Early Book Review: Eat, Leo! Eat! by Caroline Adderson and Jose Bisaillon

Eat, Leo! Eat! written by Caroline Adderson and illustrated by Jose Bisaillon is a picture book that is currently scheduled for release on April 1 2015. Every Sunday Leo’s family goes to his grandmother’s house for a big family lunch. However, Leo wants no part of sitting down with his family to eat. Clever Nonna uses stories to lure Leo to her table to eat. Each week the story ties in the adventures of a young boy with the type of pasta included in the meal. Soon Leo is eager for the stories and the meal and discovers just how happy his is to have the family he does. As readers learn the names and shapes of pasta, they also learn some basic Italian and are treated to the same wonderful tales as Leo and his family. 

Eat, Leo! Eat! is a charming book about family, heritage, and some Italian vocabulary. I really liked the path Nonna took to get Leo to the table, and the ever expanding story. I saw some of my own family in the good-natured teasing, and abundance of food at family gatherings. The illustrations by Jose Bisaillon are colorful and have a playful feel to them. The pictures do a wonderful job of adding details to the narrative and bringing the story to life. I think the loving family and 

Eat, Leo! Eat! is a wonderful picture book for family and school and library sharing. The story is fun and has adventure, but it can also be used to spark discussion about family, foreign languages, various cultures and their stories, and food. The book would also be great to use as a storytelling prompt or example starting a class or child writing their own ongoing tale, or a chain story where they each have a chance to expand upon the original. 

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