About the Holiday
Pizza is one of those foods that just puts a smile on your face. It’s associated with parties, good times with friends, and relaxing weekends. It’s also one of the few foods that is so varied that you can have it made your way with your own favorite ingredients. Of course, today we celebrate that favorite of kids, the star of many a birthday party, and the perfect base to any pizza—the cheese pizza. Even this “basic” pizza can have pizzazz, though, if you fancy it up with multiple types of cheese and some delectable herbs and spices! So celebrate today by calling up your fav pizza place or making a pie of your own.
Secret Pizza Party
Written by Adam Rubin | Illustrated by Daniel Salmieri
Raccoon, plastered against the Pizza Shop window, drools over cheesy slices others are eating inside. He so wants a piece and would even be happy with the leftovers in the back alley trash. But when he tries to paw one out of the can, he gets swept away with a broom. Maybe if he knew how to ask politely things would be different.
Raccoon loves pizza so much that he thinks it should hang in art museums and that people should eat it in the bathtub. “Of course the best part about pizza is the gooey cheesiness, salty pepperoni-ness, sweet tomato-ness, and crispity, crunchity crust. Yum!” Maybe a pizza party will cheer Raccoon up—a secret pizza party. Why should it be secret? Because secret is special— like an intricate secret handshake only you and one other person know, or a secret stair case that leads…who knows where, but somewhere amazing!
Besides, you know what a regular raccoon pizza party would be like—there would be brooms and horrified faces and panicked shouts of “Get that raccoon off the table!!!” But here’s how a secret pizza party would sound: “Get that raccoon another slice of pizza, he’s the guest of honor.”
So the first order of business for this secret pizza party is…ordering! Before the call is placed, though, you’ve got to think: if you call and order the pizza, you’ll have to give your address. And if you give your address, the pizza guy will know where you live. And if the pizza guy knows where you live he “might recognize you from the posters and chase you off with a broom.” So what are you to do? A disguise will do the trick. “Okay now, play it cool. You’re just an honest pizza-buying citizen who left his wallet in the car,” and as soon as the pizza is in your hands you make a run for it back to your tree.
Ok, phew, great job! Now you can enjoy…but not too loud or with too much light. You don’t want anyone to see. Wait a minute! What’s that right outside your home? Another secret pizza party where everyone is wearing masks?
Perfect! Ok, you’ve infiltrated the party…you’re reaching for a slice of pizza…and no one suspects a thing. NO! NO! NO! You’re rolling in the pizza on top of the table!! You blew your cover. Grab as many pieces as you can and run because here they come with the brooms…!
Adam Rubin’s madcap read-a-loud about a pizza-obsessed raccoon and his quest for a broom-free night of pizza indulging will have kids laughing from Raccoon’s first wistful look to his final triumphant dash. Rubin’s conspiratorial tone makes readers active participants in Raccoon’s covert operation to secure a pizza without a sweeping disaster, ramping up their level of involvement and enjoyment. The text—from the secret handshakes to the broom-bots to words such as “bonk,” “booyah,” “crispity crunchity,” and “happy screams”—is silly, kid-friendliness at its best and is as enticing as the aroma of hot-out-of-the-oven pizza.
Daniel Salmieri’s noodle-armed, broom-wielding humans and animated, fanatical raccoon amplify the humor that infuses every scene in Rubin’s tale. A slice of pizza hanging between two masterpieces in a museum or being devoured in a bubble bath, an intertwining handshake, a ridiculous disguise, and two types of raccoon-sniffing broom-bots are just a few of the images that make Secret Pizza Party a kid’s dream come true. In addition there are plenty of sly details, such as a pizza-shaped lampshade, projectile brooms, and Raccoon’s fairy-tale imagination. My favorite laugh-out-loud moment shows Raccoon blending into the secret pizza party outside his tree house by simply holding up a twig as a handle to his natural “mask.”
Full of pizza, playfulness, and a persevering raccoon, Secret Pizza Party is a book that kids will want to hear again and again. It would make a delicious addition to home and classroom bookshelves.
Ages 3 – 9
Dial Books for Young Readers, 2013 | ISBN 978-0803739475
Find out more about books by Adam Rubin on his website!
Daniel Salmieri has a gallery of his work and books on his website for you to see!
National Cheese Pizza Day Activity
Create Your Pizza Game
Play this fun game to build your pizza ingredient by ingredient before the others! For 2 – 8 players.
- Printable Pizza Crust Game Board template
- Printable Pizza Toppings Card 1 template
- Printable Pizza Toppings Card 2 template
- Cardboard or Poster Board if wanted
- 1 Playing die
Object of the Game: to fill a pizza slice with 5 delicious ingredients
- Print a Pizza Crust Game Board and Ingredients Cards
- Each player picks a slice on the board to fill
- Roll the dice to choose who goes first. Play
- The first player rolls the dice and places an ingredient on their slice according to the numbers below
- Play passes to the right
- The player who fills their slice with all 5 ingredients first, wins
Alternative for older kids: Print a game board for each player. The first player to complete the whole pizza is the winner
Each number on the playing die corresponds to one ingredient or other instruction, as noted below:
1: add sauce (red x)
2: add cheese
3: add green peppers (green squares)
4: add garlic (white half moons)
5: add pepperoni
6: remove one ingredient and pass the playing die to the next player
You can find Secret Pizza Party at these booksellers
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