Secret Pizza Party
Secret Pizza Party

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Annotation: While Raccoon is eating pizza at his secret pizza party, he sees a masquerade party going on in the house next door to him and joins the fun.
Catalog Number: #75279
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Dial
Copyright Date: 2013
Edition Date: 2013
Illustrator: Salmieri, Daniel,
Pages: 36
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-8037-3947-8 Perma-Bound: 0-605-73045-8
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-8037-3947-5 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-73045-8
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2012025360
Dimensions: 26 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Raccoon, who loves pizza but finds himself bashed with brooms every time he pinches a piece, decides to throw himself a secret pizza party. He devises a clever heist and successfully navigates the chase home, only to discover his celebration is missing people to share his pizza. Luckily, he notices a crowd next door wearing masks just like Raccoon's and eating lots of pizza! The creators of Dragons Love Tacos (2012) offer another zany salute to a popular food. Salmieri's gouache, watercolor, and colored pencil artwork features vivid colors, often set off against dark backgrounds signaling Raccoon's nocturnal habits. Although the plot meanders a bit, children aren't likely to mind given all the clever gadgets and outrageous scenarios depicted (in one scene Raccoon lounges atop a serving table, devouring multiple slices of pizza while the human guests stare speechless). This will be popular with pizza aficionados; pair with William Steig's Pete's a Pizza (1998) or Charlotte Voake's Pizza Kittens (2002).
Horn Book
Trying to avoid the pizza man's swatting broom, Raccoon plots a secret pizza party and successfully makes off with a fresh, hot pie. Once home, Raccoon discovers his neighbors having their own none-too-secret masked pizza party, which he promptly crashes. Despite the odd plot, readers will enjoy Raccoon's unbridled, desperate love of pizza humorously conveyed by the wacky art.
Kirkus Reviews
From the madcap creators of Dragons Love Tacos (2012), another animal foodie shows just how far he will go to get his favorite meal. Raccoon loves pizza. He can't get enough of the "gooey cheesy-ness, salty pepperoni-ness, sweet, sweet tomato-ness and crispity, crunchity crust." Alas, there is one thing that stands between Raccoon and his pizza--human beings. More specifically, human beings with brooms. They always chase him away! How will Raccoon ever get his paws on the delectable dish that he desires? By throwing a secret pizza party, of course. After donning an elaborate disguise in order to get the pizza, then following an even more elaborate escape route riddled with obstacles (past the broom factory, over the broom enthusiasts club), Raccoon is finally ready for his SECRET PIZZA PARTY! (Shhhhh, it's a secret, remember?) But before taking a bite, he sees a masquerade ball going on right outside his tree. Will his built-in mask and wily ways help him get even more pizza? Salmieri's droll illustrations capture Raccoon in many moods: quiet desperation with his nose pressed longingly against the pizza parlor's window, furtive, trench-coated scheming. And yes, finally, deliriously happy, cheesy gluttony. This screwball of a story will leave readers hankering for a slice. (Picture book. 3-6)
Publishers Weekly
-Poor Raccoon. All he wants in life is some pizza.- And who can blame him? Pizza is its own breed of perfect: -So beautiful, you could hang it on the wall of a museum,- (Salmieri mounts a slice between a Picasso and a Matisse). -So convenient, you could eat it in the bathtub.- The narrator-who is undoubtedly related to the same skewed logician who explained the dragon-taco connection in Dragons Love Tacos-decides that what Raccoon needs is a secret pizza party: -So folks don-t show up to bonk you with brooms- (something that happens to him with alarming regularity) and because -When you make something secret, you make it special.- There-s just one catch: Raccoon has to get the pizza, and he-s a wanted pizza thief. Although not up to the silly sublimity of their previous efforts-the pacing is a bit slack, and the ending slapdash-Rubin and Salmieri still score plenty of comic points with their deadpan riffs, offbeat asides, and singleminded hero who can-t catch a gooey, cheesy break. Ages 3-5. Agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (Sept.)

