Sour Apple

by Linda Liu (Author) Linda Liu (Illustrator)

Reading Level: K − 1st Grade


(We promise it's sweet.)

From the creator of Hidden Gem comes a funny and delightful new picture book about an apple who learns the importance of self-acceptance and patience after being left behind during picking season.

Ever been picked last? Well, this sour apple knows a thing or two about what it feels like to be forgotten. When apple season passes and he's left on the cold, hard ground, he questions his place in the world. As his introspection branches out into different ideas of what could have been if he was chosen, he learns some core truths about what it means to be alive.

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An uplifting tale of triumph.

Review quotes

Praise for Hidden Gem

While there are many recent children's books that celebrate identity, make room for this one, which blends subtle humor and superb design for a profound, deftly conveyed message. . . Breathtaking. —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Liu has created a delightful, reflective, rhyming, and engaging book for emerging readers. Her illustrations at first glance look simple, but are unassumingly detailed with social justice, racial, and gender identity connections that allow parents and teachers to talk about inclusion, tolerance, and acceptance within the context of the story, that can easily transfer to daily life and interactions. Children will enjoy having this book read to them and reading it themselves. —School Library Journal, starred review

Alongside message-forward text, it's the glowing colors of Liu's distinctive visual style that carry the overarching message of self-wonder and innate worth. —Publishers Weekly

Liu's art matches the quirky tone of the book, using predominantly geometrical shapes with beautifully textured watercolor patterns . . . the reminder to love yourself as you are is still sweet and worthy of sharing. —The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Linda Liu
Linda Liu is an illustrator and a designer based in Southern California with a taste for tactile textures, saucy shapes, and palatable palettes. She graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design and now works freelance and full-time so she can be a girl boss and a girl employee at the same time. She is the author and illustrator of Hidden Gem.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Henry Holt & Company
Publication date
July 09, 2024
BISAC categories
JUV019000 - Juvenile Fiction | Humorous Stories
JUV029000 - Juvenile Fiction | Nature & the Natural World | General
JUV039140 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
Library of Congress categories

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