Friday, September 11, 2020

Review - Every Night Is Pizza Night

Every Night Is Pizza Night

by J. Kenji López-Alt
illustrated by Gianna Ruggiero
Date: 2020
Publisher: Norton Young Readers
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 48
Format: e-book
Source: library

Pipo thinks that pizza is the best. No, Pipo knows that pizza is the best. It is scientific fact. But when she sets out on a neighborhood-spanning quest to prove it, she discovers that "best" might not mean what she thought it meant.

Join Pipo as she cooks new foods with her friends Eugene, Farah, Dakota, and Ronnie and Donnie. Each eating experiment delights and stuns her taste buds. Is a family recipe for bibimbap better than pizza? What about a Moroccan tagine that reminds you of home? Or is the best food in the world the kind of food you share with the people you love?

Warm and funny, with bright, whimsical illustrations by Gianna Ruggiero, Every Night Is Pizza Night is a story about open-mindedness, community, and family. With a bonus pizza recipe for young readers to cook with their parents, Every Night Is Pizza Night will make even the pickiest eaters hungry for something new.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

Pipo loves pizza. She thinks it's the best thing in the world. When presented with the idea that it might not be, she decides to collect some data to try to support her conclusion. Along the way, she encounters various foods such as bibimbap, tagine, and dumplings, and enjoys them all. But are they as good as pizza?

The idea here is cute, but I couldn't wholeheartedly enjoy this one. Pipo's obsession with pizza is tiresome (and I don't understand why her parents continually capitulate). Her attitude is also off-putting, as at one point she tells a dumpling purveyor to "back off" when he warns her about the dumplings being really juicy. (Rude little brat.) The turn-around of attitude at the end is a bit confusing. Does she or doesn't she admit that other foods can be "the best"? I'm still not sure.

The other issue I had with this one is the way the text is laid out on the pages. It's not always clear what order you're supposed to read the groups of words. I guess you take the cue from the illustrations, but even so, it's clumsy in spots.

There's a recipe for pizza at the end, which is kind of nice. And the book definitely does introduce some foods that Western pizza-obsessed kids might not have heard of. But its weaknesses meant that I couldn't enjoy this one as much as I would've liked. (Although, I do now have a hankering for some dumplings!)

Premise: 4/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 3/5

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall: 2.83 out of 5

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