Kids Review: Liz’s Pie in the Sky (23) (The Critter Club) (Callie Barkley)



About This Book:

In this twenty-third book of the Critter Club series, Liz and her friends spend a festive fall weekend at Marigold Lake. They bake pies, go on nature walks, and help a goose keep up with his flock!

Liz and her friends are at Marigold Lake for a festive fall weekend. Liz has lots of ideas for the weekend: they’ll go fruit picking, bake pies, and admire the nature around them. While out and about, the girls discover an injured goose who is hungry and separated from his flock. Will they be able to get their goose friend, Pie, back in shape so he can fly south with the others?

With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, The Critter Club chapter books are perfect for beginning readers.


*Review Contributed by Karen Yingling, Staff Reviewer*

A Pleasant Fall Weekend
Liz’s family are going to the cabin at Marigold Lake for a fall festival, and she invites her friends Marion, Amy, and Ellie to come with her! Liz’s mother is a veterinarian, and the girls once found and rehabilitated baby mice, so they are looking forward to investigating the wild life in the area. Liz also wants to bake a special pie, since Thanksgiving is coming soon, and wants to plan other activities as well. Unfortunately, things don’t go as well as she would like. Her pies don’t turn out to her satisfaction, but she takes a break to go on a picnic and walk with her friends, and they find a goose who is left behind. With Dr. Purvis’ help, they nurse the goose back to help, and it turns out that berry pie without sugar is just right for a hungry bird.
Good Points
This has a great mix of black and white illustrations and large text, and the small size of the book is similar to Poppy Green’s Sophie Mouse or Dillard’s Mouse Scouts. The reading complexity is perfect for readers who have mastered I Can Read Books and are moving on to titles like The Magic Treehouse. Even though I hadn’t read any other books in the lengthy series, it was easy to jump right into this story. I believe that the other books rotate through focusing on the other characters. The cast is slightly divere, with Ellie appearing to be Black.

The story is charming, with the girls playing the alphabet game on the car ride, getting along together, and enjoying nature. The lake house setting is interesting, and the girls talk about a lot of experiences that some readers might not get to experience first hand, like picking apples, sweet potatoes, and pumpkins. Liz has a grown up with her in the kitchen while she is making the pie, and she is generally safe, although she does burn the filling.

Readers who like books with a pleasant ensemble cast, like Meyerhoff’s The Friendship Garden or with a concentration on food like Hiranandani’s Phoebe Green series will enjoying spending a weekend with Liz and her friends, and might even be interested in embracing the lost art of pie making!


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