Pizza Day with Books

Little gosling is always making himself busy in the kitchen alongside us or on his own. When asked, he says he is cooking (or cleaning). He mostly cooks bread and soup, but sometimes he also makes tea or oats. He craves to participate, to help when we’re up to something. So, I thought he might enjoy books about cooking and pulled together a few titles some weeks back.  

These two pizza books have had the greatest success so far. Both describe the steps of pizza-making and are great for vocabulary development.Must have something to do with little gosling loving pizza. I don’t think it would matter much what we put on it, he would probably eat it anyway. He doesn’t mind onions on pizza, but he can’t be bothered otherwise with it, for example :))). But his favourite, by far, is ham on the pizza :))). 

Yesterday was pizza day @home. We’ve had this every week since lockdown started, with daddy eager to experiment and improve his home-made pizza. Daddy has been a bit weary of letting little gosling partake in the action, but we found him something to do: he gets to break the stems off the mushrooms with his thumb :P, before mommy trims and slices them. Yesterday, I lingered around too long, whilst daddy prepared the crust for two pizzas and little gosling was napping, so when little gosling woke up, I still had to run to the supermarket to buy some…. mushrooms, precisely. Little gosling insisted (loudly) to go to the supermarket buy the mushrooms himself, so we went together. We bought readily sliced mushrooms, as we were in a hurry, and some ham :P… In the process, we also rehearsed some fruits and veggies, working on the difference between tomatoes and potatoes. Back home, we indulged in reading at the kitchen table, whilst daddy’s pizzas were in the oven.

These two books made pizza day a much more exciting time! We ask in the morning: “What day is today?” and he enthusiastically replies: “Pizza Day!”

“The Little Red Hen (makes a pizza)” by Philemon Sturges, illustrated by Amy Walrod follows a quirky, busy and somewhat silly hen who decides to make a pizza when she spots a can of tomato sauce in her cupboard; she’s got nothing else she needs for the pizza and tries without luck to enlist the help of the duck, the dog and the cat. She goes (with her purple bag and high heel shoes) to different shops to get all she needs and cooks a big pizza with lots of toppings that she shares with the three friends, who readily offer to do the dishes. A fun story about hard work and generosity, ending with four friends enjoying a huge pizza together. There is enough repetition and humour in the text and so much quirkiness in the characters to easily appeal to young readers, despite what might look like quite a long text.. 

After the first reading, little gosling was already giggling and repeating the negative answers of the three friends who preferred to go on having fun (“Not I, said the Duck; Not I, said the Dog; Not I, said the Cat”) and daddy could already imagine him serving us this reply soon enough. He was intrigued at the little details about the hen: the bunny shaped slippers; her drinking tea or reading about holidays while waiting for the pizza to be done. Aaaand, he curiously observed the saxophone the cat is carrying around throughout. Another music related word learnt and a good hook to explore some sax music. 

“Pizza Day” by Melissa Iwai strikes a bit closer to home. It depicts a young kid preparing a pizza together with his father, from gathering the vegetables they need for the tomato sauce from their own garden to enjoying the pizza together at the family table and lots of time spent outdoors, in the garden or playing with the family dog. The father-kid time together probably resonated with little gosling, as well as some of the close-ups of the process and kitchen, which he excitedly identifies (“like this…”). We had a good time together counting (five to one) and talking about the different vegetables and herbs they gathered from the garden. 

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