About the Holiday
There’s a true art in putting together a delicious meal from seemingly disparate parts, and this month’s holiday honors those with a talent for combining tastes, flavors, and textures. With fresh ingredients available at farm stores, farmers markets, grocery stores, and maybe even your own garden, July is a great month for celebrating the culinary arts. This month spend time with your kids in the kitchen. It’s a terrific way to learn new cooking skills and practice practical math while creating experimental or favorite recipes. And, of course, be sure to remember to make a few treats! Today’s book should get you off to a great start!
Thanks to Little Gestalten for sending me a copy of We Love Pizza for review consideration. All opinions about the book are my own. I’m happy to be teaming with Gestalten in a giveaway of the book. See details below.
We Love Pizza: Everything you want to know about your number one food
By Elenia Beretta
A spritely poem opens this compendium of all things pizza and invites readers to learn about this world-favorite dish, from its origins in Italy to a trip into outer space. First up, though, you’ll learn that “pizzas can be round or square, / In different shapes and sizes, / And sometimes what is in or on them / Is full of big surprises.” For instance, if you (or you and your friends) are super hungry, you might want to try a pizza al metro from Sorrento, Italy. “‘Metro’ means ‘meter’ (39 inches)—not the subway!—and that’s how long it is.”
Or you might like a slice of New York pizza, which is so big “you’ll need to fold it before you can hold it.” If you like your pizza ingredients inside the pizza, try a calzone or a lahmacun from Turkey and Armenia, which is “rolled up like a sleeping hedgehog, with minced meat on top and some super spicy vegetables inside, like onions, peppers, and garlic.”
So we know that people all over the world love pizza, but who invented it? That honor would go to some creative chef (or chefs) in Naples, Italy, who began selling pizza in 1738. At first, pizza was considered “a simple food for the poor,” but when Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba opened its doors in 1830 “as a proper restaurant,” pizza went upscale. Pizza became so popular that kings and queens even began enjoying it. One particular style of pizza was even created for a queen and was named after her. Can you guess which one? You may have even eaten one yourself!
Since you like to eat pizza so much, maybe you’d like to learn how to make it—from scratch, of course. Including the crust. When the pizza is bubbly, cheesy, and HOT, there’s only one thing left to do—eat it! But how you eat it is up to you. Is your way described in the next pages?
You may wonder when pizza came to America. When Italian immigrants moved to the US in the late 19th century, they brought their love of pizza with them. “When the first pizzerias in the USA were opened, more and more toppings were introduced, and more and more people became pizza fans.” In fact some of today’s best loved pizza places once housed much different businesses.
By now, you’re probably pretty hungry, so you’ll want to check out the fifteen very different types of pizza from around the world. One costs $2,000; one comes in a box made of pizza; and another is probably the sweetest pizza you’ve ever heard of. Of course, no book can celebrate pizza without mentioning all the people who have a hand in growing the ingredients, baking it, and serving it. You’ll be impressed with how much care goes into just one pizza!
Along the way, you’ll also learn fascinating facts about where in the world the most pizza is eaten, the video game character inspired by pizza, some incredible pizza records, and delivery options for every pizza lover.
Elenia Beretta pairs her engaging and educational text about pizza with bright, whimsical images that introduce kids to a plethora of pizza styles and flavors as well as the people who created them long ago and those who gobble them down today. A highlight for any would-be pizza baker is the step-by-step illustrated tutorial on making a pizza starting with flour and yeast and ending with “Yum!” Depictions of pizzas enjoyed by readers’ peers around the world may inspire some kids to try something other than their usual order.
For kids who love pizza, history, cooking, and learning more about the world’s cultures, We Love Pizza is a smart and fun addition to any book collection.
Ages 5 – 9
Little Gestalten, 2021 | ISBN 978-3967047059
To learn more about Elenia Beretta, her books, and her art, visit her website.
We Love Pizza Giveaway
I’m happy to be teaming with Little Gestalten in a giveaway. There will be two (2) lucky winners – One entrant and a friend they have tagged. Each winner will receive:
- One (1) copy of We Love Pizza by Elenia Beretta
This giveaway is open from July 1 to July 5 and ends at 8:00 p.m. EST.
A winner will be chosen on July 6.
Prizing provided by Little Gestalten
Giveaway open to U.S. addresses only | No Giveaway Accounts
National Culinary Arts Month 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 OR cut a larger “crust” game board from cardboard and divide into slices with marker
- Printable Pizza Toppings Card 1 Large template
- Printable Pizza Toppings Card 2 Large template
- Printable Pizza Toppings Card Small template
- Card stock or heavy paper (optional)
- Cardboard (optional)
- Marker (optional)
- 1 playing die
Object of the Game: to be the first player to fill a pizza slice with 5 delicious ingredients
- Print a Pizza Crust Game Board and Ingredients Cards on regular paper or heavy stock
- Each player picks a slice on the board to fill
- Roll the dice to choose who goes first
- The first player rolls the dice and places the facing ingredient on their slice according to the numbers below
- Play then passes to the right
- After the first round of play, when players roll an ingredient they already have, the die is passed to the next player
- The player who fills their slice with all 5 ingredients first, wins
Alternative for older kids: Print a game board and ingredients cards for each player. The first player to fill all the slices on the 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 We Love Pizza at these booksellers
To support your local independent bookstore, order from
Picture Book Review