Review Blog

Dec 18 2017

A tangled tale of tagliatelle by Yves Stening

cover image

Ill. by Nigel Buchanan. Dinner Detectives Case 102. Creative Books, 2017. ISBN 978064800871
(Ages: 5-8) Yves Stening and Nigel Buchanan's A Tangled Tale of Tagliatelle is the second picture book in the Dinner Detectives series which explores the origins of pasta. Clementine and her brother Aksel meet their new football loving neighbour Sophia and are introduced to delicious Italian food made by Sophia's papa. When Sophia asks about the origins of Bolognese sauce it is time for the dinner detectives to begin their next culinary adventure in Italy.
Buchanan's colourful graphic designs add fun and liveliness to the easy to read text. The bird's eye view map of Italy is dressed in a boot, the children race chariots in the Colosseum passing a fierce lion and singing Roman statues introduce different types of pasta. Both historical information and cooking facts make this an interesting and entertaining picture book. The detectives discover that Bolognese sauce comes from Bologna and explore with Marco Polo as he travels across Asia to meet Chinese emperor Kublai Khan. Back in Italy Chinese noodles are transformed into hundreds of pasta shapes and sizes.
Clementine, Aksel and Sophia find out the meanings behind some of the popular pasta shapes, vermicelli like little worms, farfalle are butterflies and ombelico are belly buttons.
Stening includes a recipe for tagliatelle al ragu with handmade pasta and tips for little cooks to make with some adult help.A Tangled Tale of Tagliatelle is an engaging story exploring all things pasta, the history and invention of different types and sizes. A fun picture book for young readers who enjoy cooking.
Rhyllis Bignell

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