My rating: 4 of 5 stars
**I received an ecopy from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my unbiased review** Thank you!
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In a touching poetic novel, a fall apple ritual—along with some inventive storytelling—brings a family together as they grieve the loss of a beloved family member.
When the first apple falls from the tree, Faith and Peter know that it’s applesauce weather, even though Peter is getting a little old for such things. It also means Uncle Arthur should be here to tell his stories, with a twinkle in his eye as he spins tales about how he came to have a missing finger. But this is the first year without Aunt Lucy, and when Uncle Arthur arrives, there’s no twinkle to be found and no stories waiting to be told. Faith is certain, though, that with a little love and patience, she and Peter might finally learn the truth about that missing finger. Paired with warm, expressive illustrations by Amy June Bates, this heartfelt tale by award-winning poet Helen Frost highlights the strength of family and the power of a good story.
Rating: 4 stars
Plot: Like a childhood memory
Overall: A fun read
Brilliant! This is both a love story, and a tall tale, beautifully crafted! I love the way the author chose to tell the story, the style is perfect, and truly makes the reader what to know more! I loved hearing both Uncle Arthur's story to the kids, and the memories of when he was a young boy and Lucy was just a pretty girl.
Every year, when the first apple falls, Aunt Lucy and Uncle Arthur come to make applesauce at the old family house. Then Aunt Lucy dies, and the tradition is no longer certain. Faith waits, sure her uncle will come, but her parents warn her that he might not show this year. Uncle Arthur, always with a story to tell, wonders if he will be missed? Yet, true to her name, Faith waits, long into the night, itching for another of Uncle Arthur's tall tales!
This is a fun story, with an old-timey feel. A story told with love, the kind that elders enjoy telling children, and that children beg for again and again. When reading I felt as it I was a child, listening along with Faith and Peter. With pretty pictures, and an unusual story this book earned a four star rating from me!
- The one point that I didn't care for, and was more than a little squeamish to read, there is a part where Uncle Arthur passes on his pocket knife. Then jokes that to keep it sharp, Peter had to sleep with it open, under his pillow one night a year, every year. I know Arthur was just giving Peter a hard time, but on the off chance that a child does this, I would rather the joke be something less dangerous!
About the Author:
I'm dipping my toes into goodreads to see how it works. Thanks for finding me here, and thanks to everyone who has read and written about my books. I love to know you're there, even if I don't come here too often to say so.
Helen Frost is the author of six novels-in-poems and two picture books for children and young adults. She lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
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