Reviews for Tyler Makes Spaghetti!

Booklist Reviews 2013 June #1
The story starts at the Ristorante Italia, where Tyler indulges in his favorite entrée, spaghetti and meatballs. Chef Lorenzo invites Tyler to the kitchen the next day, and he and dog Tofu start by making pasta. Then it's off to the country for juicy tomatoes, fresh basil, and stinky onions and garlic. Giant cheese wheels encourage Tofu to take a spin on them. Once home, Tyler and his dad start making the tomato sauce, the meatballs, and, finally, the spaghetti. Yum! Except for ingredients, this is not too different from Tyler Makes Pancakes (2012), but the art here may be even better. Using a bright navy blue as an outline (and with plenty of red, white, and blue accents), Frazier's visuals complement and extend the story. He adds humor as well, particularly in the form of Tofu, who is meatball crazy and will run with a spaghetti strand or juggle tomatoes (funniest is when he and Tyler make mustaches out of basil). The recipe and a fact sheet conclude. Even if the intended audience doesn't want to cook themselves, they'll be delighted by the story. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Fall
Tyler learns how to make his favorite food, spaghetti and meatballs, with help from Chef Lorenzo. Along the way, readers learn about semolina flour, how to make pasta, the origins of olive oil, etc. The bold, digitally colored pen-and-ink drawings depict a spindly-limbed budding chef who looks a bit too young for independent cooking. A recipe and ingredient information are appended.

Kirkus Reviews 2013 April #2
Florence and Frazier are back (Tyler Makes Pancakes!, 2012), this time with dinner as young Tyler learns about spaghetti--how to cook it and where its ingredients come from--in this masterfully illustrated story. When Chef Lorenzo asks Tyler for help making spaghetti and meatballs, the burgeoning cook can't wait to begin. Together they take an imaginary adventure to pick tomatoes from the vine, unearth onions, visit olive groves and witness the pressing process. Even cheese-making, from cow to curds and curing, is seen. But the author conveniently evades any explanation of the origin of the meatballs, which are presented pre-made. Ingredients assembled, the industrious Tyler creates a delicious dinner for his family, with each step of the cooking process described. Sadly, the text is labored, despite the author's best intentions of connecting readers to food, land, and the people that create and care for both. However, Frazier's strong pictorial narrative carries the day. As always, he exhibits exemplary skill at creating deceivingly simple illustrations with his exceptional ability to edit. The characters, often appearing as stick figures, are incredibly expressive, and the silhouettes offer both depth and insights into the text. Florence's purpose is clear: "Good food can save the day!" A worthy message, drawn perfectly by Frazier, whose illustrations could work without the words. (recipe, additional information) (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Reviews 2013 May

K-Gr 2--Young Tyler and his family eat at an Italian restaurant and are greeted by Chef Lorenzo: "Buon giorno. Welcome back!" He mentions that he could use some help the next day with making spaghetti and meatballs, Tyler's favorite dish. The boy and his dog, Tofu, get a lesson in making pasta from scratch and go with Chef to a farm to pick tomatoes and basil. They pick onions and garlic as well, and even olives from a tree. The cheese is picked off a shelf. Back in the kitchen they prepare meatballs, and the pup manages to get a bowlful for himself. Tyler heads for home with instructions and supplies in hand, and he and his father make dinner. When the family sits down to eat, there's a surprise guest: Chef Lorenzo. The cartoon illustrations are drawn in pen-and-ink and colored digitally. The pictures are simple and have very little background, and Tyler has an oversize head. Back matter includes a recipe and a little more explanation about the ingredients. The celebrity name on the cover will carry this one.--Ieva Bates, Ann Arbor District Library, MI

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