ABC PASTA by Juana Medina


An Entertaining Alphabet
by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 10
Email this review


Get your forks ready—this salute to pasta via the ABCs is truly entertaining, as the subtitle states.

Photographs of real pasta of many varieties are overlaid on loosely drawn digital drawings against white space to lend form and figure to circus performers A to Z. The cover image of a ringmaster with a rigatoni body sets up the conceit, and the fun is on. A stands for “angel hair acrobats”: four figures with angel-hair nests for faces and leotards with red, green, blue, or yellow stripes. C is for “campanelle clowns” wearing silly pasta hats. F is for “fettuccine fire-eaters,” with the pasta representing the fire. The occasional nonpasta item harmonizes nicely, as with the “herb hoops” a couple of acrobats use as props and the “plate spinners” named “Pecorino and Parmigiano.” Medina introduces other proper names too, as in “quick Quentin quadrucci” and “x-traordinary Xavier the xylophonist.” Some of the elements are quite exotic, such as the “nets” made of “nero di seppia” that catch the trapeze artists. The endpapers are small drawings of the various circus performers. Some require that readers look closely, as with the strands of “spaghetti” that act as bleachers for the “spectators.” All letters are presented clearly in both upper- and lowercase.

Younger kids are not likely to recognize many of the lesser-known types of pasta, but what a toothsome way to have fun with them. (Picture book. 5-10)

Pub Date: Feb. 7th, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-101-99978-3
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Viking
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2016


ChildrenBIG PROBLEMAS by Juana Medina
by Juana Medina
ChildrenI'M A BAKED POTATO! by Elise Primavera
by Elise Primavera
ChildrenLENA'S SHOES ARE NERVOUS by Keith Calabrese
by Keith Calabrese


ChildrenHANNAH'S TALL ORDER by Linda Vander Heyden
by Linda Vander Heyden
ChildrenSAMSON, THE MIGHTY FLEA! by Angela McAllister
by Angela McAllister
ChildrenNOODLE MAN by April Pulley Sayre
by April Pulley Sayre