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ABC Pasta: An Entertaining Alphabet
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ABC Pasta: An Entertaining Alphabet

3.23  ·  Rating details ·  280 ratings  ·  61 reviews
A is for angel hair acrobat
M is for Macaroni the Magician
and T is for tortellini trapeze artist.

It's an ABC circus that's good enough to eat!
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published February 7th 2017 by Viking Books for Young Readers (first published 2017)
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Average rating 3.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  280 ratings  ·  61 reviews

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Stephanie (Reading is Better With Cupcakes)
I was not too impressed with this book over all. Then again I am not a huge pasta lover (or Italian food lover for that matter) and I have also never really been a big fan of the circus. Both of which are the main ideas behind this book.

It is a cute concept though. The pasta is used throughout the book to help illustrate the pictures and it definitely will introduce the littles to words that they may not have heard before (such as the pasta types name).

This review is based on a copy provided by
Do NOT read this book while you are hungry. And gluten-free :(
Oct 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: abcs
Lots of alliteration and kinds of pasta! And circus performers. I had no idea there were so many pastas!
The Library Lady
Jul 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Most kids eat pasta and love it--in fact, I have known kids who eat nothing BUT pasta pretty much.
So this book should have wild appeal.

Quibbles? Not everyone is an expert on Italian, so a pronunciation guide in the back would have been of more use than a recipe--and the recipe given might be a jump for kids whose pasta knowledge doesn't go far beyond Kraft Mac and Cheese, or basic spaghetti. And as much as my family loves peccorino (and we do), there are pastas like penne or pappardelle that co
Apr 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
Interesting idea, but while some were cute, some really seemed forced. Or al dente, if you will.
Two things: this book made me hungry and I couldn't pronounce some of the pasta names. ...more
Oct 13, 2017 rated it did not like it
I believe that some of my harshness is a matter of taste, so let me go on the record as admitting that before I say I thought the book was stupid and ugly.
Feb 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: mock-caldecott
Very cute, although now that Barnum & Bailey have called it quits, will kids know what's going on? May buy for a foodie friend's sons. ...more
Annie Cheesman
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love pasta, so reading this book made me very happy to read the alphabet through pasta. The cover kind of creeped me out because of all the small heads scared me instead of people. As a young child the drawing would not scare me but as an adult reading this book it is odd. I love the pasta "man" on the cover! It is very childish and so cute for children to look at to start the alphabet book. I really enjoy the first two pages full of pasta characters! These two first pages give you a glimpse o ...more
Macy Crump
Feb 04, 2020 rated it liked it
From the same author as "1 Big Salad," this ABC book has a very similar concept of tying food in this case, different forms of pasta, to familiar pictures making them easier to understand. I love the illustrations in this picture book, they incorporate real pictures of pasta into doodle drawings which compares the realistic noodles to something easy and fun. But, unlike healthy foods, knowing twenty six different types of pasta isn't as essential. If one was working with students who had an Ital ...more
Maddy Andrews
Jan 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
ABC Pasta by Julia Medina is a very interesting and different take on your stereotypical alphabet book. Each letter of the alphabet corresponds to a different type of pasta noodle or ingredient that one would use to make a pasta dish. The letters also have a noun/adjective attached that somehow relate them to the Circus, which I found very creative and it added another element to the book. Some of my favorites were T, the tortellini trapeze trio, K, the kale pasta knife thrower, and F, the fettu ...more
Jason Smith
It’s a book that uses pasta ingredients to describe the alphabet. If you are looking for something more than you might be disappointed. This would be a great book for littler kids when using fun shapes and illustrations to describe the alphabet. The illustrations are featured with real food pictures, and the drawings have the full bleed page effect, which adds to the presentation...but it still lacks something in my opinion. I would have liked less straight alphabet description and maybe some mo ...more
Kathryn Bergeron
Summary: The ABCs with macaroni?

Why I Read This: It must have been on a list somewhere, because I'm not sure that I'd want to pick it up myself.

