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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
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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 CumminsSee all Editorial Reviews
Outstanding stories and recipes! Will be sharing with the grand kids as soon as possible!Published 6 months ago by Hacker15
I love Lidia and so does my mother in law (Nonna to my son). I gave this book to her for Christmas and she loved receiving it. I look forward to having her read it to my son. Read morePublished 7 months ago by jessica
I purchased this book as a Christmas gift for a first time grandmother and she loved it. The book is beautifully illustrated and speaks to our Italian heritage.Published 8 months ago by L. Benson
I bought this for my mother on my baby's first Christmas. It may be because I'm a sappy new mother, but I cried when I read the beautifully illustrated story. My mom loved it, too.Published 8 months ago by T.Miller
We enjoy Lidia on Public Television and this was a perfect gift for my bride of 38 years. Merry Christmas.Published 14 months ago by gregg F. Haley