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In English, of Course Hardcover – January 1, 2003

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Gingerbread House; 1 edition (January 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0940112078
  • ISBN-13: 978-0940112070
  • Product Dimensions: 12 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,628,316 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3-Josephine is an Italian immigrant whose first day of school is spent exchanging stories with her classmates about their countries of origin. The setting is the Bronx, 1955. Ziborova's mixed-media collages present these moments with vivid imagery, sly humor, and a delightful sense of design. A cutout of Ling-Li, dressed in magenta silk brocade, is surrounded by a photographed dragon sculpture and peony, as well as a painted rickshaw and rice bowl; a Chinese painting with traditional symbols in sepia tones forms the background. Al, who hails from Jupiter, FL, is dressed in a spacesuit and placed in a constellation of dolphins and palm trees. The heroine is sure she can detect his alien accent. Josephine does not know the English words to describe her native Napoli, so she discusses a trip to a farm. Her escapades with a cow and pig, leading to "much river in mouth," are hilariously paced by author and illustrator. As the child enacts the drama, her teacher supplies the unknown words; she is thus able to finish the tale on her own. (Nobisso elaborates on this technique and her writing workshops in a postscript.) All who have struggled to communicate in a group (whether or not they share a common language) will relate to and enjoy this slice of life.
Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 2-4. Inspired by her own experiences in a New York City immigrant community, Nobisso puts a recent young arrival on the spot in this amusing classroom episode. When it's Josephine's turn to introduce herself to her multicultural classmates, she tries to talk about her native Naples. Instead she gets sidetracked into a hilarious account of her encounter visit to a farm, gamely supplementing her limited English with vocal expressions, body language, and occasional prompts from the teacher to help her find the right word. Placing brightly colored paper-collage figures against muted, impressionistic backgrounds, Ziborova portrays a live-wire young storyteller in a stylish beret, getting her tale across as best she can. Far from being frustrated or embarrassed, Josephine is pleased to have learned so many new English words during the course of her report. She is last seen working up a new exposition about "castles" and "Roman ruins"--in English, of course. An engaging and unusual tale, with special appeal to children discouraged or intimidated by the challenges of expressing themselves across a language barrier. John Peters
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lee C. Moorhead on January 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
I haven't had such a good laugh in a long time. This book is written very well and the illustrations are a great complement! As a preschool teacher in a setting where many children are learning English as a second language, this book helped me to open up conversations with the children. Most times, esp ESL children are shy when speaking in a group. But after reading this book, many of my children opened up
( By the way, my father's family was also from Napoli, Italia :)
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Format: Paperback
In this picture book, Josephine tries to tell her English class about her hometown of Naples, Italy. The teacher, who clearly knows very little about city-life in Italy, tries to help Josephine tell the story. The result is a far-fetched tale about Josephine's life on a farm. This light-hearted story, illustrated with delightful pen and ink drawings, shows the frustrations, and humor, involved in learning a second language. This book would work well for young elementary school students or TESOL students in early or intermediate grades.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Organic Mama Cafe on October 29, 2010
Format: Paperback
Josephine Nobisso, the daughter of Italian immigrants who grew up in the Bronx, is very familiar with the reality of learning to tell a story in two languages. Her book highlights the experience of little Josephine, whose teacher helps her learn the vocabulary words she needs to tell her class a little about herself and a hilarious visit to a farm. Very cute book and not bad for helping native English speakers learn a few new words!
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More About the Author

Josephine Nobisso's first story appeared in a national magazine when she was 18. In the ensuing 40+ years, she has published close to 90 books, mostly for children, but also published three romance novels for adults, under two pseudonyms. She has been published by many major houses, including Simon & Schuster, Putnam (Berkley/Jove), Houghton Mifflin, Scholastic (Orchard), Green Tiger Press, Rizzoli International, Pauline Books & Media, Winsow International, and Mondo Publishing. Her books have been translated into as many as 12 languages. Miss Nobisso regularly writes EFL books for three major Korean publishers, including Oxford University Press, and one of her Korean series has been turned into animated cartoons in that country.

