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Review – Italian Medicine by Zachary Tamer and illustrator Yevheniia Melnyk.
Italian Medicine is a fun rhyming poetry book for kids, and adults will love it too. I was instantly transported to my childhood growing up with a fantastic cook for a Nan, one very much like the grandma Nonnie in this story. My brothers and I all ate until we almost popped a button too!
Cleverly written by Zachary Tamer and illustrated by the extremely talented Yevheniia Melnyk, it tells the story of Sebastian Anthony Campagna, lovingly known as Tony Lasagna, and his Grandmother who is made happy when everyone is eating her food and lots of it. So much so, Tony is fit to burst but doesn’t want to upset her by refusing her food, nor does he want to grow too big that he cannot fit in his clothes. So clever Tony comes up with a plan to learn to cook with his Grandmother so he can share the food with the rest of his family and others less fortunate than himself. It’s a heart-warming story, filled with love and the love of some seriously delicious Italian food; Grandmother’s ‘Medicine’, her answer to everything. It’s a funny tale about families and great food, plus it comes with a message of love and caring for others too.
A portion of the profits from this book go to DC Central Kitchen, an iconic non-profit and social enterprise that combats hunger and poverty through job training and job creation. Their approach provides hands-on culinary job training while creating living-wage jobs and bringing nutritious, dignified food where it is most needed. They serve scratch-cooked farm-to-school meals in DC schools; deliver fresh, affordable produce to corner stores in neighbourhoods without supermarkets; provide delicious catering, and operate fast-casual cafes.
Italian Medicine is a splendid read for both adults and children. Especially if you’re Italian. But even if you’re not it’s also nice to show kids a different culture and can be used as a great talking point about different foods. Really enjoyable, with such adorable pictures. Glad to recommend it!
Little Tony was beginning to worry that he might pop if his Nonnie fed him one more ladle of “Italian Medicine”, but he just might have a plan that could stop him from bursting his pant buttons and help his community at the same time!
Italian Medicine is a story about the beginning of our relationships with food and how these relationships often start with someone we might call Nona, Nonnie, MiMi or GiGi. Throughout childhood, food was the answer to all of life’s ailments and, if it didn’t cure you the first time, you simply needed to eat some more!
Italian Medicine offers a generous portion of the true healing power in good cooking. This story spills over with love, and shows how we can learn to use the healing power of food to make a difference in the lives of others one plate at a time.
I wrote Italian Medicine to make children laugh and to transport parents back to their childhood kitchens so they can share their own memories of loud family gatherings, the foods of their culture, and the ingredients that make them who they are today.
Visit www.zacharytamer.com to see other books written by Zachary Tamer and the charities he supports with each purchase!