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Secret Pizza Party Hardcover – September 3, 2013
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From School Library Journal
Gr 1-4–Raccoon, paws and nose pressed plaintively to the glass, stares longingly into a pizza parlor. His nemesis, the Pizza Man, chases him off with a broom, and an unseen narrator rhapsodizes, “Ah, pizza… So beautiful, you could hang it on the wall of a museum. So convenient you could eat it in the bathtub.” Raccoon reappears looking forlorn, and the narrator suggests a pizza party at Raccoon's house–a secret pizza party because, “When you make something secret, you make it special. Regular handshake: Boring. Secret handshake: Booyah!” Wearing stilts and a trench coat, Raccoon absconds with a stolen pizza only to discover an enormous SECRET PIZZA PARTY happening nearby. Unfortunately, he is unable to play it cool and blows his disguise as he rolls around in a pizza-induced frenzy. He flees from the broom-wielding mob (led by the Pizza Man), but his armload of pizza and giant grin prove that he has no regrets. Because the narrator converses directly with Raccoon, listeners are aligned with him and identify with the roguish creature. The skillful gouache-and-ink compositions are full of sly details and visual humor. It's hard not to giggle at scenes like the lanky pizza man with angry eyebrows and a handlebar mustache rolling out dough while glaring at a “Wanted” poster featuring the raccoon. With a casually diverse cast of characters, Secret Pizza Party is a sure hit for primary-grade kids, who will appreciate the subtle humor and absurdity.–Anna Haase Krueger, Ramsey County Library, White Bear Lake, MNα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Raccoon, who loves pizza but finds himself bashed with brooms every time he pinches a piece, decides to throw himself a secret pizza party. He devises a clever heist and successfully navigates the chase home, only to discover his celebration is missing people to share his pizza. Luckily, he notices a crowd next door wearing masks just like Raccoon’s and eating lots of pizza! The creators of Dragons Love Tacos (2012) offer another zany salute to a popular food. Salmieri’s gouache, watercolor, and colored pencil artwork features vivid colors, often set off against dark backgrounds signaling Raccoon’s nocturnal habits. Although the plot meanders a bit, children aren’t likely to mind given all the clever gadgets and outrageous scenarios depicted (in one scene Raccoon lounges atop a serving table, devouring multiple slices of pizza while the human guests stare speechless). This will be popular with pizza aficionados; pair with William Steig’s Pete’s a Pizza (1998) or Charlotte Voake’s Pizza Kittens (2002). Preschool-Grade 1. --Kay Weisman
Top customer reviews
I continued on to read about the raccoon dressing up and going into the pizza store with no intention of paying: "Okay now, play it cool. You're just an honest pizza-buying citizen who left his wallet in the car. The pizza man thinks you'll be right back..." And then he steals from the store. Also not appropriate. Or funny or cute. This could have been a fun cute book, but it really missed the mark. I don't expect all books to preach moral lessons to my children, but when they specifically encourage keeping secrets and make a joke out of stealing from a store I am not impressed.
Not happy about that. :(