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Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Pie is For Sharing, written by Stephanie Parsley Ledyard and illustrated by Jason Chin. Roaring Brook Press, Macmillan. Raincoast, 2018. $23.50 ages 3 and up

"Other things for sharing:

a jump rope,

your place in the middle,

a rhyme,


a boat ... "

While Canadians prepare to celebrate Canada's birthday this weekend, and our American neighbors look to later in the week for their own national celebration, this seems the perfect book to share today. It is an invitation to communities to revel in this first big party of the summer. We will all celebrate in our own ways, and hopefully with the same sense of community exhibited in this engaging picture  book.

Opening pages show a family of four preparing for a happy outing. A picnic basket is packed with tempting fruit pies, backpacks are filled, bike helmets are at the ready. Their bicycle procession heads off in the same direction others are taking, dad in the lead and dog in tow. Arrival at the park puts them in touch with a large multicultural group of friends and neighbors, all with sharing on their minds. Once the meal has been consumed, the children are left to their own devices to discover what else is worthy of sharing - a book, a ball, a tree, a jump rope ... the list goes on. Don't forget the sky and the evening's fireworks!

Stephanie Ledyard's lyrical text is impeccably complemented by Jason Chin's detailed and child-centered illustrations. Viewed through the eyes of the children in attendance, the perspectives shift to allow readers to see the joy inherent in the get-together. The many lovely details capture the often funny and always entertaining experiences those gathered share throughout the day and into the evening when fireworks provide a last hurrah.

This is a family and community celebration, and a perfect way to begin a joyful summer of time spent in each other's company.

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