Mr. Peabody’s Apples tells the story of a beloved teacher whose reputation is ruined by a rumor started when a young boy believes he sees the teacher steal an apple. When the truth comes out, the young boy feels terrible especially when he realizes how difficult it is to take back something once it’s been said. Not only is Mr. Peabody’s Apples a lesson in choosing one’s words carefully but, as in Madonna’s first children’s book, a lesson in not judging other people because one may not have all the facts the person’s situation. The story is easy to read with a sweetness that avoids being sappy. Madonna’s no-nonsense storytelling is a delightful departure from the many patronizing stories out there that insult a child’s intelligence. Madonna doesn’t try to hide the lesson in the story but writes it clearly into the events of the story without sounding preachy.