Pizza at Sally’s features a “garden to table” experience. The author takes us from Sally’s garden, where the tomatoes are grown, to the busy pizza shop where customers line up for a slice. The mixed media illustrations are beautifully detailed and offer readers extra information. The book ends with a real recipe that can bring the excitement of Sally’s into your very own kitchen!
Before, During and After Reading
Preview the book. Read the title and the author’s name and take a few moments to discuss the front and back covers. Connect this to your child’s life by discussing your experiences with pizza (making it, eating it, going to a pizzeria, favorite toppings, etc.)
Explain vocabulary words and phrases that may be new to your child. Some of these words and phrases may include community garden, wheat, milled, flour, simmer, pounding dough and dough rising.
Explore the illustrations with your child. The combination of photographs and drawings make the story even more fun!
Retell the steps of making a pizza. The story begins in the morning as Sally collects ripe tomatoes in a basket. It ends at night, as Sally and her little helper relax and enjoy their pizza. Have your child go back through the pages of the story and, with your help, talk about the sequence of events leading up to the making of the pizza.
Play a memory game with your child. Cut two pieces of red construction paper into large circles – these will be your pizzas. Then, make toppings (10 or 12) by cutting other colored construction paper into simple shapes. Line up pairs of topping pieces and write matching information on each pair. (e.g., uppercase and lowercase letters, sight words or simple drawings of things that rhyme, like hat and bat). Mix up the pieces, spread them out (face down) and take turns trying to find a matching pair. When a match is found, have your child say what is on each topping piece. Celebrate when your child finds a match! Invite her to add those pieces to her pizza!
Gather some items for a dramatic play experience. You may want to use paper plates, trays, a tablecloth, an apron and chef’s hat (if you have them), and small notebooks to take orders. Your child can draw some pizza pies and slices, and you can help her create a picture menu. If you have a large cardboard box left over from a postal delivery, you and your child could transform it into a pizza delivery car! Pretend play is a great way to practice oral language skills, and your child will have fun taking orders and serving slices to her customers (who may be pizza-loving stuffed animals)!
Use the recipe at the back of the book. Make a special personal connection with Pizza at Sally’s by making “Sally’s Pizza Recipe,” which appears at the back of the book. Read the recipe aloud and invite your child to stir ingredients and help with the dough. This is a great way to bring the fun of the story to life!