- Ned’s New Home by Kevin Tseng
- Reading level: Preschool / Children’s picture book
- Hardcover: 32 pages
- Publisher: Tricycle Press (August 11, 2009)
- ISBN-13: 978-1582462974
Back-of-the-book blurb: When Ned’s apple begins to rot, he must search for a new house. A pear isn’t quite right. A watermelon isn’t perfect either. A pile of blueberries? All wrong! Will any other fruit make Ned feel at home again?
She is Too Fond of Books’ review: Just in time for apple season (here in the northeast, anyway), Kevin Tseng offers young children a new squirmy friend who lives in an apple – Ned the worm. The apple has begun to rot, so he sets off to find Ned’s New Home.
He tries several options – a wobbly pear, a cavernous watermelon, blueberries that won’t stay stacked, etc. None of these fruits feel like home – the lemon is too sour and Ned blends in to the kiwi!
Just as Ned is about to construct a cherry-condo, a bird swoops in and carries him off! Ned quickly parachutes to safety, as he lands in a tree full of apples and finds his new home.
This is a simple but fun story, accompanied by vibrant watercolor illustrations. We were especially impressed by the mottled rind on the watermelon and the texture of the kiwi.
My two younger children enjoyed reading about Ned’s adventures. LM5 noticed the fruit flies buzzing around the rotten apple “like our banana bowl, Mom!” (how embarrassing!), and got a kick out of Ned holding an umbrella because “The walls turned to mush, and apple juice rained every day.”
LW7 read the text on her own, and commented on Ned’s expressions (who knew worms could show such pleasure and surprise!?). She loved the asides from Ned’s friends, and read these in a voice different from her narrating voice (so dramatic!)
With shades of Goldilocks looking for something “just right” at the Three Bears’ House, and Dorothy realizing “there’s no place like home,” Ned’s New Home is a cute picture story book with a happy ending.
Our readings inspired apple picking, so I’ll leave you with a recipe my grandmother called Swedish Apple Cake. The topping is much more of a crumble than a crust, and it has to be scooped (not sliced), so we call it:
Nana’s Apple Slop
- 7 apples, peeled and sliced
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2/3 cup butter, melted
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1 egg
- 1 pinch salt
- Fill a deep dish pie plate 2/3 full of apples and raisins
- Mix cinnamon and sugar, and sprinkle on top.
- Mix remaining ingredients in small bowl and pour over apples.
- Bake at 350′ until golden brown about 45 minutes.