To the Cider Mill — Perfect Picture Book Friday

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.”


11 thoughts on “To the Cider Mill — Perfect Picture Book Friday”

  1. We don’t have a very good “fall season” where I live now (unless you travel an hour or so). Since I grew up in the applie capital of Georgia, I should check this one out.

  2. I could use some warm cider today. I’m cold. Lovely choice and I’m glad you decided to review it because it warmed my heart! I love fall and I grew up with lots of apple trees in our backyard. I live in the right belt. So this book brings back memories. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I LOVE the cover of this book! And what a great idea to have activities in the book! I like that! And I love apples!! So I’m going to have to find this book. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I miss apple picking, but love to help my friends when the season comes round. Cider making is fun, but it’s the reward I am always after – can’t get that taste in a bottle!

  5. Love the cover, Beth! And the book sounds delightful, and like so much fun with the interactivity. Great choice! So glad to be adding it to our list because it’s a different kind of book. I must remember this one as an example of a PB that isn’t in first or third person! Also, I love apples and cider and fall, so really you’ve got me all the way 🙂

  6. Thank you everyone for the amazing comments~so excited to hear! I am so blessed by Beth and this wondeful book review! Please contact me ~I`d love to hear from you. More book reviews would be awesome!Share if you`d like.Thank you!
    Danna York

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