Apples, ho! When Papa decides to pull up roots and move from Iowa to Oregon, he can't bear to leave his precious apple trees behind. Or his peaches, plums, grapes, cherries, and pears. Oh, and he takes his family along too. But the trail is cruel -- first there's a river to cross that's wider than Texas...and then there are hailstones as big as plums...and there's even a drought, sure to crisp the cherries. Those poor pippins! Luckily Delicious (the nonedible apple of Daddy's eye) is strong -- as young 'uns raised on apples are -- and won't let anything stop her father's darling saps from tasting the sweet Oregon soil. Here's a hilarious tall tale -- from the team that brought you Fannie in the Kitchen -- that's loosely based on the life of a real fruiting pioneer. Apple Facts More than 7,500 varieties of apples are grown throughout the world. About 2,500 varieties grow in the United States. The apple variety Delicious is the most widely grown in the United States. Apples are part of the rose family. The science of fruit growing is called pomology. Fresh apples float. That's because 25 percent of their volume is air. Cut an apple in half, across the core, and you'll see a star shape. It takes apple trees four to five years to produce their first fruit. It takes about thirty-six apples to make one gallon of apple cider.
Deborah Hopkinson is the author of numerous award-winning children's books, including Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt, winner of the International Reading Association Award, Girl Wonder, winner of the Great Lakes Book Award, and Apples to Oregon, a Junior Library Guild Selection. She received the 2003 Washington State Book Award for Under the Quilt for the Night. She lives in Oregon. Visit her onlinw at DeborahHopkinson.com.
Nancy Carpenter is the acclaimed illustrator of Fannie in the Kitchen, as well as Masai and I, Sitti’s Secrets, and Loud Emily, among other books. She lives with her husband, daughter, and cat in Brooklyn, New York.