Hopkinson, D., & Carpenter, N. (ill.) (2004). Apples to Oregon: Being the (slightly) true narrative of how a brave pioneer father brought apples, peaches, pears, plums, grapes and cherries (and children) across the plains. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers. ISBN: 9780439800112
Annotation: When the family gets ready to move from Iowa to Oregon in 1847, Daddy can’t stand the thought of leaving his fruit trees behind. So he brings them along.
Reaction: I really enjoyed this look at how orchards came to Oregon. I never would have thought to wonder where those original fruit trees came from, and this is a fun look at how one man got a wagon full of trees nearly 2,000 miles across the country. The narrator has a great, authentic voice and heroically protects her Daddy’s baby trees.
The art is silly and adds to the lighthearted tone of the story. I love the image of Daddy singing a lullaby to his trees in his long johns.
This book would be great in an Oregon 4th-5th grader class, as part of a local history unit. Teachers in the rest of the country could also use it when studying the Westward Expansion.
Media Used: Oil paint
Illustrator’s Website: None