By: Lidia Bastianich
Illustrated by: Renée Graef
Publisher: Running Press Kids
Publication Date: February 2015
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: March 14, 2015
What fun! It’s a sleepover party at Nonni Lidia’s house! All the grandchildren have come and the night gets off to a great start as they tell stories in the living room. One story scares Julia and Lorenzo teases her, saying, "Don’t be such a chicken!" Well, gosh, that sure gets Nonni going – telling the kids all about chickens and eggs and all the amazing things they provide.
Nonni begins by talking about her childhood, how she grew up on a farm, and helped take care of the family’s chickens. She tells her grandchildren about the chickens’ personalities and how they provided food for the whole family. Story time soon comes to an end and it’s off to bed for the children.
The next morning Nonni makes an egg-celent frittata for everybody and gets Miles to help prepare the meal. Realizing the children don’t know much about chickens (no, they really don’t start life at the grocery store), it’s time for a trip to a real farm. Soon the gang is headed off to “Hobbs Family Organic Poultry Farm” to learn all about chickens and eggs.
Author Lidia Bastianich is an accomplished author, with numerous cookbooks to her credit. She also enjoys sharing her love of cooking with children through her ‘Noona Tell Me a Story’ series. In this third book in the series, children will learn where some of their food comes from, enjoy a nice story, and get to try their hand at cooking. The author has included several savory recipes in the back of the book, with notations on what children can do to help prepare each meal. The soft, lovely illustrations by Renée Graef add that perfect ‘cozy feel’ that reminds readers of enjoying mealtime with their favorite grandmother. While the text may be a bit long for younger readers (ages 4 and lower), older children who love to cook will find the book delightful.
Quill says: A fun story that teaches children where their food comes from and will encourage them to give cooking a try.