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Join Me At The Great American Pie Festival!

If you'll be in the Orlando/Celebration, Florida area the weekend of April 24, be sure to swing by the Great American Pie Festival at Lakeside Park. I'll be there, reading my children's book An Apple Pie For Dinner (with a little help from my kiddo-friends in the audience), at 5 pm on Saturday. Sunday, I'll be judging the junior chefs division of the National Pie Championships at the Omni Championsgate – fun, fun, yummy fun!

Here's the official media release from An Apple Pie For Dinner's publisher, Marshall Cavendish, with all the juicy details:
Author Susan VanHecke to Judge at the American Pie Council / Crisco National Pie Championships

Writer of children's book An Apple Pie For Dinner will help select best junior chef pie on April 25, 2010 and read book at Great American Pie Festival on April 24, 2010     Author Susan VanHecke has a passion for pie. Especially apple pie. She adores apple pie so much she wrote a children's book about it, An Apple Pie For Dinner (Marshall Cavendish). And now she'll help the American Pie Council and Crisco determine whose pie is the best in the U.S. and Canada as she serves as a judge at the National Pie Championships in Orlando, Florida on Sunday, April 25, 2010. VanHecke will be judging the junior chef division.

The National Pie Championships are part of the Great American Pie Festival, April 23-25, a celebration of all things pie that draws tens of thousands of visitors annually. VanHecke will read An Apple Pie For Dinner at the Great American Pie Festival on Saturday, April 24, 2010 at 5 pm.

Based on an English folktale, An Apple Pie For Dinner follows kind old Granny Smith, in need of apples for a pie, as she makes a series of trades and brings joy to all she meets. Together, Granny and her new friends bake the yummiest apple pie ever. The book features mixed-media bas relief illustrations by fabric artist Carole Baicker-McKee and includes Granny's kid-friendly recipe for apple pie. Fun children's activities, video (including a pie-making how-to), music, and more can be found at the book's website, www.AnApplePieForDinner.com.

Through celebrity chef Graham Kerr, the "Galloping Gourmet," VanHecke became connected with descendants of the real Granny Smith, Maria Ann Smith, developer of the Granny Smith apple. In 1868, Smith discovered a new type of apple seedling growing in her compost heap near Sydney, Australia. It's believed Smith inadvertently crossed a crabapple with a domestic orchard apple. The Granny Smith apple is now known around the world, valued for its virtues as a pie and cooking apple.

Descendants of Maria Ann Smith have given An Apple Pie For Dinner their endorsement. VanHecke is spearheading an effort to have Smith honored with a postage stamp from the Australia Post.

Amateur pie makers, professional bakers and chefs, and commercial pie companies from around the country and Canada have been competing at the National Pie Championships since 1995. The Great American Pie Festival, a pie-lover's delight, includes the Never-Ending Pie Buffet, pie-making and decorating activities for children, baking demonstrations, and a pie-eating contest. To learn more about the National Pie Championships and the Great American Pie Festival, visit www.piecouncil.com.

To learn more about Susan VanHecke, visit www.SusanVanHecke.com.
An Apple Pie For Dinner reading – 5 pm, Saturday, April 24, 2010 at the Great American Pie Festival, Lakeside Park, 631 Sycamore Street, Celebration, FL (near Disney World).

National Pie Championships, junior chef division – 10 am, Sunday, April 25, 2010 at the Omni Orlando Resort at Championsgate, 1500 Masters Boulevard, Championsgate, FL. Hope to see you there!