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Some have exotic names like Rome Beauty or Fuji. Others suggest fun — think ‘Gala.’ Still others suggest a tasty treat: red or golden delicious.

But they’re apples all. And I for one associate these crunchy delights with fall. Maybe it’s because we’ve gone apple picking each autumn since our son was in preschool.

Recently, I was looking for another local orchard, (opens in a new window) I came across a mention of Johnny Appleseed, an endlessly interesting character who’s credited with sowing apple seeds across the country.

A recent book by Jane Yolen (opens in a new window) called Johnny Appleseed: The Legend and the Truth (opens in a new window) (HarperCollins) puts fact and fiction side-by-side in a handsomely illustrated book that calls out to be shared with children from 5 up. (The book is out just in time to help celebrate Johnny Appleseed’s birthday (opens in a new window) next week.)

I’m also reminded of books that children can be encouraged to explore how, where, and why apples grow. Easy science books like Gail Gibbons’ Apples (opens in a new window) (Holiday House) and How Do Apples Grow? (opens in a new window) by Betsy Maestro (HarperCollins) intrigue children and just may spark interests that go off into other areas (seasons and weather changes, for starters).

From fact to fiction, the change of seasons can signal new activities and good reading.

Next week is the National Book Festival (opens in a new window). Stay tuned for more information about some of the luminaries that will appear on the National Mall in DC!

About the Author

Reading Rockets’ children’s literature expert, Maria Salvadore, brings you into her world as she explores the best ways to use kids’ books both inside — and outside — of the classroom.

Publication Date
September 19, 2008

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