Sofia is awakened one morning by "scrumptious smells." She and her cat Figaro go downstairs to her family's restaurant to discover that her family is already cooking for the arrival of her grandparents. She tries to help, but she splatters Papa's tomato sauce, puts too much yeast in Mama's breadstick dough and tosses her brother Mario's pizza dough onto the ceiling fan. Each time she is scolded—"Bambina, sei troppo piccola!
"—she retreats to her seat in the fig tree. Finally, she helps herself to some gelato for breakfast and takes it outside under the tree, where a ripe fig falls into it—and lo! she has made a special dessert for her grandparents and the restaurant. The time sequencing is odd: It seems peculiar that Sofia would be asleep when everyone else is downstairs working, and it would take her quite some time to make those mistakes, making breakfast rather late. The images veer toward stereotype: Papa is bald and and has a black, handlebar mustache; Mario has thick, curly, black hair; Nonna wears her white hair in a bun. (author's note, recipe, Italian words and phrases) (Picture book. 4-7)Read full book review >