you feel warm and full of promise, or cranky about promises inconsistently fulfilled.
Ariell rated it liked it
Jun 28, 2014
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Karma Wilson grew up an only child of a single mother in the wilds of North Idaho. Way back then (just past the stone age and somewhat before the era of computers) there was no cable TV and if there had been Karma could not have recieved it. TV reception was limited to 3 channels, of which one came in with some clarity. Karma did the only sensible thing a lonely little girl could do…she read or pl ...more
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