Review of Pie Is for Sharing

Pie Is for Sharing
by Stephanie Parsley Ledyard; 

illus. by Jason Chin
Preschool, Primary    Porter/Roaring Brook    32 pp.
5/18    978-1-62672-562-1    $17.99

This idyllic, joyously inclusive picture book takes an ordinary concept — 
sharing — and makes it extraordinary. A boy and his family bike to a lakeside picnic, bearing several homemade pies. Then the text begins: “Pie is for sharing.” Turning the pages, we are introduced to more shareable things, such as jump ropes and books; and things shared less tangibly, such as rhymes and time. As Ledyard’s text (simple and child-focused, with overtones of A Hole Is to Dig) continues to muse on the nature of sharing, Chin’s detailed watercolor and gouache pictures take us through the sunny day at the lake, mostly centering on the experiences of the boy and his little sister but expanding to include a host of others. Kids climb trees, build sandcastles, throw sticks for the dog; the little sister scrapes her knee and requires a hug and multiple, creatively applied bandages. (Yes, there’s humor in these tender illustrations.) Shadows lengthen, and the reader begins to realize that this picnic isn’t a random event: it’s a Fourth of July celebration. As the community gathers on blankets, ready to watch the fireworks, Chin zeroes in on the faces, and as different as they are from one another — a true diversity of races and genders and ages — they share the same rapt expression. “Many can share one light,” says the text, poignantly. “And a blanket? A breeze? The sky? These are for sharing.”

From the May/June 2018 Horn Book Magazine: Special Issue: Making a Difference.
Martha V. Parravano
Martha V. Parravano
Martha V. Parravano is book review editor of The Horn Book, Inc., and co-author of the Calling Caldecott blog.

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