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Dayal Kaur Khalsa

Montreal, Tundra Books, 1989. 32pp, cloth, $14.95
ISBN 0-88776-231-X.

Grades 1 to 4/Ages 6 to 9
Reviewed by Marilyn Aldworth.

Volume 17 Number 4
1989 July

A delightful story that will be certain to evoke smiles and empathy from young and old readers alike, this is Dayal Kaur Khalsa's third successful book about young May and her quest to try to understand the adult world around her. Previous books by Khalsa are Tales of a Gambling Grandma, I Want a Dog (Tundra Books, 1987), My Family Vacation, and Sleepers. The illustrations by Khalsa are brilliant in colour and scope and capture authentically the era they depict.

This is a story about four young girls who try their hardest to cheer up their summer visitor from Italy. Even with the girls' inability to understand Italian and Mrs. Pelligrini's limited English, May and her friends know that the key to their guest's sadness has something to do with the world "pizza." It becomes their challenge to find out what the word "pizza" means. Trust the library and librarian to help them in this fruitful piece of research!

In spite of the girls' initial misgivings about the ingredients of pizza pie, once they and most of the neighbourhood have lasted it, pizza is an overwhelming success. Best of all, Mrs. Pelligrini is very happy and makes pizza every day until she has to return to Italy.

This is a very appealing story, which will be appropriate for many areas, particularly multicultural studies. It also underlines, without being pendantic or moralistic, the respectful and thoughtful relationship between the young girls and the old woman. Recommended.

Marilyn Aldworth, North Vancouver School District, North Vancouver, B.C.
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