Tag Archives: Marjorie Priceman

How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World


Making an apple pie is really very easy.
First, get all the ingredients at the market.
Mix them well, bake, and serve.

Unless, of course,
the market is closed.

In that case, go home and pack a suitcase.

The pie-craving protagonist travels to Italy (for wheat), Frances (for a chicken that lays “elegant eggs”), Sri Lanka (for kurundu bark), England (for a cow to provide milk), Jamaica (for seawater and sugar cane), and Vermont (for apples). Once the traveling is through, all she will have to do is:

mill the wheat into flour,
grind the kurundu
bark into cinnamon,
evaporate the seawater
from the salt,
boil the sugar cane,
persuade the chicken
to lay an egg…

Well, you get the idea. This book is thoughtful, colorful, and quietly funny. Perhaps it was inspired by the famous Carl Sagan quote: “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.” (My youngest swears by the apple pie recipe on the last page.)

Author: Marjorie Priceman
Illustrator: Marjorie Priceman

The Bake Shop Ghost


Miss Cora Lee Marriweather
ran the best bake shop in
these parts–maybe even in the whole
state. The chocolate in her Mississippi
mud pie was darker than the devil’s
own heart. Her sponge cake was so light
the angels kept hoping it would float up
to heaven. No birthday was complete
without a Merriweather layer cake with
her special buttercream frosting.

It would be hard to find a sweeter ghost story than this one, although it does start out sadly. Miss Cora Lee’s baked goods get lots of attention, but she is basically ignored. After she dies (no one cries at her funeral until they realize her desserts are a thing of the past), her ghost refuses to leave her bake shop until a new baker can fulfill a very special request.

This book is very enjoyable to read aloud and the boys love hearing about (and dreaming of choosing from) the bake shop’s wares.  I especially like the gumption, persistence, and–ultimately–friendship of the two main characters.

Author: Jacqueline K. Ogburn
Illustrator: Marjorie Priceman