To The Cider MillI probably should have waited until fall to review this fall-themed book, but I just received it, and couldn’t wait! A chilly February day is a good time for some hot spiced apple cider, though, so let’s have some as we look at today’s book. It’s such a delight to add a book by a writing friend to our list of Perfect Picture Books!

Title: To the Cider Mill

Author/Illustrator: Danna York

Publisher: By Heart Books, 2006, 2012

Genre: Picture book, participatory

Audience Age: 4 to 8 years

Themes/Topics: fall, autumn, apples, apple cider, cider mills, art, self-expression

Opening Sentences: Come to the cider mill and you may see – a basket of apples, red, green and yellow.

Synopsis: In rhyming couplets (except for the first page) the book takes readers on a visit to a cider mill in the fall. The main character is the reader, as the book is addressed to “you” throughout. It tells of the things a person would see on a visit to a cider mill. There isn’t the usual conflict/concern that must be resolved, it’s simply a day at a mill.

The unique and delightful thing about this book is that it is participatory. The illustrations are presented as coloring pages for the reader to color as they wish, and the page facing each illustration is left blank with a prompt for a further illustration to be drawn by the child, such as “Some apples rolled out of the basket. Draw them here.” This goes beyond being simply a coloring or activity book, with the story and the gentle rhymes that children will enjoy long after they have colored in the pages.

Activities/Resources: This book is really its own activity, with all the coloring and drawing. There is also a list of apple-related activities at the back of the book.

In addition to the activities listed in the book, there are other possibilities: has a simple recipe for making fresh homemade apple cider.

The section of for parents has a recipe for hot spiced apple cider that children and adults alike will enjoy.


Here’s the link to Danna York’s Facebook Page.


Every Friday, bloggers join together to share picture book reviews and resources, thanks to author Susanna Leonard Hill’s brainchild, “Perfect Picture Book Fridays.” Susanna then adds the books (and links to the reviews) to a comprehensive listing by subject on her blog. Find the entire listing at her “Perfect Picture Books.”


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