How to Bake an American Pie
May 22, 2007 (hardcover)
Simon & Schuster • Ilustrations by Raul Colón
ISBN-10: 0689865066 • ISBN-13: 978-0689865060

Suggest ages for this book:
4 - 8 years old


What happens when you pat out a crust of fruited plains into a melting pot and fill it with cupfuls of courage, meekness and might, and ladles of liberty? You get American Pie! Karma Wilson crafts a poem of all the whimsical ingredients you might find in the making of America and Raul Colón illustrates it with fun, flair and fantasy. Young readers will relish this celebration of America on the Fourth of July, or any day of the year.


How to Bake an American Pie is very special to me. It is a book about all the special, magical ingredients that have made our country great. These ingredients include things like meekness, might, majesty, liberty, forgiveness, diversity, and grace. The exuberant and fantastical illustrations by Raul Colón bring the story alive for children.  
I thought of the idea for How to Bake an American Pie as the statue of Saddam Hussein fell in Iraq. As I saw Iraqi citizens running forward and hitting the statue with their shoes I realized how important freedom of expression is. Until that moment those people weren't allowed to disagree with their government. I felt very grateful to live in a country where I am free to agree with a leader or not. I wanted to express that gratitude in words. Of course, I figured out how to have the metaphor include food and baking!
It is my hope that this book will help children to realize that they themselves are a special ingredient in our country.


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“Fans of Colón's elegant artwork will be surprised and delighted to find that he has taken his pictures to a place of whimsy that will have immediate appeal for the youngest children. The vehicle for the art is a highly original one: a recipe for America, beginning with "Preheat the world until fiery hot with a hunger and thirst to be free." Wilson's instructions then include "pat out a crust of fruited plains," "measure out meekness and might," "spice with ideas seasoned with dreams," and "place in God's grace and allow to rise." ...Kudos to the book's designer, whose use of white space and typeface enhance every aspect of the book. A wild, wonderful celebration.”
Ilene Cooper, Booklist awarding How to Bake an American Pie a Starred Review.

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