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Nonna Tell Me a Story: Lidia's Christmas Kitchen Hardcover – October 12, 2010

4.8 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

K-Gr 2–Nonni Lidia tells her five grandkids about what Christmas was like in Italy when she was a child, with a juniper bush hung with real fruit, cinnamon sticks, and cookies. She so successfully evokes the fun and the tantalizing smells that the children decide to decorate their tree the same way. Bastianich, a television chef and cookbook author, clearly bases this story on her own family and experiences, and she includes plenty of delicious, if somewhat challenging, cookie recipes. The illustrations show round-faced, beaming family members cooking, eating, and celebrating together. A cheerful depiction of the making and sharing of holiday traditions.Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Kids won’t know the name of Lidia Bastianich, but foodie parents will. This famous Italian chef, TV cooking star, cookbook author, and restaurateur tells her five grandchildren how Christmas was celebrated when she was a child. This lightly fictionalized personal remembrance becomes the framework for descriptions of how the whole family decorates the juniper bush with apples, tangerines, figs, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, and wrapped walnuts and almonds. Recipes for 16 delicious-sounding traditional Italian goodies make up the second half of the book but are definitely for adults to make (the recipe for Fried Ribbon Cookies, for example, takes up two pages with its small type). The soft-toned illustrations feature Bastianich with her signature close-capped haircut and are cozy as all get-out. Narrative directions for the decorations are included, and notes convey her belief that food provides “nourishment, pleasure, and communication at every family’s table.” Grades 1-3. --Julie Cummins
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 56 pages
  • Publisher: Running Press Kids; First Edition edition (October 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762436921
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762436927
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 0.5 x 11.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #164,939 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In some Christmas books, they are written as fairy tales, to entertain and keep young minds entranced, with characters and situations that make for happy endings. But with this particular new book, from the talented and creative mind of Lidia Bastianich, you have a true tale. A true tale of a harder life that some people had to live during more difficult times, but told in such an endearing way, that her message of love and family comes shining through.

This hardcover, 9"x11", 26 page tale of Christmas past, will enchant the little ones with how simple acts of love and the the true spirit of Christmas, brought joy to Lidia as a child. And now, as a grandmother herself, she brought the same happiness to her grandchildren. The pictures are large with generous use of soft, pastel-like colors, with words that even a little one could read.

It is a delightfully written story of how the Christmases in Lidia's childhood were celebrated; not with running around and buying and spending and stressing, as we tend to do in this present world, but in simpler more cherished time of understanding the essence of Christmas; in coming together as family and finding the simple stuffs around us to prepare for the birth of our Lord.

Joining together with artist Laura Logan, both pen and picture tell the story of how Lidia, her parents, her grandparents, and her brother, spent the Christmas season when she was a child, growing up during more sparse times. But times in which the simplicities of life were the most endearing. We join Lidia as she is recounting these stories to her own grandchildren, and the lesson and impact such closeness imparts to young children as the older generation passes on the memories of a era gone by and the joy that it brought to them.
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By Suzie Q. on December 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Delightful Christmas book. Lidia's authentic story is a wonderful book to share with children and grandchildren. The illustrations are beautifully done and seem
to truly capture the moment. The book was somewhat of a surprise in that I expected a more mature content, however this will be a new take on the traditional Christmas stories we share. I enjoyed Lidia's childhood memories and the beautiful Italian cookie recipes and tree decorations are splendid!
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My 8-year-old granddaughter loves watching cooking shows on TV, and Lidia is her favorite. We saw a portion of this book on PBS so I had to purchase it for her for Christmas. She has read it over and over, and we are going to try some of the recipes included. Many opportunities for teaching her about customs from other countries, plus the recipes she can help with.
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I bought this book for each one of our four children's family. If you are Italian or married to one it is a wonderful book to teach the children about traditional Italian Christmas from the old country.Also included in the back of the book are many Italian recipies.Illustrations were sweet also.
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Both of my parents are from Italy, and reading this story was just like hearing my mother recall Christmas in her little village. Beautiful illustrations and a great collection of recipes complete the book. I love reading this to my little boys!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Short story suitable for young children. Reminded me of family Christmas's as a child. Worth the price of the book for the recipes. Easy, traditional and well written.
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This is a unique storybook with a lovely "from the heart" story and with an added bonus of some great holiday recipes that can be shared with your children, or in my case, grandchildren. The story teaches that there are alternatives to the usual holiday glitz and reflects on the importance of family.
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Lidia's Nonna Tell Me a Story: Lidia's Christmas Kitchen is a treasure for all "nonna's" to give their grandchildren, or just for themselves as a keepsake. Good recipes, too.
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