School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 1&11;4&12; Raccoon, paws and nose pressed plaintively to the glass, stares longingly into a pizza parlor. His nemesis, the Pizza Man, chases him off with a broom, and an unseen narrator rhapsodizes, "Ah, pizza&30; So beautiful, you could hang it on the wall of a museum. So convenient you could eat it in the bathtub." Raccoon reappears looking forlorn, and the narrator suggests a pizza party at Raccoon's house-a secret pizza party because, "When you make something secret, you make it special. Regular handshake: Boring. Secret handshake: Booyah !" Wearing stilts and a trench coat, Raccoon absconds with a stolen pizza only to discover an enormous SECRET PIZZA PARTY happening nearby. Unfortunately, he is unable to play it cool and blows his disguise as he rolls around in a pizza-induced frenzy. He flees from the broom-wielding mob (led by the Pizza Man), but his armload of pizza and giant grin prove that he has no regrets. Because the narrator converses directly with Raccoon, listeners are aligned with him and identify with the roguish creature. The skillful gouache-and-ink compositions are full of sly details and visual humor. It's hard not to giggle at scenes like the lanky pizza man with angry eyebrows and a handlebar mustache rolling out dough while glaring at a "Wanted" poster featuring the raccoon. With a casually diverse cast of characters, Secret Pizza Party is a sure hit for primary-grade kids, who will appreciate the subtle humor and absurdity.&12; Anna Haase Krueger, Ramsey County Library, White Bear Lake, MN
Word Count: 409
Reading Level: 2.3
Interest Level: K-3
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 2.3 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 162315 / grade: Lower Grades
Lexile: AD530L

Shhhh! Don't tell anyone about this mouth-watering book from the New York Times bestselling creators of Dragons Love Tacos and Robo-Sauce!

How does Racoon love pizza? Oh, let him count the ways. He loves the gooey cheesy-ness, salty pepperoni-ness, sweet sweet tomato-ness, and of course the crispity crunchity crust. But someone is always chasing poor Raccoon away from his favorite food with a broom! What's a hungry raccoon to do? Plan an elaborate secret pizza party, of course! 
But shhh! It’s a secret! In fact, you should probably just forget I told you. Nope, no secret pizza party happening here.You didn’t already tell all your friends, did you? Uh oh . . .

Fans of Jon Klassen and Mo Willems's humor will gobble up this quirky ode to the lengths we will go to for our heart's desire.

Praise for Dragons Love Tacos:
New York Times bestseller
A New York Times Notable Children's Book of 2012

"Rubin and Salmieri are two of the weirdest, funniest guys working in kids’ lit today. The team lets its geek flag fly in an obsessive how-to guide for would-be dragon taco party hosts. Why a taco party? As Rubin explains, 'The only things dragons love more than parties or tacos, is taco parties.' If further proof is required, Salmieri—whose poker-faced watercolor, gouache, and color pencil drawings set a benchmark for oddball observational humor—shows one odd, scaly creature with a carryout bag from 'Taco Cave' and another beaming with anticipation as it eagerly circles the date for a taco party on its taco-themed calendar. But beware: even if all the tips and rules are followed to the letter (on quantity:'The best way to judge is to get a boat and fill the boat with tacos'), all will be for naught if spicy salsa makes its way into the taco filling. In fact, the dragons will bring a whole new meaning to 'housewarming.' Off-kilter fun for those who like their picture books (and salsa) zesty and fresh."–Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Dragons Love Tacos is a heaping helping of silly.  Little kids will relate to the anti-spicy bias and chuckle over Salmieri's watercolor and gouache cartoon illustrations showing literally boatloads of tacos and all sizes of dragons enjoying their favorite food at pool parties, costume parties and, well, taco parties." –San Francisco Chronicle
"The perfect book for kids who love dragons and mild tacos." –Kirkus Reviews
"The watercolor, gouache, and colored pencil cartoon illustrations are the real stars here. Regardless of, or perhaps because of, the absurdity of the story, this tale should be a big hit with anyone with an affinity for dragons." –School Library Journal

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