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WORLD PIZZA by Cece Meng


by Cece Meng ; illustrated by Ellen Shi

Pub Date: June 6th, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-4549-1946-9
Publisher: Sterling

Many people wish fervently for world peace, and the mom in this picture book is no different.

When a white mom in an interracial family wishes on a star for world peace and then sneezes, the words sound like “world pizza,” or at least that’s what her sons think. Suddenly a delicious pizza drops from the sky. Unbeknownst to the family, pizzas of many different flavors start dropping all over the world, and behavior changes. Bullies become friendly, pirates stop fighting, and “angry neighbors with tall fences and locked doors” explore the world outside. The digital illustrations have a painterly feeling, but unfortunately, the usual stereotypes show up: a pirate in an eye patch, an Arctic Native in a fur-trimmed parka, and unnamed Africans in grass skirts. Other illustrations show familiar scenes of parades and playgrounds with diverse groups of people. The wishful mama never realizes the world has changed, although her family is “cozy in the warmth of their peaceful dreams. / And everyone was happy” in the universe that visually expands out of her sons’ deep blue quilt. The gentle text, however unrealistic, does have a very positive outlook. The unusual pizza ingredients named in the text are strewn across the inside covers—pickles, marshmallows, cherries, and chocolate chips—but (perhaps thankfully) no recipes are included.

One can only wish that “world pizza” could solve our planet’s problems.

(Picture book. 5-8)