Friday, September 4, 2009

REVIEW: Sweet Dream Pie

Wood, A.  (1998).  Sweet Dream Pie.  New York:  Blue Sky Press.


Ma and Pa Brindle are awake late in the night in their attic, looking for the utensils necessary to make sweet dream pie.  As they begin to mix the ingredients, magical and sweet things begin happening around the neighborhood.  Then after the pie is shared with the other residents of Willobee Street, a new magic begins as dreams come to life.

Mark Teague's illustrations are in his usual style, with many colors and curves (both of which serve this the special pie well).

As with so many books, this story could be critiqued for it's treatment of gender.  Ma Brindle does the majority of the cooking (although her husband does help by setting the table) and it falls to her to get the child-like dreams to behave (and *SPOILER* she accomplishes that by sweeping the dreams away).


After sharing this story with students, a teacher could guide them in making their own favorite type of pie.  Other potential lesson could be on the sense of community and sharing presented in the novel.

If used as a read aloud for younger children, a teacher could guide them in counting the number of cats (and later dogs) featured in various illustrations.  

Quotes of Note:

"I haven't slept a wink tonight," Pa said.  "I've been craving a piece of Sweet Dream Pie, just like the one you made me long ago."

"When the dough was ready, Ma rolled it out on the table, and when she did, all the people on Willobee Street (including little Amy McPherson) rolled out of their beds and onto their floors."

"Standing side by side, the Brindles blew upon the pie to cool it.  A welcome breeze sprang up, whirling napkins and party plates into the air and clearing the fog."

"No one had ever tasted anything like Ma Bindle's Sweet Dream Pie.  It was so sweet, happy tears just rolled down everyone's cheeks."

"Ma Brindle had never seen so many wild dreams.  They were everywhere and into everything!  The dreams were too happy and too excited, doing things they shouldn't do."

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