6 Pizza Books That Deliver

When I was little, I distinctly remember loving a book where there was a pizza place with oober-stretchy cheese, so when anyone took a bite of this pizza, it stretched and stretched and stretched... Unable to remember the title, I am still on the hunt for this book. 

While on my mystery pizza book quest, I've read a lot of children's pizza books. These are the 6 best I've found so far.  

6. Pizza At Sally's by Monica Wellington (2006): A “How” Book

Pizza At Sally's shows readers how a pizza is made, beginning with Sally growing tomatoes in her garden to Sally serving pizza to her customers. This is a good book if your child is interested in how things work, in this case how a pizza is made and how a restaurant works. My favorite part of this book is the mixed media illustrations with images of real tomatoes and real pizza.

If you're a sauce-y person and care a lot about the quality of your pizza's tomato sauce, this book is going to make you want a hot cheese pizza, just like Sally's.

Sally also has a pretty cute cat that helps her make (and eat) her pizza, which doesn't hurt in making Sally likable. Sally lives in a happy town, too; the woman that sells Sally cheese has a dog. 

5. Pizza by Frank Asch (2015): A Cozy (Somewhat Nostalgic) Pizza Book

When Baby Bear goes out to eat with his parents and tries pizza for the first time, he falls in love. The restaurant atmosphere Asch creates is cozy and somewhat nostalgic for anyone who misses the way it was to eat out in the old normal.

Baby Bear has a dream that night that three aliens bring him different pizzas to try, such as a macaroni and cheese pizza. This part of the book is an interactive opportunity to discuss whether or not a macaroni and cheese pizza would be good, or you can stop to think up other kinds of funky pizzas.

In the morning, all Baby Bear wants for breakfast is pizza, a relatable ending for anyone who has a pizza-loving child. 

4. Pete's A Pizza by William Steig (1998): The Book that Makes a Case for Imagination

First of all, I have to wonder if Pete's A Pizza would be published in today's culture of consent and body awareness. That being said, my son loves this book; he thinks it's hilarious. Pete's dad makes a pizza, by rolling Pete out like dough and putting pretend toppings all over him. Many parents have something like this with their child. For example, a mouse skis off the tip of my son's nose at bedtime, a tradition that has formed somewhere along the way. While the story may leave room for a talk about consent, it also suggests we need to give our kids more room to be bored. Pete is upset that it's raining, and he can't play outside, so he's bored. Pete's parents model how to cheer yourself up when you might be bored, by using some imagination and a good sense of humor. In the process, Pete also receives love and attention from his parents, things that fill a child’s cup.

In an age of less meaningful social connections, Pete's A Pizza prompts the question: how can we cheer up loved ones (and ourselves) during the rainy days?

3. Pete the Cat and the Perfect Pizza Party by Kimberly and James Dean (2019): A Book for Being Silly

I live close to Cocoa Beach, where we have a high surf population. Making surfer dude voices is already something my son and I love to do.

Pete the Cat is the grooviest character for practicing your surfer impressions, which for whatever reason, kids seem to love. (LOVE.)

Since Pete's friends decide to top their pizza with "P" toppings, like pepperoni, pistachios, and pickles, you may point out that this is an alliteration, the repetition of consonant sounds and a form of figurative language. And in case you didn't already know, we tried it, and pickles are actually awesome on pizza. If you’re a pickle person, I urge you to try this.   

2. Little Nino’s Pizzeria by Karen Barbour (1987): A Book Full of Life Lessons

Little Nino’s Pizzeria is a Reading Rainbow Book, which makes sense, because the social-emotional lessons in this 35-years-young story hold up. Tony's dad has a pizzeria, and he's his dad’s “best helper,” making pizza, clearing tables, and giving the extra pizza to “hungry people in the alley who have no homes” at the end of the day. People love eating at Little Nino’s Pizzeria. Now, here’s where the story gets good. A man comes to see Tony's dad, and later on Tony overhears his parents saying that they will make more money now. With the new man in charge, Little Nino’s becomes a very different restaurant.

Soon, Tony’s parents are always busy, and Tony feels that he is "always in the way." Eventually, Tony’s dad misses the way things were and  just wants to make pizza again with his "best helper."

The story's morals include (but are not limited to): more money doesn't equate to happiness, make your life’s work something you love doing, spend time with those you love most, and help others. This story is perfect for discussing the theme (the moral, lesson, or main idea of a story) with young readers.    

1. Secret Pizza Party by Adam Rubin & Daniel Salmieri (2013): A Book for Laughing 

Secret Pizza Party followed Dragons Love Tacos, Rubin and Salmieri’s most popular title, by only a year, but it has been overshadowed by Dragons.

Even though I love Dragons Love Tacos and want to eat some spicy tacos after every reading (gets me every time), I think Secret Pizza Party is even better.

A racoon who has grown to adore pizza because of his dumpster diving leftovers is both sensical and refreshingly unexpected. The pizza illustrations are lovely, and the raccoon’s repeated failed attempts at getting himself his own pizza are Wes Anderson-esque, both in plot and illustrations.

Once, we did a pizza-themed story time at the library, and another librarian told me about another librarian that used to sprinkle oregano onto the paper pizza crafts for the kids to smell. This is the kind of information that I haven't been able to unknow. Ever since, I've told my son that dried oregano is "pizza sprinkles." (Pro tip.)

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