Lidia Bastianich, Nonna Tell Me a Story: Lidia’s Christmas Kitchen
Lidia Bastianich chef, cookbook author and restaurateur can now add children’s book author to the list. Chef Lidia has written an endearing story of how the Christmases of her childhood were celebrated. It is an acknowledgement of a simpler time when coming together as a family was more important than running from store to store in search of the perfect gift.
This is a true tale of a sometimes hard life in a difficult time but one that is sure to entertain the children for whom this book was written. The pictures are large and the stories are told in simple and understandable language. As you would expect, Nona Tell Me a Story also includes simple recipe’s though not simple enough for children to make without help.
From School Library Journal
K-Gr 2–Nonni Lidia tells her five grandkids about what Christmas was like in Italy when she was a child, with a juniper bush hung with real fruit, cinnamon sticks, and cookies. She so successfully evokes the fun and the tantalizing smells that the children decide to decorate their tree the same way.
Bastianich, a television chef and cookbook author, clearly bases this story on her own family and experiences, and she includes plenty of delicious, if somewhat challenging, cookie recipes. The illustrations show round-faced, beaming family members cooking, eating, and celebrating together. A cheerful depiction of the making and sharing of holiday traditions.
A Christmas reminiscence from the Italian-American cooking-show host. Her warmhearted autobiographical story begins in a contemporary Christmas setting with the author, her five grandchildren and her own mother. The author then gathers her grandchildren around to recount her memories of childhood Christmases in Italy, when all the decorations for their trees were homemade cookies and ornaments made from natural materials such as figs and bay leaves.
The next section includes the recipes for the 16 holiday treats mentioned in the story, primarily different types of Christmas cookies. A final section describes the family’s traditions for decorating their tree in more detail. Logan’s pleasant illustrations of the happy family add to the amiable overall effect. The main story is accessible enough to children, but making the recipes will clearly require an adult’s assistance.