- Pie Is For Sharing by Stephanie Parsley Ledyard
ISBN 978-1-62672-562-1 $17.99
Reviewed from galleys R* 3-7 yrs
A quiet story about sharing becomes a festive Fourth of July picnic for a big, extended multicultural family in this subtle and joyful picture book. “Pie is for sharing,” of course, but so is a book (a couple of kids read alongside the companionable dog), a ball (dog runs off with the ball), and a tree “even when you think it is yours alone” (a robin looks down on the contemplative child perched on a high branch). There’s also an acknowledgment that some things can be hard to share (the little girl tries to call back the dog that’s chasing after a running crowd) and that when you are hurt, it can help to share “a hug, and some bandages, and the story about what happened.” The culmination, of course, is a viewing of the fireworks and enjoying a blanket, breeze, and sky that are for sharing “just like pie.” There’s an echo of Ruth Krauss in the sweetly quotidian take on sharing possibilities and of Liz Garton Scanlon’s All the World (BCCB 10/09) in the jubilant and lyrical togetherness, with an added hat-tip to classic ways of celebrating America’s birthday with her twenty-first century residents. Chin’s watercolors paint the scenes with gentle realism that’s enhanced with elegant composition and neat touches of design (as kids jump rope, for instance, their hair bounces, their shadows spread before them, and the concrete path where they jump widens diagonally toward the viewer). The poses are particularly authentic, whether it be the youngsters standing confidently as they sing into their banana mics, the kids crouching as they peer down at a beach find, or the casually clustered dads shooting the breeze, and viewers will enjoy finding the easily recognizable members of the crowd as they appear again and again and spotting some small evolving plotlines. The sharing focus here could complement Antoinette Portis’ conceptual works such as Now (BCCB 7/17), and this will also provide impetus for kids to discuss their own family celebrations.