Monday, September 26, 2011

All The Way to America

All The Way to America: The Story of a Big Italian Family and a Little Shovel. Dan Yaccarino. 2011. Random House. 40 pages.

My great-grandfather Michele Iaccarino grew up on a farm in Sorrento, Italy. When he was a boy, his father gave him a little shovel so he could help tend the zucchini, tomatoes, and strawberries that his family sold in the village. They worked very hard but were always very poor. And so when he was a young man, Michele left Italy and went all the way to America in search of new opportunities. "Work hard," his father told him, handing him the little shovel. "But remember to enjoy life." "And never forget your family," his mother said. She hugged him and gave him their few family photographs and her recipe for tomato sauce. 

Dan Yaccarino tells a very personal story in All the Way to America. He shares his family history--the history of four generations: his great-grandparents, his grandparents, his parents, and himself, how he's passing on the legacy to his own children. It's a picture book that celebrates family, family values, and life. The good advice being passed on through the generations just as much as that one little shovel. It was a very simple, very sweet story. (I really liked seeing how the shovel was used by each generation.)

I would definitely recommend this one. I really loved it.

Text: 4 out of 5
Illustrations 4 out of 5
Total: 8 out of 10

© 2011 Becky Laney of Young Readers

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