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All the Way to America: The Story of a Big Italian Family and a Little Shovel
Contributor(s): Yaccarino, Dan
ISBN: 0375866426     ISBN-13: 9780375866425
Publisher: Alfred a Knopf Inc
    OUR PRICE: $15.30  
Product Type: Hardcover - Other Formats
Published: March 2011
Annotation: The story of four generations of an Italian American family, beginning 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."
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Authors, American; 20th century; Biography; Juvenile literature.
Authors, American; 20th century; Biography.
BISAC Categories:
- Juvenile Nonfiction | Family
- Juvenile Nonfiction | People & Places
- Juvenile Nonfiction | Social Issues | Emigration & Immigration
Dewey: 813/.54
LCCN: 2010017549
Lexile Measure: 830
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 1-2, Age 6-7
Book type: Easy Non Fiction
Physical Information: 8.50" H x 10.50" W x 0.25" (0.75 lbs) 40 pages
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 143167
Reading Level: 4.2   Interest Level: Lower Grades   Point Value: 0.5
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q53420
Reading Level: 4.4   Interest Level: Grades K-2   Point Value: 1.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s): DAN YACCARINO is an internationally acclaimed author-illustrator with more than thirty books to his credit. Dan is also the creator of the animated TV series Oswald. He lives in New York City with his wife and two children.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2011 Fall)
Yaccarino recounts his family history, from his great-grandfather emigrating from Sorrento, Italy, to his grandparents' opening a market, to his own children growing up today. Throughout the generations, the "little shovel" brought over from Italy is a constant; it's now used in a New York City terrace garden. Warm, bright gouache illustrations in Yaccarino's typical style enhance the straightforward text. Copyright 2011 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2011 January #4)

In this affectionate personal history, Yaccarino (Lawn to Lawn) traces his ancestry from Sorrento, Italy, to New York City. He links the generations with a humble hand-me-down: a hefty gray grocer's scoop pictured in nearly every spread. The narrative starts with the author's great-grandfather, Michele Iaccarino, who boards a ship for America with the shovel, "their few family photographs and recipe for tomato sauce." In the U.S., he goes by Michael Yaccarino and uses the scoop at his pushcart stand. Later, his son "measures beans, macaroni, and olives" with the scoop, then opens a restaurant featuring the family's tomato sauce. Rather than give dates, Yaccarino shows the passage of time as the shovel passes from fathers to sons, and the respect given the object signals family pride. On snowy days at his father's barbershop, the shovel is "used... to pour rock salt over the sidewalk," and Yaccarino's author photo pictures him with the well-traveled tool. He celebrates classic bootstrap success, subtly incorporating red, white, and green in his palette. Folksy and warm, this is a timely reminder that America is a nation of immigrants. Ages 5–9. (Mar.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2010 PWxyz LLC

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2011 March)

PreS-Gr 2—In this picture book, Yaccarino shares his family history. Starting with his great-grandfather Michele Iaccarino's immigration to America, he gives a simplified rundown of each generation's career and family life. Advice passed from parent to child creates a narrative connection among generations: "Work hard....But remember to enjoy life....And never forget your family." A little shovel (actually more of a scoop) was also passed along, and it was used for gardening, for measuring foodstuffs, and even for pouring salt onto icy sidewalks. The text is clear and simple, if a bit dry, but readers' interest will be held fast by the bright illustrations. In his typical retro style, Yaccarino creates a world of friendly, rounded people set against stylized background scenery. Individuals are identifiable by signature items of clothing; for example, Michele wears the same green cap from childhood to old age. Yaccarino's family is proudly Italian, but their immigration story is universal. 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.—Heidi Estrin, Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL

[Page 146]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.