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A Was Once an Apple Pie
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A Was Once an Apple Pie

3.35  ·  Rating details ·  191 Ratings  ·  57 Reviews
Hand painted cut paper artwork by Caldecott winner Suse MacDonald illustrates this adaptation of Edward Lear's classic ABC rhyme.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 1st 2005 by Orchard Books (first published 1992)
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Rating details
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Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was surprised by this one. So silly and so perfect. It might be just another ABC book, but it's sillier than all the others.

My one complaint as I read it was that I wished each letter had its own page or spread. Also, I would love to see this in board book format.
This is a wonderful alphabet book for ECE readers. It not only shows letters and things that start with those letters, but it also makes up rhyming words that go along with these objects. This is great for letter knowledge, phonological awareness, print awareness, and just plain fun! A refreshing take on the traditional alphabet book!
Feb 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: childrens
I would like this book better for my child if the rhyming words weren't nonexistent/nonsensical words.
Jan 19, 2014 rated it it was ok
Not a fan of the poem itself, although the illustrations are quite well done.
Paige Claycamp
Apr 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: el-230
I chose this book due to it being a great way to help students learn the order of the alphabet and silly words that go along with each letter. After reading the book out loud, which at times was very tricky due to all of the rhyming words under each letter, I could tell the student began to not pay attention or understand the book. It had great illustrations and a good meaning behind it, just some tricky words throughout.
Melissa Butler
Sep 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was cute with rhyming words and made the alphabet fun!
A silly, rhymy alphabet book that was thoroughly enjoyed by the kindergarten.
Sarah Westgate
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Genre: Fiction
This book is great for Kindergarten. One unique feature of this text is the alphabet is listed throughout the book with many words in the sentence starting with that letter.
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a letter identification book, and it's awesome! For example:

A was one an apple pie,
pidy, widy, tidy, pidy,
nice insidy, apple pie!

This is great.
Jun 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Title: A Was Once An Apple Pie
Author: Edward Lear
Illustrator: Suse Macdonald
Genre: Alphabet Book
Theme(s): Alphabet, Rhyming

Opening line/sentence:
A was once an apple pie,
Nice insidy, apple pie!
Brief Book Summary:
The book progresses through the letters of the alphabet providing a word that starts with the same letter and then a rhyme. The letters of the alphabet are linked together through the illustrations on the open pages.

Professional Recommendation/Review #1:
Karin Sne
Andrea Sobel
Title: A was once an Apple Pie
Author: Edward Lear
Illustrator: Suse Macdonald
Genre: Alphabet book, Concept book
Theme(s): animals, alphabet, and poetry
Opening line/sentence: A was once an apple pie, pidy, widy, tidy, pity, nice insidy, apple pie.
Brief Book Summary: This book goes through the letters of the alphabet. Each verse has a different animal and short rhyme scheme that follows. The book starts with A and this is the only letter that does not have an animal but instead apple pie is used to
Christine Turner
Feb 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: alliteration
Handpainted cut paper artwork by Caldecott winner Suse Macdonald illustrates this stunning adaptation of Edward Lear's classic ABC rhyme.

A was once an apple pie,
Nice insidey, APPLE PIE!

Suse MacDonald adapts Edward Lear's fun-to-say, alphabet rhyme in a picture book that combines the classic with the up-to-date. Bright, bold illustrations are created with handpainted cut paper. A Bear sniffs an Apple pie, a Cat and Dog are friends, an Eel and Fish share an ocean,
a Goose spills
Shenice Martin
Nov 23, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: alphabet
Awards: None

Grade Level: 1-2

This is a playful book about various things that starts with each letter of the alphabet. Most of the things mentioned are are animals such as bear, cat, dog, eel, fish, jaybird, mouse, pig, quail, skunk, turkey, unicorn, whale, yak and zebra. Each line of the book starts with " ___ was once a little".