With her daughter, Art Director Maria Nicotra, Josephine also runs the small press, Gingerbread Publishing House. It was launched in 2000 to bring back into print 3 of her out-of-print titles, but has since acquired 1 other o.p. title, and has gone on to produce 6 beloved and enduring original titles. Their list of 10 books, distributed by Independent Publishers Group, have won dozens of awards, and have appeared in the following five 5 major motion pictures, as set dressings:

"Motherhood," with Uma Thurman and Minnie Driver
"The Other Woman," with Natalie Portman and Scott Cohen
"The Switch," with Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman
"Friends with Kids," with John Hamm and Megan Fox
"Two Days in New York," with Chris Rock and Julie Delpy

Each year, for the past quarter decade, and to consistently rave evaluations, Miss Nobisso conducts about 100 author visits and/or workshops in "The Nobisso Recommendations: Guiding Students to Write in Their Authentic Voices," part of which comes to life in her Show; Don't Tell! Secrets of Writing, a book for which she received "The Global Learning Initiative Award" for "The Best Trade Book (in the world!) with Educational Application"-- a singular citation jointly administered by the Association of Education Publishers and the Bologna Children's Book Fair. She has conducted dozens of staff develoment workshops, and presents intensive and innovative writing workshops at univerities in the United States and Italy.

The National Catholic Educational Association named her "Distinguished Graduate," The Wiilliam Floyd School District honored her with the "Distinquished Alumni Award" in 2013, and Delta Kappa Gamma--the international society of honored teachers-- named her "Friend of Education," for "someone outside the profession who has worked significantly toward improving the educational opportunities of others, and who has given outstanding service to promoting quality education."

Among the very many honors that Miss Nobisso books have received are five other awards for Show; Don't Tell! Secrets of Writing:
-the International Reading Association/Children's Book Council "Children's Choice Award,"
-an American Booksellers Association BookSense "Pick of the Lists" citation,
-a Parents' Choice Award,
-a National Parenting Publications Award,
-and a ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Finalist.

Her 9 books eligible for awards have earned an extraordinary amount of other significant citations, among them:
-4 International Reading Association-Children's Book Council's "Children's Choices" awards
-Winner of The Northern Minnesota "Best Book of the Year Award"
-The National Council for the Social Studies/Children's Book Council's "Notable Social Studies Books for Young People," citation
- Learning Magazine's "Teachers' Choice Award"
-3 "The Catholic Press Association Awards"
-Parents' Magazine's "Best Books of the Year" citation
-Named to Bank Street College of Education's "Best Books of the Year" list
-National Parenting Publications Award, "NAPPA"
-3 Gold Independent Publisher's Awards, the "IPPY's"
-3 Gold "Moonbeam Awards"
-"Indie Excellence" Gold Award
-Silver Nautilus Book Award
-3 ForeWord Magazine "Book of the Year" finalists
-2 "Storyteller World" Awards
-Parent Council's "Outstanding" citation
-"Parents' Choice Foundation Recommended Book"
-4 Gold Medal "Mom's Choice Awards"
-Winner of the "Green Earth Book Festival."
-"The Cooperative Children's Book Center Choices" list
-Named to The Kansas-National Education Association's "Reading Circle"
-2 "Best Books of the Year" citations from the Association of Booksellers for Children
-5 American Booksellers' Association's "Pick of the Lists" (aka "Book Sense 76" and "Book Sense Picks")

Josephine is active with aspiring writers, co-founding The Long Island Children's Writers and Illustrators (LICWI) group more than 2 decades ago. Intermittently, since the early 1970's, she has been a member of The Author's Guild and The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). She cites having been acknowledged in 9 books by fellow writers as being the source of her greatest authorial pride.

Born to Italian parents on February 9, 1953, in the Bronx, Miss Nobisso attended P.S. 32 there, for Kindergarten, Saint Martin of Tours until the 4th grade, St. John the Evangelist Elementary School, and Mercy High School, in Riverhead, New York. She graduated from SUNY New Paltz, after having spent several semesters at l'Universita' degli Studi, in Urbino, Italy. In 3 years she earned a Provisional Teaching Certification, with a Specialization in Early Childhood, and graduated cum laude with a Contract Major in Foreign Languages. Miss Nobisso's languages are English, Italian (including the dialect, "'a Lengua Napuletan'"), passable French, and some German. She homeschooled her daughter from the 5th grade through high school. They live on the East End of Long Island, and on l'Alta Costiera Amalfitana, where they sing in the choir of La Santissima Annuziata.

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