Review: The concept and execution of this book are both weird. (1) I like pasta as much as the next guy, but doing an ABC book about them is weird. (2) The illustrations are creepy. The book is illustrated except parts of the bodies of the different "A is for" people are made of pasta. (3) Most parents that I talk to want something like, "A is for apple"
Ames Public Library Youth Services
As a follow up to her 1 Big Salad counting book, Medina has now designed a circus around an alphabet of pasta. She clearly has a huge imagination, as she can see a piece of pasta and design an entire circus performer around it! I think my favorite letter is T, where she uses tortellini as the heads of a trapeze trio.

A fun alphabet book that will make you hungry. It also may lead to some great cooking opportunities, as children and parents look up the pasta that they don't know and make it!

Jul 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Any book with a related recipe gets an extra point with me! And who knew there were so many types of pasta? Basil and cheese help fulfill the 26-letter requirement.
Illustrations show photos of actual pasta with line drawings to complete the image for each letter.
Each letter in bold large font appear in the corner of a page, with a 3-5 word phrase of alliteration make each one sound yummy and fun.
The tiny images of the pasta on the endpages invite readers to remember each pasta, and to really str
Feb 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Who knew there was an alphabet's worth of types of pasta? Rosas takes all sorts of pasta and transforms them into colorful characters that illustrate each letter of the alphabet using alliteration. The blend of photographs and drawings gives the illustrations a unique flavor (haha) and might inspire readers to try new kinds of pasta (or their hand at illustrating similarly) themselves. ...more
A through Z all the performers in this circus have some type of pasta formed into the body of their cartoon like illustration. Lots of Italian names for the pasta, but after all it is pasta. I am still thinking about campanelle that was the swirled hat upon the clown's heads.
This title would be a fun one shared within the family preceded or followed by eating pasta of some of the shapes.
Jacqi Coon
Mar 31, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: el230
I chose this book because I liked the idea of using pasta to explain the alphabet. The book was hard for me to read so I would not use this in my classroom. The idea of the book is very creative, but some of the words are really challenging.
Makenzie Dougherty
Apr 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: el-230
I thought that this book is trying to bring a new view on alphabet books. Incorporating real pastas and their pictures is cool way to get kids familiar with food, but the names were just too hard. The images were cool though!
Jun 25, 2018 added it
Shelves: eeu-220
Medina uses a new way of thinking to teach the alphabet. She connects different pastas to each letter and has scribble type of drawing to accompany it. Each pasta/letter is a different acrobat in the circus.
Katie Nash
Sep 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: concept
The illustrations in this book was the best part. For a children’s book there are some hard words to pronounce. I would keep this in my library because it is fun to look at, but I wouldn’t do a read aloud or group reading with this book.
Miss Pippi the Librarian
Mar 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mpl, picture-books, mrs-m
Entertaining is in the title and I have to agree! Very creative use of pasta in a picture book for young readers. Medina also shares a good sprinkling of unique words in the text. It's a fun ABC book about food. A simple recipe is also included in the back of the book.

Reviewed from a library copy.
May 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Fun counting book to use with preschool and early elementary
May 23, 2017 rated it liked it
An alliterative walk through the alphabet featuring different types of pasta.

Digital illustrations combined with photographs. PreK-2.
Jun 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Genre: ABC /Concept Picture Book

Alliterative pages depict noodles as circus acts. Cute and a new take on ABCs.
Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Nice use of art and photos.
Jul 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Too cute! Well, for pasta lovers anyways.
Orion Kopf
Sep 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Pretty cute but would have been good with just pasta names and shapes. A pronunciation guide would also help
Dec 16, 2017 rated it liked it
an alliteration of a walk thru pasta, very fun for Italian families.
Maggi Rohde
Jan 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Combining pasta, circus acts (no scary clowns) and ABCs -- an unlikely trio, but it's very cute! ...more
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Juana Medina was born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia. She is the illustrator of Smick! by Doreen Cronin and the author-illustrator of One Big Salad. Juana Medina has studied and taught at the Rhode Island School of Design and now teaches at the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design at George Washington University. She lives in Washington, D.C.

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