Tony and the Pizza Champions
  • Tony and the Pizza Champions
  • Tony and the Pizza Champions
  • Tony and the Pizza Champions
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Tony and the Pizza Champions

by Tony Gemignani, Matthew Trueman
     
 

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From the eight-time world pizza-tossing champion, this dynamic picture book invites readers to join in the dough-flying fun as Tony and his team of talented pizza-tossers travel to Italy to compete in an international competition. Pizza lovers of all ages will be amazed to get this inside peek into the acrobatic art of pizza tossing, and to see the many diverse

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Overview

From the eight-time world pizza-tossing champion, this dynamic picture book invites readers to join in the dough-flying fun as Tony and his team of talented pizza-tossers travel to Italy to compete in an international competition. Pizza lovers of all ages will be amazed to get this inside peek into the acrobatic art of pizza tossing, and to see the many diverse ways that the much-loved food can be enjoyed here and abroad. Also included are Tony's famous pizza recipe and step-by-step dough-tossing instructions for those who want to get into the act.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Eight-time world pizza dough-tossing champion Gemignani serves up a fictionalized account of just such a championship run. "Hold the anchovies!... This looks important!" Tony says when an invitation to compete in the World Pizza Championship arrives at his pizzeria. He and a co-worker cross the country in the "Pizzamobile," collecting the remaining four members of their team. In Italy, they clinch the prize with a nifty feat, showcased in a foldout spread: they form a human pyramid-the top fellow reaches his perch via unicycle-while tossing dough. Vivid colors dominate Trueman's (One Beetle Too Many) stylized mixed-media illustrations, which give the team (and their feats) a larger-than-life, modern folk hero quality (whirls of dough, flour and limbs mostly succeed at conveying the movement inherent in this activity). The pizza-obsessed will enjoy facts about quirky pizza toppings around the world, photos of Gemignani's championship team and illustrated dough and pizza recipes, with detailed tossing tips. Enthusiastic narration and pizza puns aplenty ("It's a good thing I ordered an extra-large van") help make this light, delectable fare. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Carolyn Mott Ford
Tony's nickname is Tossing Tony because of his terrific pizza tossing moves, so when he was invited to compete in the World Pizza Championship in Italy, he and his friend Ken jumped into the Pizzamobile and set off from the pizzeria in California to travel across the country picking up other members of his team. The last one to be picked up was Famous Joe, the master of the sky-high move. The talented tossers practiced until they had a magnificent routine, so good they labeled it "Top Secret." When they got to Italy, they discovered that the teams from many other countries could also perform great moves. Nonetheless, Tony and his pals won the gold with the Pizza Pyramid. The book is liberally sprinkled with pizza factoids and includes directions on making and tossing dough as well as a recipe for big cheese pizza. Just for fun, kids can find a way to make pizza faces using various ingredients including olives, which are just perfect for the eyes. The author is a pizza chef and his team, the World Pizza Champions, which is pictured in the book, has won many titles. The illustrations are humorous caricatures and kids, who love pizza, should find the book a lot of fun to read. Reviewer: Carolyn Mott Ford
School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 3

Tony Gemignani, aka Tossing Tony, and his friends form a team from across the U.S. and travel to Italy where they vie for the World Pizza Championship. This competition is more than just making a tasty pie-its focus is on the skill of pizza tossing. Recipes and instructions are included. Photographs of the world champs at the end confirm that this story is based on real events and people. The mixed-media illustrations successfully capture the glee and high energy involved in pizza tossing. White paint splatters make the work appear covered with flour. A delightfully palatable selection.-Laura Butler, Mount Laurel Library, NJ

Kirkus Reviews
While pizza and all its toppings may prove a tasty topic for a young audience, the flat plot and heavy message herein will leave few readers craving a second helping. Loosely based on a true story, Gemignani describes his team's work in an international pizza-throwing competition. In tall-tale fashion, Tossing Tony joins his fellow teammates in his extra-large Pizzamobile to prepare for the world championships. Each member has a special skill: Strong Sean tosses his enormous dough on his front lawn while Silly Siler balances pizza while riding his unicycle, and so on. Predictably, the Americans' pizza-pyramid wins accolades during the international event, though contrived dialogue results in a stunted presentation. "Teamwork," they say to themselves. "It's all about teamwork." Interesting factlets examine pizza's regional and international differences, though they do little to describe the competition's specifics. Trueman's bright mixed-media cartoons evoke the rich flavors of their subject; fiery reds and golden tans energize the colorful art. Depth and texture enhance the angular characters, but overall, this dry narrative lacks spice. (resources, recipes) (Picture book. 5-8)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780811861625
Publisher:
Chronicle Books LLC
Publication date:
03/04/2009
Pages:
44
Product dimensions:
8.60(w) x 10.50(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Tony Gemignani is a world-renowned pizza tosser. His team has won the world pizza-tossing championship in Italy eight times. He and his brother own Pyzano's Pizzeria in Northern California. He is the co-author of Chronicle's Pizza cookbook.

Matthew Trueman has illustrated several children's books. Raised in Italy, he now lives in Alpha, New Jersey.

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