Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 67


Picture Book: The Top of the Pizzas

Author & Illustrator: Bill Basso  

Summary: An ugly pizza maker, called Ogre Pizza-Ola because of his looks & his skill at pizza-making, was hidden in the kitchen of a popular pizzeria. He loved the children who delighted in his pizzas, but he stayed hidden as directed. Eventually a nosey woman discovered him and panic followed. After being fired, he set off to another city. Alas, the only job he could find was as a substitute gargoyle atop a tall skyscraper where its owner hoped tourists would come for the best view of the old city.  After weeks, only 1 family came, exhausted and hungry. Ogre Pizza-Ola asked permission to make pizzas for the tourists, though there was nowhere to hide. The first group to visit was led by a teacher who fainted when seeing Ogre, but her children did not. They loved him immediately because they saw his kindness. After a taste of the pizza, the teacher was won over too. Many customers followed to taste the pizza and see the pizza making ogre at the city’s newest and most intriguing pizzeria, The Top of the Pizzas.

Hanna’s Comments: The photo above reveals how much my students, children, and I have loved this book over the years. I especially like the way it gives children the credit for seeing beyond Ogre’s name and looks. Appearance is too often a place of judgment or obsession. This book offers an opportunity to talk about those who don’t fit your culture’s idea of beauty. Then consider how your faith instructs you to treat such people.

Publisher & Date of Publication: Dodd, Mead, & Company, 1977 

Age and Grade Appropriateness: 5 and up, K and up                                                  
# of Pages: 32                                                                                              
Available in Spanish? Not at present                                                         
Formats other than Book: None at present  

PBT Category: Rare but Worth the Search

PBT Topics this Book Connects with: abilities, acceptance, babies/children, beauty, bullying/martyrs/persecution/oppression, dreams/aspirations, exclusion/inclusion, exile/separation, fear, feasting/food/hunger/nutrition, gifts/giftedness/talents, hatred, hiding/isolation/separation/walls, injustice, intolerance, judgment/judges/judging, justice, outsiders, prejudice, purpose, social justice, stereotypes

Scripture Connections: unless you become like children (Matthew 18:3); Jesus interacts and heals a bent-over woman (Luke 13:10-17) and lepers (Luke 17:11-19)

Idea(s) for Application: Consider using this book when talking to children about judging others especially for their appearance.