Applesauce Weatherby Helen Frost, Amy June Bates (Illustrations)

Published August 9th 2016 by Candlewick Press

5 Stars

Synopsis: 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.

My Review: What a wonderful book. Applesauce Weather is a short novel written in verse from Helen Frost. The apples are ready, and it’s applesauce weather. Lucy and Peter are waiting for Uncle Arthur to come, but Aunt Lucy passed on last year, so mom says he might not come this year. Lucy waits outside all day, Peter is not so sure, but Uncle Arthur arrives. He is a little sad and does not have any stories for the children at first, but he realizes what they are waiting for and he comes through. Every year he tells them stories about how he lost part of one of his fingers, but they are always just fun stories. Will this be the year that the children finally find out how he lost his finger? Will he be able to share all the love he had with Aunt Lucy? This year Peter is interested in Rose, the young girl that lives in Uncle Arthur’s old house. Does he care about Uncle Arthur’s stories anymore?

The story takes place over a lovely fall weekend and includes short introductions to each section from Aunt Lucy. It’s enhanced by the black and white sketches by Amy June Bates. It will make a wonderful mentor text for story-telling and for read aloud for younger students. It illustrates the importance to talking to older relatives to find out about family history and memories that some day will be gone if not told and remembered by younger ones. I loved this story and think it would be a great addition to every family library. A treasure.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.