Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Review: World Pizza by Cece Meng

by Cece Meng
Illustrated by Ellen Shi
Sterling Children's Books
32 pages
ages 3+

Bring on the Peace-ahh!

When Momma spots a wishing star, she starts to ask for world peace—but a sneeze changes “peace” into “peace-AH-AH-AH-choo!” World PIZZA! 

Suddenly, yummy pies of every kind come drifting down from the sky. That’s not exactly what Momma hoped for . . . or is it? With humor, warmth, and heart, this delicious picture book celebrates the things that truly bring us together.


When Mom's wonderful wish for world peace ends with a sudden 'A-choo', the most amazing and delicious thing happens.

This story is as irresistible as it sounds and as satisfying as the smell of fresh baked bread, tomato sauce and melted cheese.

Starting with a lovely night under the stars with the family, warm feelings already roll off of the first page. And this atmosphere continues - even mutates into a few smiles - the rest of the way through. If there was ever a word every kid understands, it's pizza. The mother's wish for world peace, on the other hand, is a huge ideal which is amazing and so much more unfathomable in its scope, especially for kids. By pushing these two terms together, the author masterfully weaves the most perfect wish of all.

The text is simply a joy to read and flows smoothly along, dancing between the bright illustrations. The words tell the story, but it's the illustrations which tie it all together. From one country to the next, the various cultures flash by and leave an impression. Those pizzas land everywhere, adding a lovely sense of humor the whole way through. The bounty of flavors - from pickles to chocolate - grab and surprise, guaranteeing to pull young listeners/readers in.

The message is wrapped in a delicious and whimsical tale, and gives a sense of hope and inspiration. As the last page is reached, the world no longer seems so foreign and even the biggest dreams like world peace slide a little bit more into reach.

All about the Author. . .

Cece Meng is the award-winning author of several published picture books, including Always Remember (Penguin Random House), The Wonderful Thing About Hiccups, winner of the National Association of Parenting Publications Honors Award; Tough Chicks, included on the ALA Amelia Bloomer list of feminist literature; I Will Not Read This Book, and Bedtime is Canceled (all Houghton).

All about the Illustrator. . .

 Ellen Shi is a recent graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, majoring in Illustration. Her first picture book, Little Frog and the Scary Autumn Thing, by beloved author Jane Yolen, will pub in September 2016 (Persnickety Press). when not illustrating for children, teaching art to children or creating elaborate fabric puppets, you can find her devouring cherry and chocolate pizza likely with her nose in a book.

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