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C Is for Ciao: An Italy Alphabet Review by Nancy Casari Dayton

By Elissa D. Grodin and Governor Mario M. Cuomo
Illustrated by Marco Ventura
Sleeping Bear Press
310 North Main Street, Suite 300
Chelsea, MI 48118

This title is particularly inviting to me because of my Italian heritage. The information and illustrations in the book provide an opportunity to share that heritage and my growing up experiences with my children. This book will appeal to any family who wants to learn something about Italy and its culture.

Each letter of the alphabet comprises a one- or two-page spread. Textual content is included on one-third of each page. The content includes such topics as aqueducts, Juvenal, Naples, and piazza. The content provided is really like a mini-encyclopedia entry; students and adults alike will learn lots of interesting information about Italy.

Marco Ventura's beautiful illustrations bring the land and the topics to life. Overall, there is more artwork than text in this book, so the artwork is a key component. The illustrations are detailed and brightly-colored. They invite discussion about the topics and will appeal to young eyes and older ones alike.

Someday, I hope to visit Italy with my children, but in the meantime, this book and my stories of our relatives can entice them. This hardback book lists for $17.95.

Product review by Nancy Casari Dayton, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, May 2009