Although this book is very simply I don't find it very enjoyable. It is great practice for children learning the letters in the alphabet. On the bright s
Sep 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: abc-books
1. A Was Once an Apple Pie
2. Awards: None
3. Genre: ABC book
4. No particular setting
5. This book offers two very important learning tools. The ABC's are addressed in this book by using different animals and things. Along with the ABC's rhyming is incorporated. The author takes the first word which and from there he will rhyme a series of about five to eight words. Both of these are very important concepts in the classroom. Children learn and think about words completely differently when words are
Kelsi Wilkins
Oct 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: libs-642
This was and alphabet picture for students learning their letters and how to read. This book was fun to read. The pictures were exciting and the colors were bright. The words were also sort of a tongue twister, the students must take their time and read slow to make sure they say each word. Having partner with this book will also help students learn. The younger students will need help with pronouncing some words but they can still learn the letters. The older students will know the letters but ...more
Becky B
Aug 18, 2013 rated it liked it
Edward Lear wrote this rhyming, somewhat nonsensical alphabet poem in the 1800s. Suse MacDonald has added some colorful illustrations in a style similar to Eric Carle that make the rhymes come to life. Kids should love the fun rhymes for each animal or object. Obviously, it is a fun book to use for learning the alphabet. Teachers could also use this when studying rhyming sounds or it could be used as a model for students to write their own rhyming poetry a'la Lear (just be careful which words ar ...more
Jun 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A was once an Apple Pie, by Edward Lear, is a young children's picture book that helps students learn their alphabet. The picture book is very descriptive with several pictures and colors. Each letter is presented to the reader in a rhyming fashion. Each letter is named after a word (B for Bear) and then that word is used in a rhyming pattern. This book allows students to learn what a rhyme is and how students can make their own rhyming words.
Sydney Klimas
Feb 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book was very good - it was a great way to teach the alphabet to little kids. The alphabet is taught in a fun way by incorporating all the things from each letter into each page. Example being: S was a skunky, dunky, chunky, skunky, stinky, stunky, little skunk! This incorporates rhyme in as well as alphabet learning. I will definitely be putting this on my bookshelf in my future classroom.
Sandra Vicars
Sep 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rdg-334
Such a catchy little book! A Was Once An Apple Pie uses animals, plants, pie and ink for each letter of the alphabet. I loved the rhymes and caught myself not stopping when it came to the last word on each page. I wanted to add the y to the end! The graphics are cute and colorful. There are lots of sounds and rhyming to practice.
Description: Each letter has a rhyme that emphasizes the letter of the alphabet that is being taught.

Illustrations: Colorful, clear and easy to follow for even the youngest children.

Keywords/Themes: alphabet, animals, rhymes
Nov 21, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: k-2
Shelves: picture-book
This alphabet book does a great job of illustrating the words as well as the letter. It provides various examples for each letter. I thought this book was fun and unique from most other alphabet books.
Sarah Adamson
This is a clever book going through the alphabet and full of nonsense words from Edward Lear. It was a really good read from my early reader as the nonsense words all rhyme making her look at the start of the word and rhyming it nicely.
Autumn Yoon
Apr 12, 2012 rated it liked it
GREAT book to use when introudcing ABCs and commas in a series. This book is great for beginning and emerging readers. I would use this book for a lesson on the alphabet and commas in a series. Appropriate for grades K-1st.
Nov 01, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: kid-s-books
Another book to feed my ABC fanatic. I'm quite an enabler. This one is kind of a tongue twister, but not as bad as Tumble Me Tumbly, and much better. I think I had to read this one twice in a row the first time- always the sign of a winner.
Sep 25, 2013 rated it liked it
I like how each letter of the alphabet was clearly displayed followed by a picture that starts with that letter. I also enjoyed the rhyming throughout the book as well. This is good for kids learning their alphabet and like to have fun with words (rhyming).
Wonderful rhyming using pretend words! You could make up your own chant or tune to go along with each page in the book. The children love making up their own words for each letter. This is a good introduction or supplemental material for phonemic awareness.
Sep 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-reads
This is a great alphabet book with lots of rhymes and repetition. Younger readers will enjoy the repetition, while older readers will enjoy the world play and made up words. Parents will enjoy the sheer silliness of this book.
Dianne Norberg
It is an okay alphabet book. It does have rhyming words, but most are nonsense words.
Dec 25, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: children
Liked the illustrations, and it served its purpose. I just didn't care for the made up words (would be fun if you were learning about rhyming) or the "was once a" theme. I just didn't get it.
Jul 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: alphabet, children-s
Almost all letters were once little. The images are captivating the phrases are cute. Here's a look at t:
was once a turkey tom,
turkey, lurkey, perky, turkey,
herky-jerky, turkey-tom."
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Edward Lear was an English artist, illustrator and writer known for his literary nonsense, in poetry and prose, and especially his limericks, a form which he popularized.

For more information, please see