Porter's Magic Apple Pie
by Debi Moon
Archway Publishing

"'Magic,' said Grandma, 'is the love that you added to make the pie dough.'"

In this depiction of a grandmother's wisdom, a three-year-old boy learns to mix, chop, and bake by the magic of love. Porter wants dessert, so Grandma suggests that he help her make an apple pie to be shared with his parents, using special magic that she will teach him. First, he learns the magic of the stepstool. By climbing up on it, he is suddenly at the right height to help at the kitchen counter. As he helps mix the ingredients, he is encouraged to think about how much he loves his parents and his little sister. That is how much magic he can put into the pie. The magic of cleanliness is found in washing his hands. When it's time to cut the apples, Grandma lets Porter use a sharp knife after warning him of its dangers. Crinkling the dough on top of the pie will seal in the love that Porter has put into his work. The pie even smells magical. Porter is proud to help Grandma deliver the pie to his parents.

Author Moon is an experienced journalist now battling cancer. Writing for and about her grandson Porter has helped to lift her spirits. This charming story is well illustrated, showing a very modern grandmother who still has traditional cooking methods along with an intriguing method of teaching an enthusiastic and very energetic little boy, luring him with the promise of the magic of love imbued in each task. The book is designed as a read-to for children Porter's age, featuring large, realistic pictures on every page. However, it could also be read by older children on their own or to younger siblings. Moon's creation is in every way a positive and gently humorous look at cross-generational communication and caring and enriched with subtle lessons to be learned.

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