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Reviewed by Hilary Hawkes for Readers' Favorite
Rome Romp! written by Margie Blumberg and illustrated by Renee Andriani is a children’s story set in Italy. Danny, his grandma, and little dog, Cappuccino, set off for a day of sightseeing in Rome on a motorbike. But before they get far with their day, Cappuccino runs off after birds. Danny and Grandma then rush to search all over the city in pursuit. En route to find Cappuccino, they see many wonderful sights. Eventually worn out, they take a break for ice cream, but will they ever be reunited with the little dog so they can all get safely home by sunset?
Rome Romp! is a sweet and charming tale that introduces children to the Italian language. At the start of the book, a short glossary explains the meaning of some Italian words used in the book. Throughout the story these words are cleverly introduced into the text – for example “Oh cielo, oh my!” or “Forse he’s having a dip!” A lovely way to teach a few new words and phrases. The story is engaging and fun, and takes the reader around some of the wonderful tourist sights of Rome. I loved the adventurous and energetic grandma – and how sensible to stop for spaghetti and ice cream! The text has a rhyming nature to it, making the story bounce along from page to page. The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous and complement the story perfectly - colorful and beautifully drawn with lots of detail, reflecting the character and atmosphere of the city and Danny and Grandma’s adventure. Page 24, with the wall paintings, is wonderful and I especially love the warm and cosy bedtime picture on page 43.
A clever and entertaining story – perfect for sharing with a child or group of children. You could go back through the book and practice saying the Italian words together after reading. Margie Blumberg's story is fun, educational, and beautifully put together, and it would make a very worthy addition to any child’s home or class library. Sincerely recommended.