Pizza for the Queen

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
This is a delightful story about pizza and, although the text is a bit wordy for younger readers, kids will be drawn to the book by the title and the wonderfully-detailed illustrations. The tale is based upon a true story. On a busy day in 1889, Raffaele Esposito was getting ready for business in his Pietro e Basta Cosi pizzeria. What started out as a usual day kneading dough and preparing sauce changed suddenly when the queen's messenger entered the shop. The queen had heard of Raffaele's wonderful pizza and wanted to taste it for herself. The messenger left after promising to come back for the pizza that evening. Raffaele gathered the best ingredients and decided he would make several pizzas so the queen would have a choice. The last pizza he made had the colors of the Italian flag. There was red tomato, green basil and white mozzarella. Queen Margherita loved that pizza and a framed certificate hangs in the pizzeria to this day. A recipe for Pizza Margherita, as well as an author's note, appear at the back of the book. 2005, Holiday House, Ages 4 to 8.
—Carolyn Mott Ford
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Based on a true story, this charming picture book re-creates the events of June 11, 1889, in Napoli, Italy, which culminated in the birth of the Pizza Margherita, which shows off the red, white, and green of the Italian flag. Raffaele Esposito, owner of Pietro e Basta Cos", is reported to make the best pizza in the city. On a typical busy morning, the queen's messenger strolls in to place an order. Queen Margherita wants to taste what the people of Napoli love to eat. So Raffaele sets out to get the finest ingredients. The daylong process that follows will engage the imaginations and taste buds of readers. Arty and amusing color illustrations are full of details that further develop the story, while the description of the pizzas will leave everyone hungry for more. The book includes a recipe, and an author's note provides more information about pizza and this special pizzeria, which still exists.-Julie Roach, Watertown Free Public Library, MA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A rather puckish rendition of how the pizza we know and love in the U.S. came to be-more or less. In 1889, pizza had already been a popular Naples foodstuff for decades. On June 11 of that year, the queen's emissary visited Raffaele Esposito. Queen Margherita had heard that Raffaele made the best pizza in the city and she wanted to taste some. Raffaele goes off to obtain the finest olive oil, mozzarella and sausage for the queen. He makes one with garlic and tomato, one with mozzarella, sausage and basil. For the third, since the cat had eaten the anchovies he set aside, he's inspired by the colors of the Italian flag to make a red tomato, white mozzarella and green basil pizza. The queen loves them all and the new one is named for her. Potter's sunny palette and comically exaggerated figures live in a cartoon Napoli where Raffaele can twirl pizza dough in each hand simultaneously. The recipe included does not allow for the difficulties of making pizza from scratch, and doesn't explain much that might be needful, but that's a small quibble. Certain to make readers long for a slice. (recipe, author's note) (Picture book. 5-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823418657
  • Publisher: Holiday House, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/28/2005
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.32 (w) x 10.26 (h) x 0.27 (d)

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