Pie In The Sky Book

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Broadcast Dvd And Streaming

Pie in the Sky by Lois Ehlert

The series was originally broadcast in the UK on BBC1 between 13 March 1994 and 17 August 1997.

In Australia, it was originally broadcast on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. In 2021, it was broadcast on 7two and streamed on 7plus.

The entire series is available on DVD in the UK.

In the United States, Acorn Media has released separate sets of all five series on 12 May 2009 , 26 January 2010 , 7 September 2010 , 25 January 2011 and 2 August 2011 . The complete series was released on DVD by Acorn Media on 11 November 2011.

The entire series is available for streaming through AcornTV.

In Australia, Via Vision Entertainment have released Series 1 & 2 on July 21, 2021 and will release Series 3-5 on September 15, 2021.

Review Of Pie In The Sky

Its been almost two years since Jingwen lost his father in a tragic accident he now finds himself starting over in a new country.

Pie in the Skyby Remy Lai illus. by the authorIntermediate Holt 380 pp.5/19 978-1-250-31409-3 $21.99 Paper ed. 978-1-250-31410-9 $12.99

Its been almost two years since Jingwen lost his father in a tragic accident he now finds himself starting over in a new country. The novel begins with Jingwen, his mother, and his younger brother Yanghao landing in Australia, where Jingwen does not know the language and isnt interested in learning English or making friends at his new school. All Jingwen wants to do is bake the elaborate cakes he and his father perfected without his strict mother finding out that he is breaking her no-baking rule. Lais debut illustrated middle-grade novel delves into Jingwens grief and onerous fraternal responsibilities while providing a window into the strain of adjusting to life in an alien world. Jingwens journey through loss will resonate with readers, while his quest to bake all the Pie in the Sky cakes deepens this story from typical middle-grade tearjerker to delectable page-turner. Lais frequent, blue-tinged illustrations provide comic relief and serve to propel the narrative forward they often include diagrams of the impressive confections Jingwen bakes. Heartbreakingly honest in equal parts funny and poignant.

From the issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

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A Relatable Story About Moving To A New Country

The story follows Jingwen and his younger brother, Yanghao, who move to Australia with their mother. Upon arriving to Australia, Jingwen notices that everything is a little different: he says hes landed on Mars, everyone speaks Martian , everyone looks a little different to him as well, and he doesnt really understand what people are saying most of the time. Through Lais very own illustrations and Jingwens child-like insight and narrative, Lai brilliantly captures the feelings and perspective of a young child who has to adapt to a new place where everything is different and unfamiliar. Jingwens young and goofy narrative voice was delightful, and it was almost nostalgic reading this story kids, especially immigrant kids, will easily relate to Jingwens narrative, and immigrant or diaspora adults may be reminded of what it was like to be a kid.

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An Emotional Portrayal Of Learning A New Language

Pie in the Sky may be the wholesome and charming read that its cover suggests, but in between the pages is a story that packs one emotional punch, especially with its exploration around language and belonging. For some people, learning a new language is as simple as that: learning a new language so you can add another to your repertoire. But for some, especially immigrant and diaspora individuals, learning a language can come with a lot of complex emotions that tie so deeply to identity, belonging, self-worth, family, obligation, fulfilment, and loneliness. How Lai portrays Jingwens emotional struggle with learning English was filled with frustration, feelings of inadequacy, and emotional. Although English is my first language, I empathised with Jingwens frustrations and mixed feelings in relation to the complex feelings I experience about learning Mandarin.

Keeper Of The Lost Cities

Pie in the Sky

by Shannon MessengerRELEASE DATE: Oct. 2, 2012

A San Diego preteen learns that shes an elf, with a place in magic school if she moves to the elves hidden realm.

Having felt like an outsider since a knock on the head at age 5 left her able to read minds, Sophie is thrilled when hunky teen stranger Fitz convinces her that shes not human at all and transports her to the land of Lumenaria, where the ageless elves live. Taken in by a loving couple who run a sanctuary for extinct and mythical animals, Sophie quickly gathers friends and rivals at Foxfire, a distinctly Hogwarts-style school. She also uncovers both clues to her mysterious origins and hints that a rash of strangely hard-to-quench wildfires back on Earth are signs of some dark scheme at work. Though Messenger introduces several characters with inner conflicts and ambiguous agendas, Sophie herself is more simply drawn as a smart, radiant newcomer who unwillingly becomes the center of attention while developing what turn out to be uncommonly powerful magical abilitiesreminiscent of the younger Harry Potter, though lacking that streak of mischievousness that rescues Harry from seeming a little too perfect. The author puts her through a kidnapping and several close brushes with death before leaving her poised, amid hints of a higher destiny and still-anonymous enemies, for sequels.

