Giada De Laurentiis Visits BookPeople Tonight
In addition to achieving international success as a Food Network star and bestselling cookbook author, Emmy-winning chef Giada De Laurentiis is the Italian-American mother of a young child and new children's book author.
Centered on Alfie Bertolizzi and his older sister Emilia, the first two books of De Laurentiis' new children's series, Naples! #1 and Paris! #2, have released to much acclaim.In the stories, the sibling duo is awakened to new possibilities in food and fun when their kooky Zia Donatella comes to live with them. She exposes them to new foods, and the tasty treats then magically transport them to faraway foreign cities, where they meet new friends. Intended to garner interest in cooking, global culture, and fresh ingredients, the books – which include nice recipe cards – are geared toward a target demographic of 7- to 11-year-old kids.
I was reminded of The Magic School Bus and the class field trips through space and time and the human body with the nutty Ms. Frizz (played by the wonderful Lily Tomlin in the television cartoon). Just trade the science experiments for home-cooking with foodie-grade ingredients and travel through cities of famous cuisine instead of through the human esophagus. The books are reading-level appropriate, generally sweet, and engaging, though this reviewer sincerely hopes that in the upcoming Hong Kong! #3 (available Nov. 5), dear Emilia will find her voice and be as strong, personable, and vivacious as her little brother.
Naples! (Recipe for Adventure #1)
by Giada De Laurentiis, illustrated by Francesca Gambatesa
Grosset & Dunlap, 144 pp., $16.99 ($6.99, paperback)
Giada De Laurentiis will sign the first books of her new children's series tonight (Wednesday, Sept. 11, 7pm) at BookPeople (603 N. Lamar). Visit the BookPeople website for complete details.