"Red Are the Apples"

Red Are the Apples


Book: Red Are the Apples

Authors: Marc Harshman and Cheryl Ryan

Illustrator: Wade Zahares

Publisher: Sandpiper, republished in 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0152019174 (hardcover)

ISBN-10: 0152019170 (hardcover)

ISBN-13: 978-0152060657 (paperback)

ISBN-10: 0152060650 (paperback)

Language level: 1

(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)

Reading level: Ages 3 and up

Rating: 5 stars (EXCELLENT)

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

Disclosure:  Any books donated for review purposes are in turn donated to a library.  No other compensation has been received for the reviews posted on Home School Book Review.

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Harshman, Marc, and Ryan, Cheryl.   Red Are the Apples (published in 2001 Harcourt Children’s Books).   It is autumn.  What can a person find in the garden? There is a bountiful harvest of bright colors with lots to explore.  Inviting rhymes and the antics of a boy with his wagon and his pets, including two hens, and a black cat promise a full day of fun for young readers as they stroll through the plentiful fields of a farm and pick out all the luscious fruits and vegetables in a colorful fall garden.   Together they inspect lima beans, corn, pumpkins, beets, eggplants, and apples, which are all ready for harvest.  Each rhyme begins with a color, as in “Yellow’s the corn/ on stalks growing high,/ shading the pumpkins/ and reaching the sky.”  This is one of the seasonal-themed books that we checked out of the library for our younger son Jeremy when he was beginning to read to accompany his science studies.

Red Are the Apples is a wonderful introduction to farm life for rural dwellers and city folks alike. Each double-page spread takes the young reader through different crops and various activities of a thriving farm, including canning and cider making.  The beautiful illustrations done in zesty pastels on paper are well designed with full-page pictures throughout and offbeat perspectives, and the autumn colors are bright, overall portraying the feeling of fall.  “Purple are the eggplants,/shiny and smooth,/nestled near Scarecrow,/who’s missing a tooth;” and, “Black is the hat/on Scarecrow’s head./It points to the sky/and the crows overhead.”  The book ends on a pleasant note, with an expression of thanks for the abundance of harvest time.  Children will also delight in the search-game fun of finding the hen that appears on almost every page.  The simple writing makes it great for young children.

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