“'There's cold chicken inside it,' replied the Rat briefly; 'coldtonguecoldhamcoldbeefpickledgherkinssaladfrench

'O stop, stop,' cried the Mole in ecstacies: 'This is too much!'”
-- from
The Wind in the Willows

Thursday, December 8, 2011

All the Way to America • Picture book

All the Way To America: The Story of A Big Italian Family and A Little Shovel 
written and illustrated by Dan Yaccarino
Available now  Knopf Books for Young Readers  Ages 5 - 8
The portrait of an Italian-American family from a beloved storyteller.
Story: This is the story of four generations of an Italian American family. It begins with an immigrant who came through Ellis Island with big dreams, a small shovel, and his parents' good advice: "Work hard, but remember to enjoy life, and never forget your family."
Now, many years later, the man's great-grandson, Dan Yaccarino, tells how he succeeded, and how the little shovel has been passed from father to son—along with the good advice.
It's a story that captures the experience of so many American families. One that will have kids asking their parents and grandparents, where did we come from? Tell me your story.
Story behind the story:  Dan has written more than 30 books and earned numerous awards during his nearly 25 years as a published author, and All the Way to America is by far his most personal book to date. It’s his family’s story. Starting with his great grandfather’s immigration from Sorrento, Italy to New York, NY, all the way to his own son, Dan connects the four generations of his family through images, food memories, love of family and history, and a special shovel. The book is dedicated to Dan’s grandmother who was alive to see the sketches and confirm family stories, but unfortunately she passed away before the book was published. The shovel that plays such a pivotal role in the story, is now in Dan’s possession and will one day be in his son’s.

To hear Dan tell his story, watch this interview with him and Vicky Smith, editor of Kirkus Reviews, at the Texas Book Festival:

Can't get enough? Want to know even more?  Read this interview with Dan and John Sellers from Publishers Weekly, check out the teacher's guide, watch the trailer,  tell your immigration story here at the book's blog.

A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2011

"A gloriously warm celebration." --Kirkus Reviews, starred review

★“Folksy and warm, this is a timely reminder that America is a nation of immigrants." --Publishers Weekly, starred review

★"Readers of varied backgrounds will be able to identify with the search for a better life in a new country, the passing along of values and heirlooms, and the addition of new family members. The story will make an excellent family-history discussion starter." –SLJ, starred review
FYI:  All the review copies for this title have been sent.  Please check back and see the "comments" link to read what your colleagues have to say...