Wednesday, August 15, 2012

World Wednesdays: Books on Italy

Hello!  So we were exploring Italy last week, and started off by reading "Papa Piccolo" (by Carol Talley), one of the books in the Five in a Row booklist:

This was a story about a cat in Venice who ends up adopting two kittens.  The book is beautifully illustrated and also introduces various Italien terms and scenery in Venice.

Then we read two books on music:

:: Gabriella's Song, by Candace Fleming: A story about a little girl who hears music in the things around her, be it in the flap flap of pigeon wings or the slap slap of laundry.  She sings a song, which is interpreted differently by those around her.  Some say it is a love song.  Some say it is a sad song, and a certain composer is inspired by it and writes a symphony.  Its a lovely lovely book!

:: I, Vivaldi, by Janice Shefelman: A story on the life of musician and composer, Antonio Vivaldi, with gorgeous illustrations.  

And also managed to cover two books on art:

:: Katie and the Mona Lisa, by James Mayhew: I find Mayhew's books make me a little dizzy, in the way Katie scrambles through the museum and encounters all sorts of characters in the paintings.  I admit I prefer the Anholt Artists series.  However, Junior J does enjoy the Katie series, and it is an interesting way to introduce children to various works of art.  This particular book introduces five paintings by Italien Renaissance artists, including Da Vinci's Mona Lisa, as well as St George and the Dragon by Raphael.

:: Leonardo and the Flying Boy, by Laurence Anholt: A story based on a true event, the book introduces Da Vinci as an inventor and painter, and one who dreamed of enabling man to fly through the sky.

We revisited "The Famous Nini" (which I blogged about here), and finally concluded by reading Miroslav's Sasek's "This is Venice" (I simply love this series!).  The book was a little too advanced for Junior J, so I skipped some parts, but it really helped to consolidate all the little details that we learnt about Venice.  Sasek has written another book on Rome, however, we would probably explore Rome another time!

What are your favourite children's books on Italy?


  1. What beautiful books! How did you know about them? I'm trying to do a countries of the world theme too, but as my daughter is older, the reading aspect can be done more independently. I need to gather interesting resources though!

  2. When he gets older, 'The thief Lord' by Cornelia Funke is a really great book about orphans finding their way around Italy (not many pictures in it if I remember right).



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