Apple Day is an annual celebration, held in October, of apples and orchards. It is celebrated mainly in the United Kingdom where it is Autumn and harvest time. The first Apple Day was held in 1990. Given that the Granny Smith green apple originated in Australia in 1868 and apples are popular as snacks in Australian school lunchboxes we should celebrate it here too.
Apples and their place in our language and life could make for some interesting discussions with children, even a whole unit of study. Look at how many sayings there are. Just some that come to mind:
• an apple for the teacher
• an apple a day keeps the doctor away
• that apple didn't fall far from the tree
• rotten to the core
• you are the apple of my eye
• don't upset the apple cart
• don't let one rotten apple spoil the whole barrel.
Scrolling through my library catalogue there were more than thirty picture books which highlighted apples. Some were sheer celebrations of the apple such as Apple by Nikki McClure and Little Apple: A Book of Thanks by Brigitte Weninger; others such as The Apple Trees by Vivian French, One Red Apple by Harriet Ziefert, Apples Apples Apples by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace, From Seed to Apple by Anita Ganeri and Apples Grow on a Tree by Mari Schuh explain the lifecycle of apples in an illustrated format suitable for young readers; some tell the benefits of and how to make apple pies (Amelia Bedelia's First Apple Pie; How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World) and yet others are just great stories for young children to enjoy and marvel at.
The most recent acquisition that sent me on this search for an Apple Day is The Apple Orchard Riddle by Margaret McNamara and Brian Karas. I bought this because their earlier book How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? had been such a success with the teachers and this story is also about teacher, Mr Tiffin and his class, and in it they go on a trip to an orchard and learn a lot about apples while trying to solve a riddle as well.
Other stories that I have shared with preschool or kindergarten classes to great effect are:
• Mr Brown's Magnificent Apple Tree by Yvonne Winer and Maya Winters
• A New House for Mouse by Petr Horacek
• Red Panda's Toffee Apples by Ruth Paul
• The Very Helpful Hedgehog by Rosie Wellesley
• The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall and Shari Halpern
• The Apple Tree by Lynley Dodd
and two picture books with more 'meat' and things to talk about
• Hubert and the Apple Tree by Bruno Hachler and Albrecht Rissler
• One Green Apple by Eve Bunting and Ted Lewin. This story also features an excursion to an apple orchard, but the main character here is Farah, a Muslim immigrant who is new to the class.