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Angelina of Italy: Maya's World    by Maya Angelou & Lizzy Rockwell order for
Angelina of Italy
by Maya Angelou
Order:  USA  Can
Random House, 2004 (2004)
Hardcover, Softcover

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

Dr. Maya Angelou has made 'little friends' around the world. She offers us stories of children from different nations, 'because kids around the world are more alike than different'. Each delightful book includes a paper doll of the featured child, and a beautiful photo of Dr. Angelou and children adorns the back cover. The sprightly, bright colors, of Lizzy Rockwell's expressive illustrations are bouncy and cheerful.

Maya Angelou introduces each story with: 'When I was a little girl, / I looked around at my world. / It was small, so was I. / Then my world began to grow / With each child I came to know. / Now I try, / Now I dare / To make a new friend / Everywhere.' Angelina, who lives in Italy and has a 'mischievous twinkle in her eye', told Maya this story. Angelina was friendly and always said 'Ciao' to people she met each day. When Angelina and her family - Mama, Papa, twin brothers Franco and Fredo, Annalisa, and Uncle Armando - gathered for dinner, Uncle liked to tell stories.

That night he spoke of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and how it leaned over 'farther and farther' each year. Oh no! The idea of 'a leaning tower of pizza' falling over upset Angelina. So Papa took the family for a car ride to the town of Pisa to see the leaning tower. In tears, Angelina ran to the tower, picturing cheese dripping off it. When she saw that it was made of marble, concrete, and metal, she was relieved. The security guard reprimanded Angelina for running under the ropes surrounding the tower, but he also laughed when he realized Angelina thought it was pizza!

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