Nonna’s tales about the stelline, chiancaredde and other shapes of pasta she serves entice a reluctant ragazzo to the dinner table.
Everyone gathers at Nonna’s house on Sunday afternoons, but only after urging will little Leo sit down. “Not hungry for stelline? Not hungry for little stars? Hmm,” says Nonna—and then begins a tale about a boy going to see his Nonna on a dark night. The next Sunday the pasta is chiancaredde, “paving stones,” and after that occhi di lupo. With each week Nonna adds an element to the boy’s journey. Soon, not only is Leo first to the table, but everyone wants to hear what comes next. “Buon appetito!” Leo calls to all at the end, and “Altrettanto, Leo! You, too!” they answer. Though there is definitely not enough food on the table in Bisaillon’s mixed-media collages, the smiling faces and closely grouped figures of Leo, parents, cousins and other relatives glow with warmth. On alternate spreads, views of an apprehensive lad making his way through a shadowed woodland beneath shining stelline give way at sunrise to a climactic hug in a garden aflutter with farfalle (butterflies). A closing page about pasta only hints at its many possible ingredients and shapes.
Food, family, stories: delizioso! (glossary) (Picture book. 5-8)