Saturday, March 14, 2009
For some high-flying, twirling pizza action, your young reader should dig into Tony and the Pizza Champions by Tony Gemignani.
Tossing Tony is invited to a pizza tossing competition in Italy. So, Tony and his friend Quick Ken set off on a trip across the United States in their Pizzamobile to put together their team of pizza-tossing acrobats who must come up with a great routine if they are going to have a chance at winning.
With tons of talent and a heavy dash of teamwork, Tossing Tony and friends might just bring home the prize.
Tony and the Pizza Champions is as exciting as it is funny. Based upon and co-authored by the real Tossing Tony, this large hardcover book is filled with remarkable, and often hilarious, illustrations from Mathew Trueman.
Memories of 1960's campy superhero shows ran through my mind as Tony announced, "To the Pizzamobile!" And the kids truly enjoyed this book from beginning to end.
As Tony and Ken travel from Ohio to South Carolina and then on to New York City--"home of the first pizzeria in the United States"--young readers get treated to interesting pizza facts from coast to coast; a learning experience that is recreated worldwide as Tony and his team travel to Italy for the competition and readers are treated to pizza facts from England, Argentina, and many other places along the way.
One of the best aspects of Tony and the Pizza Champions is that it makes competition fun. The team is obviously having a great time as they practice their routine and perform it in front of the judges. This is an excellent message for young children and it is delivered with such subtlety that the reader won't even notice.
Also included are photos of the real World Pizza Champions who children met in the story, a recipe for Tossing Tony's Pizza Dough, instructions on how to toss pizza dough, and a recipe for The Big Cheeze Pizza.
Considering that pizza is often a staple for children, this inside peek into the world of pizza making will leave its audience hungry for more.
Title: Tony and the Pizza Champions
Author: Tony Gemignani
Publisher: Chronicle Books
SRP: $16.99 (U.S.)