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How Pizza Came to Queens Paperback – October 24, 1995


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Paperback, October 24, 1995
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

May, of My Family Vacation , is staying with her good friends Linda, Judy and Peggy Penny while her parents are away. The Penny family is visited by a distant cousin, elderly Mrs. Pelligrini, who walks through the kitchen door, sniffs the air and immediately declares, "Is no good." The girls notice that the only time the elderly visitor is really happy is when she is cooking, and they all wonder about the mysterious "pizza" that Mrs. Pelligrini misses so much. "Maybe it's her daughter . . . " says one of the girls. "Or her dog," ventures another. When the girls learn, at the library, the meaning of the word pizza, they copy the list of ingredients and then go shopping. Mrs. Pelligrini, seeing the items the girls have assembled, flies into action, and soon the house is filled with the aroma of the bubbling, baking pie. This amusing story is embellished with Khalsa's intensely colored paintings in her vigorous primitive style, each one brimming with details of family life a few decades ago. The delicious-looking endpapers depict pizza pies falling from a beautiful blue sky. Ages 6-9.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 2-- Can you imagine the world B. P. (before pizza)? When Mrs. Pelligrino visits relatives in a quiet Queens (New York) neighborhood c. 1950, local knowledge of Italian language and cuisine is limited to spaghetti, macaroni, and lasagna. Their glum visitor speaks little English, so the children try without much success both to cheer her up and to understand her reiterated complaint: "No pizza!" Finally the girls do a bit of research, and then buy the necessary ingredients. Mrs. Pelligrino is ecstatic and unwraps the rolling pin that she has been cradling. The children are skeptical--their reaction to the recipe had been "Yuk"--but the finished product thrills everyone. Khalsa's paintings are also satisfying: a wide range of flat, bright colors in her naive style conveys the cheerful simplicity of a lost Eden. The jacket illustration, a smiling Mrs. P. and her four young friends whirling dough aloft, and the pizza-in-the-sky endpapers are particularly successful. Culinary historians may question this version of pizza's advent (and the text might have been shorter), but, like its subject, this product should appeal to popular tastes. --Patricia Dooley, University of Washington, Seattle
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter (October 24, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0517885387
  • ISBN-13: 978-0517885383
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 8.2 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,822,411 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By slomamma on August 15, 2001
Format: Hardcover
A lot of qualities have to come together to make a childrenÕs picture book special. "How Pizza Came To Queens" has all of them.
The story is wonderful. It takes place at some unidentified time in the past (probably late 40s or early 50s), when an elderly Italian relative, Mrs. Pellegrino, pays a visit to Queens and is disappointed to discover thereÕs no pizza there Ð but she doesnÕt speak English well enough to explain what pizza is. The children she visits want to make her happy, so they do everything they can to find out what pizza is so they can get one for Mrs. Pellegrino. They finally find the answer in the library (using a dictionary and then a cookbook), and buy all the ingredients, thinking all the while that a PIE made with TOMATOES sounds disgusting. To say the least, they get a pleasant surprise.
ItÕs a funny and charming story, but itÕs a lot more than that, too. I think itÕs very important for children to learn to appreciate other cultures, and a book showing that their favorite food has not been in this country forever, but came over with immigrants, is a great way to help them see foreign cultures and people in a positive way. The children in the story are also great role models. The find Mrs. Pellegrino odd (her difficulty with English even makes her seem a little mean at first), but they are able to put aside their feelings and try to help her feel at home. And theyÕre rewarded for their kindness with their first taste of pizza Ð now thereÕs a reward most kids can appreciate.
A charming story and humane values make this book a gem. But the pictures make it even better. TheyÕre not conventionally pretty, but Dayal Kaur Khalso has a unique style based on vivid, sometimes startling colors that are eye-catching and quite beautiful.
Everything about "How Pizza Came To Queens" is delightful. I enjoy reading it and looking at the art work as much as my daughter does.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Laura Wise on January 7, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My daughter loved this book since she was a little girl. I don't know how many times this book was taken out of the library. I thought it was about time that she had her own copy. She said this was one of the best Christmas presents she received. She just turned 25.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book that my children have enjoyed since they were much younger. The illustrations are colorful but the text is superb.
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