Book Mama: Audrey Wood’s Sweet Dream Pie

“Next, Ma fashioned two great pie crusts. Then the Brindles began to toss every sweet thing they could find into an enormous mixing bowl…Pa shoved the pie into the oven and slammed the door. Quickly he turned the oven dial past “bake,” “broil,” and “roast,” to a setting that simply said, ‘special.'”

Honestly, there is probably not a sweeter (and I mean sweet as in taste) book around than Sweet Dream Pie.  Audrey Wood tells the story of Ma and Pa Brindle who mix up a batch of “sweet dream pie”.  The pie is full of all sorts of goodies– candy corn, marshmallows, jelly beans and more and has to be baked in a special pie pan on a setting simply called, “special.” As the pie bakes, the whole neighborhood heats up so much so that no one can do anything at all. Finally, when the pie is cool enough to eat, Ma rings a bell and calls out “Its time for Sweet Dream Pie” and the whole neighborhood finds an excuse to stop by for a piece. Everyone that is except for Amy McPherson “who could eat not pie because it made her sneeze.”  As the pie was passed out, Ma warned, “Don’t eat too much! Only one piece or you’ll be sorry.” But of course, no one listened and they helped themselves to “sweet thirds and fourths.”  When the pie was gone, everyone headed home with full bellies and drowsy heads. And that, is “when the dreaming began…”

While reading this book all your senses are awakened.  You can feel the heat drifting through the neighborhood while the pie is baking and you can feel the cool breeze move through as the Brindles blow on it to cool it off. You can feel the characters full bellies as well as their drowsy heads. And, if you try really hard,  you can almost tasted the sweet dream pie yourself.

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After reading the story to my first graders, I told them we were going to each create our own recipe for Sweet Dream Pie.  I showed them several examples of recipes I had copied and enlarged from real cookbooks and we talked about the parts of a recipe (ingredients, quantities, preparation, cooking time/temperature).  I also had different measuring tools displayed for their reference. We did a bit of sorting– which measuring tool would you use for small amounts (teaspoon or tablespoon), large amounts(pint, gallon) and somewhere in the middle (cup). We also talked very briefly about which tools were for measuring dry ingredients vs wet.   Then we brainstormed three different lists to help us with our writing. Below is a sample list.

  1. ingredients
  2. units of measure
  3. cooking/baking words

brainstorm sample

Next, I showed the class the paper that we would be using to write our recipes.   I had a copy on the overhead and did a quick example with the whole class to be sure they understood what was expected of them. Then, I set them off to work….

recipe page

My students did an amazing job with their recipes- they were creative and some were quite funny.  I wish I had saved some real samples to share here, but did not. So you will have to use your imagination OR try it yourself!

© Stephanie Whittle * Boy Mama Teacher Mama * * 2012

7 thoughts on “Book Mama: Audrey Wood’s Sweet Dream Pie

  1. What a great idea! My students always loved assignments like this…creative and imaginative! It sounds like such a fun story, too!

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