Review of Bake Infinite Pie with X + Y, by Eugenia Cheng, illustrated by Amber Ren

Bake Infinite Pie with X + Y

by Eugenia Cheng
illustrated by Amber Ren

Little, Brown and Company, 2022. 32 pages.
Review written July 13, 2022, from a library book
Starred Review

My readers won’t be surprised that every time mathematician Eugenia Cheng writes a picture book, it delights my heart. I’ll list this under Children’s Nonfiction, because although it is a story, the emphasis is on the ideas.

This one tells of two kids, named X and Y, who are dreaming of infinite pie — X, pie that is infinitely wide, and Y, pie that is infinitely tall. They think of course that such pie isn’t real, but they ask their Aunt Z, who can create amazing things with her brain.

The book that follows explores infinity in many different ways, and all of them involve pie!

There are infinitely different ways you can make pie, and once it’s done, if you keep eating half your pie, it will last until infinity.

You can make a pie with infinite corners, cut pie crust infinite ways, and even make pastry with infinite layers.

I hope that gives you the idea of ways to explore infinity with pie — it’s all presented in a family setting with a fun aunt bending kids’ minds with tasty treats.

And there’s even a recipe for pie at the back! (After a spread that lays out mathematical ideas presented.) The recipe is for Banana Butterscotch Pie — and believe it or not, I couldn’t resist trying it out. (I hadn’t made a pie with crust in decades.) The pie was indeed delicious, but alas – the instructions didn’t specify how big your pie pan should be. I used a 9-inch one, and my pie was more of a tart — the filling only went about halfway up the pie crust. I think an 8-inch pie pan would do nicely. And it still tasted wonderful.

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Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but the views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

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