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Talk To Your Kids About

  • Families can talk about the theme of loss in Pie in the Sky. What books have you read in which the main character has lost one or both parents, or someone else they loved? In what ways do the characters react the same way? In what ways do they react differently?

  • Talk about the various kinds of diversity in the novel. Why are diverse representations important in children’s and young adult literature?

  • Why do you think Remy Lai decided to write a story that mirrors her own life? What kind of power do immigrant stories hold?

  • How do the characters demonstrate communication and kindness? Why are these important character strengths?

  • Publication date: May 14, 2019
  • Publisher’s recommended age: 8 – 12
  • Number of pages: 384

What Parents Need To Know

Parents need to know that Remy Lai’s Pie in the Sky is a moving illustrated middle-grade novel about 11-year-old Jingwen’s experience moving to a new country and learning English, and his cake-baking adventures with his little brother. The book delicately handles Jingwen’s grief and the sense of guilt he feels over his dad’s death while highlighting the importance of communication when coping with loss. The brothers use the oven to bake cakes while their mom is at work, and they sometimes fight with each other. One fight results in a character getting stitches. Jingwen has trouble fitting in at school, and kids make fun of him because he can’t speak English. Characters use insults such as “booger,” “stupid,” “crap,” “darn,” “heck,” “shut up,” and “fudge.”

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A Letter From Author Remy Lai:

If youre a new kid in a new country with a language you cant speak, I want you to know that it will be okay. At first, you might feel like youve landed on and that its impossible to make friends because you understand no one and no one understands you. But Im telling you that you will learn the language and you will make new friends. You might still miss your old home sometimes, but you will be okay.

You dont have to trust me on that just because I told you so. I speak from experience. As a kid, I moved from Indonesia to Singapore and had to learn English. Like Jingwen in Pie in the Sky, at first, I couldnt even put together simple English sentences. And now, here I am, telling you what to do like an annoying, know-it-all adult.

You will find ways to cope with a new experience. Maybe youll be like Jingwen, who loved baking cakes with his father. He decides to bake the elaborate cakes his father had planned to include on the menu for his bakeryeven though Jingwens mother has banned him and his little brother from using the oven. Also, if youre a kid who likes cakes, just like Jingwen and his little brother, I want you to know that once youre an adult, you can eat all the cakes you want, even right before dinner.

As someone with four siblings, I have something very important to tell you. I want you to know that . . . Im sorry, but your siblings will annoy you forever. But theyll also make you laugh. And they may even help you adapt to

Any Questions Remy Lai: Pie In The Sky

Middle Grade Book Talk: Pie in the Sky by Remy Lai

Pie in the sky is an amazing book by the amazing author Remy Lai. It was our March book of the month.

We had the chance to be able to send Remy Lai a few questions about her and her book, here are her answers:

Q: Have you always wanted to be an author? Were you already writing stories when you were in primary/secondary school?A: No. I didn’t know I wanted to be one until I was in university. When I was a kid, I never had an author or illustrator come to my school, so it didn’t even cross my mind that it was a career option. But I’ve been writing stories since I was in primary school. I loved English class because I got to write narrative essays.

Q: Why did you choose to write books for children? A: Well, my editor said that I have the mind of an eleven-year-old. He means it as a compliment, and I take it as one. I did not make a deliberate decision to write for children. That’s just who I write for when I first started writing, and I loved it and I still do.

Q: How do you come up with your ideas for books?A: I think ideas are everywhere, but you have to keep an eye out for them and also be open to possibilities. They can come from watching television, reading books, or just your everyday life.

Q: Do you base your characters on people you know or have known?A: I put bits of people I know into my characters. Not one character is exactly the same as someone I know.

Q: How long does it take to write a book?

Q: How many drafts did you have to do?

Q: Will Jingwen be in it?

