Maya's World: Angelina of Italy

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
"Let me tell you about my friend Angelina," writes Angelou at the start of this minimal, clich d story, one of four launching the Maya's World paperback series starring children from various countries. Angelina, who lives in Italy, is so enamored of pizza that her older sister calls her "Patty Pizza." When one night at dinner her uncle tells the story of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the girl envisions "a tower made of delicious, saucy pizza pies rising as tall as the church steeple down the street" and is chagrined to think that, if it fell over, "no one would ever have a chance to eat it! Especially her!" When she fails to believe her mother's assertion that the tower is not made of pizza ("Don't worry, darlinghissima," she tells Angelina), the family drives to Pisa. There with "big tears rolling down [her] cheeks" Angelina dashes past a guard and under the ropes to get a closer look at the structure. With relief, she discovers, "There wasn't a piece of pepperoni or drippy mozzarella in sight!" In the tale's predictably contrived ending, Angelina earns "a great big pizza pie with everything!" Though cheerful, Rockwell's spare illustrations are as one-dimensional as the narrative. Unfortunately, neither will satiate the appetites of youngsters hungry for information about a child from another culture. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
What makes children from different countries uniquely different? Is it their physical features, connection to a vast history, or food? For the little Italian girl Angelina, it is pizza. Angelina loves pizza. In fact, she loves it so much that when she hears about the famous leaning Tower of Pisa, she believes it to be the leaning Tower of Pizza. And that is upsetting because if the leaning Tower of Pizza falls over, the pizza pies stacked on top of each other will never be eaten. "Don't worry, darlinghissima," said Angelina's mama. "The tower is made of marble and concrete and metal." But the words are not comforting to the little girl and the family leaves on a visit to Pisa. When the tower is within reach a guard keeps Angelina from getting closer. Crocodile tears fall from the distressed girl. A scuffle incurs and Angelina is finally able to see the tower up close. The illustrations are simple but favorably depict various details of Italian culture. One unique feature of the "Maya's World" series is the collectable cut-out doll printed on the flap. 2004, Random House, Ages 4 to 6.
—Robyn Gioia
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375828324
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 9/14/2004
  • Series: Maya's World Series
  • Pages: 24
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.08 (w) x 7.94 (h) x 0.05 (d)

Meet the Author

Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou
An author whose series of autobiographies is as admired for its lyricism as its politics, Maya Angelou is a writer who’s done it all. Angelou's poetry and prose -- and her refusal to shy away from writing about the difficult times in her past -- have made her an inspiration to her readers.

Biography

As a chronicler of her own story and the larger civil rights movement in which she took part, Maya Angelou is remarkable in equal measure for her lyrical gifts as well as her distinct sense of justice, both politically and personally.

Angelou was among the first, if not the first, to create a literary franchise based on autobiographical writings. In the series' six titles -- beginning with the classic I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and followed by Gather Together in My Name, Singin' and Swingin' and Gettin' Merry Like Christmas, Heart of a Woman, All God's Children Need Traveling Shoes, and 2002's A Song Flung Up to Heaven -- Angelou tells her story in language both no-nonsense and intensely spiritual.

Angelou's facility with language, both on paper and as a suede-voiced speaker, have made her a populist poet. Her 1995 poem "Phenomenal Woman" is still passed along the Web among women as inspiration ("It's in the reach of my arms/The span of my hips/The stride of my steps/The curl of my lips./I'm a woman/Phenomenally/Phenomenal woman/That's me"), and her 1993 poem "On the Pulse of the Morning," written for Bill Clinton's presidential inauguration, was later released as a Grammy-winning album.

Angelou often cites other writers (from Kenzaburo Oe to James Baldwin) both in text and name. But as often as not, her major mentors were not writers – she had been set to work with Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. before each was assassinated, stories she recounts in A Song Flung Up to Heaven.

Given her rollercoaster existence -- from poverty in Arkansas to journalism in Egypt and Ghana and ultimately, to her destiny as a successful writer and professor in the States – it's no surprise that Angelou hasn't limited herself to one or two genres. Angelou has also written for stage and screen, acted, and directed. She is the rare author from whom inspiration can be derived both from her approach to life as from her talent in writing about it. Reading her books is like taking counsel from your wisest, favorite aunt.

Good To Know

Angelou was nominated for an Emmy for her performance as Nyo Boto in the 1977 miniseries Roots. She has also appeared in films such as How to Make an American Quilt and Poetic Justice, and she directed 1998's Down in the Delta.

Angelou speaks six languages, including West African Fanti.

She taught modern dance at the Rome Opera House and the Hambina Theatre in Tel Aviv.

Before she became famous as a writer, Maya Angelou was a singer. Miss Calypso is a CD of her singing calypso songs.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Margeurite Johnson
      Maya Angelou
    2. Hometown:
      Winston-Salem, North Carolina
    1. Date of Birth:
      April 4, 1928
    2. Place of Birth:
      St. Louis, Missouri
    1. Education:
      High school in Atlanta and San Francisco

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2013

    Ya

    Amazmous storie

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