Friday, September 07, 2007

Mr. Apple's Family

A book I always think of when anyone talks about "apple" books is Mr. Apple's Family by Jean McDevitt. This small book was written over fifty years ago, but the story is timeless.

Mr. Apple and his wife live in the city in an apartment. Their oldest child, a boy, is named MacIntosh. (Mr. Apple firmly believes that a last name like "Apple" should be fully enjoyed, while his wife gently lobbies for "normal" names for her children.) Mac is followed by Jonathan, then a daughter named Delicious. After Delicious is another daughter, Snow. Finally the last child, also a girl, is named Ann ("an apple" - see?)

The apartment begins to seem crowded and the Apples want to move to the country and buy a house. They find a house in the middle of an apple orchard and move to the country. The house is expensive ($5000) so they rent it for a year and plan to grow, harvest, and sell the apples from the orchard to help pay for the house. The children get a goat and a lamb to help keep the grass cut, and the family works together to take care of the house and the orchard.

It's not an exciting, adventure-filled book. It's a mellow, slice-of-life book. All of my children enjoyed it as a read-aloud, and several went back and reread it to themselves.

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Anonymous gautami tripathy said...

Seems like good Children's book.

12:13 AM  
Anonymous karmelk said...

I remember this book from when I was a child. My mom gave all her books away after I married and I sure wish I'd have gotten that one. It was my favorite. I have 6 kids and it would have been nice to have it around for them to read. All are in gone or in college except the youngest. She is eleven, and an avid reader. I put it on all my book wish lists, but can't bring myself to pay the 'net' prices.
I found your posting while searching yet again for an inexpensive available copy. Thanks for the trip down memory lane and the summary. I had remembered all the children's names but had forgottent he plot. Blessings

7:42 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

I hope you find an inexpensive copy!

10:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, too, read Mr. Apple's Family as a child, loved it, and and a little apple "seed" must have been planted in the back of my mind. Little did I know how the impression of that book would grow in my life! I now live on a tiny farm with apple trees. Each year, my husband and our two children pick the apples to eat right off the tree or to can as our favorite-Red Hot Apples. We have goats and chickens, too. Our kids don't have apple names, but I recall that book every October.
Perhaps next year we will sell some apples so I can afford that $85!!! internet copy.
Good luck to everyone searching for a reasonable copy. next on my list is "Flossie and Bossie."

8:44 AM  
Anonymous Dottie said...

I was an avid reader of bookmobile books as a child. That was one of my favorites! I also remembered the names of the kids but not the whole plot or the name of the book. Thanks for the memories! Dottie

1:49 AM  
Blogger SummersHome said...

Thank you so much!! I found your site searching for the book. I read my mom's copy (which is now lost) over and over and even named my stuffed animal and gerbils after the childrens. Hopefully I can find it out there somewhere now that I have the right title. My aunt has a book The apple family returns (I think that's the right title).

5:57 PM  
Blogger Just The Three of Us Ladies said...

I saved all the great books from when I was a kid and I now have two young girls. I pulled this out and read it to them this week...inside is my grandmother's writing with her last name in it. So she must have given it to us when we were kids (I was born in 1973) and I kept it all these years, among others. It occurred to me to look it up online and I found your blog. I love that I am not alone in this book!

6:45 PM  
Blogger buttertart said...

This was my favourite book as a child. We lost it in one of our moves. I tried to get a copy for my children and then my grandchildren but never could. It definitely deserves a reprint. Rae Reid

11:37 PM  
Blogger buttertart said...

Hooray! I just bought a copy on for 30.00.Rae Reid

11:50 PM  
Blogger Books All Sorts said...

I have this book. Its a lovely little childrens story. Can read my review on it.

1:27 PM  
Anonymous BooksAllSorts said...

I just posted a comment on your review but I have my review in a different blog of mine.
Can read it on

Please leave me comments.

1:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My mom used to tell me how much she loved this book. She always wanted to read it to me but could never find it. She's gone now, and I have a son that I'd like to read it to, in memory of her. I'd like to find a fairly inexpensive copy.

12:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, I feel so lucky to have my copy that my Dad gave me on my 8th birthday..Sept 16,1961. I hadn't seen it for 30 yrs and assumed I'd lost it in all my moves as an adult and then one day I got a small package from my brother and said "I was unpacking some of Dad's books that I'd inherited and this was among them-- thought you'd like to have it" Well, my eyes welled up and I called my brother right away and could not thank him enough. We tend to lose so many of our childhood favorite things and now I hold on to my own son's books and special toys so when he is a father he can share them with his children or just go down memory lane with them. I hope anyone looking for a copy is able to do that and have it for their memories.

8:16 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

That's so wonderful that you have the copy your dad gave you! Hang on to it! I wonder if that book will ever be reprinted?

8:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to say a big thank you to you! I loved this book as a kid and have been looking for it for a long time...thanks!

1:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also have fond memories of this book from my childhood. I searched on line and found a pretty pricey vintage copy. More searching yielded a banged up copy for just a couple of dollars, which I bought. It's not in the best shape, but it's readable! What a wonderful story - thank you for mentioning it.

2:42 PM  
Blogger Casey. C. M said...

I loved the story aswell. It always made me want lots of children to give them unique names! However my stroy had a different family picture!

7:46 PM  
Anonymous Anne Belley said...

I, too, LOVED this book growing up and would get it out again and again from our library! I have hunted high and low for a copy, but the only one I see is on Amazon, for $75. I was always partial to the littlest one in the book, Ann Apple! (My name is Anne.)

3:41 PM  
Anonymous Julianne said...

Thanks for posting this! I was having a hard time remembering the title. My mother used to read this story to me and my little sister. Beyond being an enjoyable children's read, it was amusing to us because we are related to Johnny Appleseed...

10:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember this story was included in a collection of children's tales in a book that came along with our Encyclopedia Brittanica. I took the books with me when I left home after I was married. On day, my husband thought he would be a nice guy and clean out the kid's room and he GAVE AWAY my books! He still hasn't heard the last of it, and that was more than 30 years ago.

4:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also love, love, love this story! Mine was in a book of short stories that came with our encyclopedias. Sadly my mom gave away all the extra books during one of our moves. I was devastated and have been searching everywhere for that story book ever since. I never got to read it to my kids as they are all grown now. Everyone in my family knows how much I miss that story book and my mom has felt bad for years. We all look every time we come across old books but have had no luck yet. I am so happy to know it is an actual book and i will looking for an affordable copy!

3:05 PM  
Anonymous Sue said...

I loved this book as a child and have been searching for it. I still have some of my childhood books but this one got lost or given away. I hope someone somewhere is enjoying it as much as I did.

3:11 PM  

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