Friday, June 16, 2017
World Pizza by Cece Meng and Ellen Shi
In World Pizza by Cece Meng and Ellen Shi, a family is sitting on a hill at night, looking for wishing stars (shooting stars) when the mother of the family spots one. She tries to wish for world peace but a cherry blossom falls from the branch above her. It tickles her nose and she sneezes in the middle of her wish, turning the wish into something just a little bit different: "peace--ah...ahh...ahh...CHOO!". Everyone agrees with little Jack when he says, "Mama wished for world pizza!"
Soon, pizzas begin falling from the sky all over the world. The family eats a pizza and it makes them full and happy. Elsewhere, the hungry and grumpy and everyday people of the world eat the pizzas that fall from the sky. Every pizza is different but they're all good and nobody is left hungry. Even the grumpy neighbors who peer over fences and complain about noise are softened by the joy of a good pizza.
Pizza appeared in valleys, in deserts, and on the very topmost points of snowy, blowy mountains. [...]
People living in the smallest building of the smallest town got pizza.
People with no place to live at all got pizza. (Those people got extra pizza).
By the end of the next day, an entire world's inhabitants have full bellies and happy hearts. Can feeding the world be the answer to the search for world peace? It's an interesting thought, isn't it? Imagine a world in which nobody is left hungry - not the homeless, the rich, the poor. Everyone, no matter where they may live, satisfyingly full. Such a pleasant thought.
Recommended but not a favorite - World Pizza is a cute book with a thought-provoking concept but not as well executed as I would have liked. I found the text a little flat and repetitive. Of course, repetition is often a positive thing in children's books as it gets the point across to little ones, and the book also proposes a question worth talking about - both points in its favor. My favorite illustrations were those that showed various places around the world. Unsurprisingly, I was also hit by a massive craving for pizza, which has not yet been satisfied.
You can see some of the illustrations and some interior shots at the illustrator's website:
Ellen Shi's website
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