When Alice's Aunt Polly passes away, she takes with her the secret to her world-famous pie-crust recipe. Or does she? In her will, Polly leaves the recipe to her extraordinarily surly cat Lardo . . . and then leaves Lardo in the care of Alice. Suddenly Alice is thrust into the center of a piestorm, with everyone in town trying to be the next pie ...Read MoreWhen Alice's Aunt Polly passes away, she takes with her the secret to her world-famous pie-crust recipe. Or does she? In her will, Polly leaves the recipe to her extraordinarily surly cat Lardo . . . and then leaves Lardo in the care of Alice. Suddenly Alice is thrust into the center of a piestorm, with everyone in town trying to be the next pie-contest winner.Read Less
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Publishers Weekly, 2012-01-30 When Polly, the beloved Pie Queen of Ipswitch, dies, leaving a will that inexplicably bequeaths her secret piecrust recipe to her cat, it's up to her young niece, Alice, and her best friend, Charlie, to locate the missing recipe and help the town recover from the loss of Polly. This charming tale translates well to audio, with its lighthearted mystery and quirky cast of smalltown characters. Narrator Kate Rudd delivers a well-paced, entertaining performance and provides all the book's characters with unique voices. However, Rudd shines brightest when depicting the emotional growth of Alice's mother, who is initially bitter and resentful about the attention Polly received for her pies, but grows to learn that her daughter is a priceless treasure who should be appreciated and loved. Ages 9-12. A Scholastic hardcover. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly, 2011-08-29 Delightfully quirky characters populate the 1950s-era small town of Ipswitch, Pa., beginning with 10-year-old Alice's aunt Polly, pie baker extraordinaire, who confounds her family and neighbors by giving away-rather than selling-her shop's mouthwatering pies. Astonish-ing-ly, her nonprofit business flourishes, lifting the town's economy and fame, as Polly repeatedly wins the coveted Blueberry Award. Polly's death leads to widespread grieving, as well as anxiety about Ipswitch's future. Humor and mystery ensue when the town learns that Polly inexplicably bequeathed her secret piecrust recipe to her grouchy cat, Lardo, and Lardo to Alice. In response, adults indulge in behavior ranging from bizarre to criminal: the entire town begins baking pies, someone catnaps Lardo and ransacks Polly's store, and Alice's unpleasant and money-grubbing mother becomes even more so, feeling jilted by being left out of Polly's will. Alice and her friend Charlie become amateur sleuths and prevail over adult immaturity, while Polly's generous spirit resonates from beyond the grave. With pie recipes introducing each chapter, Weeks's (As Simple as It Seems) novel stimulates both sweet tooths and sweet nostalgia. Ages 9-12. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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