Cover image for Spaghetti park
Spaghetti park
DiSalvo, DyAnne.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Holiday House, [2002]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Angelo and his grandfather help rejuvenate a local park.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.8 0.5 64971.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Angelo and his grandfather help rejuvenate a local park with the help of neighbors who remember their roots and band together.

Author Notes

DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan graduated from the School of Visual Arts in New York. She is an author and illustrator of more than forty picture books for children. She has illustrated books written by Beverly Cleary, Mary Pope Osborne, Jean Fritz, Jane O'Connor, Patricia Reilly Giff, Jean Marzollo and Amy Hest. She has also written and illustrated several of her own books including Uncle Willie and the Soup Kitchen, City Green, A Castle on Viola Street, and The Sloppy Copy Slipup. She received a Congressional Commendation from the State of New Jersey for Grandpa's Corner Store and the Irma S. and James H. Black Award for A Dog Like Jack.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

K^-Gr. 2. Making the point that community spirit can sometimes show up in surprising places, the author of A Castle on Viola Street (2001) tells the tale of an urban child who gets local residents to restore a seedy park that is hangout for "troublemakers." Later, when the refurbished park is trashed anew, some of those same supposed ne'er-do-wells pitch in to help clean up the mess. Centering the action on the park's bocce court, DiSalvo depicts a set of rather clean-cut loiterers looking on with increasing interest as the young narrator learns the game from his grandpa, older neighbors come by to shoot the breeze, and local residents work to rejuvenate the small park. Everyone, including punks and nay-saying adults, comes to a grand reopening party, and a good time is had by all. A page of bocce rules and Web sites closes this warm reminder that working together can be a force for inner as well as outer change. --John Peters

Publisher's Weekly Review

Much in the vein of DiSalvo's City Green and Grandpa's Corner Store, this earnest if somewhat pat story features a young activist as narrator. Angelo laments that few people now come to the park in his Italian-American neighborhood, since teenage "troublemakers" have begun playing their boom boxes too loudly and have "whipped up" the swings so that children can no longer use them. But Angelo continues to frequent the park with Grandpa, who is teaching him to play the Italian bowling game, bocce. Grandpa's peers look on, bragging about their own past feats on the bocce court-exaggerated claims that Grandpa calls "spaghetti benders." At a meeting of the neighborhood group, Angelo suggests that a bocce court be constructed in the park, whereupon a local politician announces, "If we all work together, we can make that park into something for everyone." Predictably, the neighbors all pitch in to clean up the park-even one of the tough kids. A setback (one morning the graffiti reappears and the newly planted garden is crushed) is quickly redeemed: the one-time troublemakers surprise everyone by cleaning up the damage. The brightly hued, gouache illustrations are better than the text at conveying the characters' bountiful energy and changeable emotions, and kids may enjoy the bocce subplot as well as the game's instructions at the end. Ages 4-8. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-4-A purposeful story about determination and community. Angelo and his grandfather hate to see their local park deteriorate when hoodlums settle in-the swings are whipped up, the vegetables are smashed, and there is graffiti everywhere. Most people stay away. There is hesitation and downright rejection when the boy suggests the construction of a bocce ball court at the neighborhood meeting until Assembly Member Lopez suggests that if they all work together, they can clean up the area and offer something for everyone. Ultimately, Angelo's perseverance and acceptance of others enable his dream to come true. The gouache illustrations resonate with natural greens and grays, highlighting the outdoor setting. Various relationships, whether between older folks and young people or among the young generation, are expressed well so that young readers can appreciate the various dynamics at play. This story provides many avenues for discussion.-Linda M. Kenton, San Rafael Public Library, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.