|At the Duomo in Florence (August 2012)|
The previous post about Florence coupled with this flurry of searching for books for our upcoming trip, reminded me of a couple of our favorite Italy-themed books for young people that have permanent places on our shelves.
Pippo the Fool by Tracey Fern; illustrated by Pau Estrada
I LOVE this book. What can I say? Adore it. Fern tells the story of Filippo Brunelleschi's quest to build the dome that tops the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore during the Italian Renaissance in Florence. She does so meaningfully with rich language and humor in a seemingly true narrative that is entirely engaging and accessible to children while interesting to adults, too. We use it as a read aloud in our house. The illustrations? Equally in love with them (or perhaps more in love) and can't wait to get my hands on this book.
Exactly as I had hoped, my girl was head-over-heals excited to visit Pippo's dome this August when we visited Florence. The connection was amazing to watch. Also watching her study the dome from inside and out was quite incredible. So rich. Several years ago I read Brunelleschi's Dome by Ross King, and I hope to pass it along to her in time so that she can get to know her beloved Pippo a bit better. Wishful thinking, I know.
|Sketching in the Duomo (August 2012)|
The Hinky Pink an old tale retold by Megan McDonald; illustrated by Brian Floca
This one is another recommended favorite. I've included the Booklist review below.
The Booklist review:
- In old-time Florence, Anabel the seamstress is thrilled when she is summoned to the palace to produce a sumptuous gown for the princess. Every night, though, she is mysteriously awakened when her blankets fly off. "You have a Hinky-Pink," says the maid. "You must make [it] a bed of its own. Then it [won't] steal your covers." Too tired to sew, Anabel tries, and fails, to make the sprite happy. Then she lines a tiny thimble with cloth, and the room fills with the happy song of the finally satisfied little sprite. At last Anabel is able to sleep and work, finishing the dress just in time for a ball. McDonald's language, filled with rhymes and noisy nonsense, will make for a delightful read-aloud, and Floca's ink-and-watercolor images, best viewed up close, amplify the court's opulence and the story's humor and magic. The diminutive trim size and page layouts, which mix multiple small images and text, make this a good choice for kids transitioning to chapter books. An author's note lists the tale's origins. Gillian Engberg.
Are there Italy-themed books for children that you would recommend? Please share in the comments. I'm currently gathering books that will peak interest in Paris (yes!) and hope to share the ones we all enjoy the most in a future post.