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Is It Any Good

Kids will love the charming illustrations, relatable sibling relationship, and scrumptious cake descriptions in Remy Lai’s moving middle-grade tale. Lai pulls from her own childhood immigration experience and understands what it’s like to feel like an outsider and how difficult it can be to learn a new language. Her illustrations are often laugh-out-loud funny, especially during the boys’ secret cake-baking adventures, but they also literally depict Jingwen’s loneliness and alienation.

Lai delicately handles the loss of a parent, and readers will feel Jingwen’s sadness, regret, and guilt as details of his relationship with his dad are revealed. But as Jingwen bonds with his little brother and learns how to cope with his grief, kids will understand the importance of communication, and Pie in the Sky’s heartwarming conclusion shows that cakes, kindness, and friendship make life better.

Ultimately About Love Expressed As Cakes

Pie in the Sky and its brilliance is attributed to its holistic and multifaceted portrayal of a young childs experience of moving to a new country, but what makes Pie in the Sky special and wonderful is that, at its core, it is a story about love. To cope with the loneliness of moving to a new country, Jingwen, alongside his brother Yanghao, decide to bake every cake from their late fathers intended menu of the café he was going to open in Australia. For Jingwen, baking cakes is a way to connect with his father and a way of preserve his memory. Thus the cakes that he bakes not only give him a sense of completeness, belonging, home, and love, but also provide a way for him to connect with his brother and if that doesnt pull at your heart strings, I dont know what will.


Wonderful, insightful, and a story full of heart and empathy, Pie in the Sky is an incredible middle grade story that will make you smile, make you laugh, and will make you cry. It was an absolute privilege and honour to have received this book from Remy, and I cannot wait to see what books she will share with the world next.

Goodreads | Book Depository | My short review on Goodreads

Is this book for you?

Premise in a sentence: A Chinese boy moves to Australia with his younger brother and mother decides to bake cakes to overcome his loneliness and the struggle of language barriers.

Think twice if: Youre not a fan of child-like first person narratives.

Lets discuss!

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Illustrated By Remy Lai

El Deafo meets Inside Out and Back Again in this funny, emotional illustrated middle-grade debut about immigrating to Australia, being upstaged by an annoying little brother, baking cakes and overcoming loss.

When Jingwen moves to Australia, he feels like hes landed on Mars. Making friends is impossible, since he doesnt speak English, and he’s stuck looking after his little brother Yanghao. But Jingwen knows how to make everything better. If he can just make all of the cakes on the menu of the bakery his father had planned to openand complete the dream he didnt have time to finishthen everything will be okay. Sure, hell have to break his mothers most important rule about not using the oven when shes at work, keep his little brother from spilling his secret, and brush up on his baking skills, but some things are worth the risk. In her debut novel, Remy Lai captures with humour and heart, what it means to want desperately to belong and just how powerful one wish can be.

  • A funny, sensitive, story about belonging that will captivate even the most reluctant of readers and has the potential to win local and international awards.
  • Great package: This book will be a chunky, heavily illustrated paperback, with a two colour interior and a recipe for Rainbow Cakes at the end.
  • In the US, this novel was pre-empted in a six figure , two book deal.

Bridging Two Cultures With Cake

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I love cake. You probably love cake, too. For many of us, its just a dessert, but for 11-year-old Jingwen, cake is a connection to the culture he left behind in his old country. Cake is his voice when the language barrier silences him in his new home. And Jingwen believes that if he bakes enough, cake will become a connection to his late father. Cake is more than cake.

Jingwen is the protagonist of PIE IN THE SKY , Remy Lais heartfelt, funny and, of course, sweet debut middle-grade novel. Lai also did the excellent artwork this is a highly illustrated novel.

In his old country, Jingwens family owns a bakery featuring local treats like sesame balls and steamed prosperity cupcakes. In anticipation of emigrating to Australia, Jingwens father creates a new menu for the bakery he dreams of opening. It will be called the Pie in the Sky bakery and will feature flashy offerings like Nutella cream cake and rainbow cake. The new menu will be his fathers attempt to bridge the anticipated cultural divide and conquer the hearts and tastes of their new compatriots. But when his father suddenly dies, Jingwen, his annoying little brother, Yanghao, and their mother have to make the move without Dad.

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