Myra here.

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We are joining Kidlit Frenzy’s Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge this year. Our book selections would be interwoven with our current reading theme – Buffet of Asian Literature: Makan! Kain Tayo! Let’s Eat where we highlight either Asian titles or books about foodfoodfood!

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This picturebook takes the reader on a unique journey around a small town in Italy called Pienza as seen through the eyes of a young girl. As the little girl describes how life is like in their little town, where life was simple, everyone knows everyone, and one can walk anywhere in town, she also talks about her immense love for pizza, particularly the ones found in Giovanni’s with its “warm and savory smells.”

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Written in bilingual text (English and Italian), the reader learns about the ancient story of pizza as the young girl researches its history from the public library. The origins of pizza were traced back to the time of ancient Greeks who ate “flatbreads with onions, herbs, and honey” then to the Mediterranean cultures, and pizza being ‘officially’ born in Naples, Italy. Apparently, it used to be “a peasant food, sold by the slice in the street.” Then there is mozzarella cheese imported from the milk of water buffalos in Asia, tomato from South America, and the story behind why Pizza Margherita is named the way it is – this I shall leave for you to discover. There is also a detailed Author’s note at the back which outlines a brief history of pizza as well as a Recipe for Pizza Margherita for little chefs-in-the-making.

In celebration of pizza, I have a few photographs from one of my favorite pizza places in Singapore: La Nonna at Namly Place, where the pizza is also cooked in a brick oven heated by wood fire, if I am not mistaken. Enjoy!

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Salmon E Rucola: Tomato, Mozzarella, Smoked Salmon, Rucola Salad, Mascarpone and Capers

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La Nonna Signature Pizza: Tomato, Mozzarella, Parmesan, Asparagus, Egg and Black Truffle

Pizza in Pienza by Susan Fillion. Published by David R. Godine, 2013. Book borrowed from the public library. Book photos taken by me.

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Nonfiction PictureBook Challenge: of 25

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Reading Challenge Update: 86 (25)

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Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

7 comments on “[Nonfiction Wednesday] Pizza in Pienza #nfpb2014

  1. Holly M @muellerholly

    This is a fun theme! Those pictures are making me hungry! 🙂 I love the idea of bilingual texts.

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  2. Well..I am ravenous for some of that delicious lookin food, Myra! This sounds like a lovely book, thanks for sharing today.

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  3. Love to see a book has a bi-lingual story with “Italian”, Myra. Kids will love trying the language, along with pizza too! Thanks, for the pictures too.

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  4. What a fascinating book! It reminds me of Kalman’s Lincoln in which the girl takes advantage of the library to find out more about her favorite president. The pizza pics look yummy.

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  5. You totally make me want to go eat right this minute. 🙂

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  6. Oh my yumminess!! That book looks good enough to eat!

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  7. This is a great feature – food books!!! 😀 I like that the book is in 2 languages! 🙂

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