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by Aimee Lucido ; illustrated by Mavisu Demirağ

Pub Date: July 2nd, 2024
ISBN: 9781534473638
Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Mangia! Can one ever tire of Italian food?

Introducing luscious homemade cuisine! The text is almost an aria, expressed in rollicking verse that not only extols the deliciousness of various types of pasta, but also outlines their construction (from scratch, of course). A pale-skinned child welcomes relatives who arrive one by one from wonderful places that rhyme with their names (“Nonno Tito from Tahiti only eats our spaghettini”). Then everyone creates delicacies such as ravioli, lasagna, and rotini. What a large family! What intricate preparations! What ingredients! Even the pets have their favorites. Finally, the family sits down to the bountiful feast, but Mamma accidentally drops the dishes on her way to serve them. “BASTA!” shouts a frustrated Mamma. But all’s not lost. A final ring of the doorbell brings another very welcome visitor, someone who’s fortunately carrying boxes containing a substitute Italian repast. Readers will eat this up. Who wouldn’t love a book about yummy foods, told in such a delightfully bouncy manner? One quibble: There’s no guide to help kids learn to pronounce the food names accurately. Still, the sumptuous foods—long strands of pasta, leaves of basil—pop in the digitally rendered collage illustrations, and Demirağ captures the busy culinary activities of this tightknit, racially diverse family.

As delectable as a book can get. Try it. You’ll really like it!

(Picture book. 5-8)