Secret Pizza Party



Deliciously funny read about one raccoon's quest for pizza.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Whenever a book is this silly, you can always step back and ask kids what's real, what could really happen (a raccoon chased by brooms?), what couldn't (a raccoon dialing the phone, in disguise), and how some of the silly things (such as the "Raccoon Wanted" sign) relate to real things they may not know about.

Positive messages

A raccoon steals a pizza -- not good -- but, to be fair, he doesn't have a wallet, and he's chased away because of it. The idea of secrets and being secretive is here as well but not in a negative, deceptive way -- yup, secret handshakes and staircases are pretty cool.

Positive role models

Raccoon is just an animal obsessed with, to a hilarious degree, obtaining pizza.

Violence & scariness

Brooms and more brooms and some robot brooms chase and swat at the poor raccoon.

Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is another hilarious book from the team who brought you Dragons Love Tacos: author Adam Rubin and illustrator Daniel Salmieri. Here the addictive food of choice is pizza, and an obsessed raccoon will do anything to get it -- including stealing. But, hey, raccoons don't have wallets! He's always chased away by angry-looking people with brooms and sometimes by "raccoon-sniffing broom-bots." This is the kind of silly read-aloud that will really engage kids.

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What's the story?

All Raccoon wants is some pizza -- no, lots of pizza, all the time. He's so infamous for his quest that a wanted sign hangs in the local pizza parlor. When the narrator suggests that he have a pizza party at his house that night -- a SECRET PIZZA PARTY -- the shenanigans begin and the brooms start flying.

Is it any good?


The storytelling doesn't flow as well as in Dragons Love Tacos, but Secret Pizza Party is still as irresistible as a pie with your favorite toppings. The delicious language --  "sweet sassy molassy!" and "hot diggidy dog!" -- makes this a great read-aloud. The detailed illustrations by Daniel Salmieri add to the silliness: Raccoon, surrounded by masked pizza partiers, simply holds a stick on the side of his already masked face -- genius. Expect this fun book to make kids insist on complete darkness and hushed voices on your next family pizza night. Shhhh!

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about -- no, whisper about -- secrets. What secrets are fun? How do you keep a secret -- just by being quiet? Or is there more to it? When are secrets not so good?

  • Turn each page of the book together and play the "That's silly" game. What's silly? What could be real? Can a raccoon dial a phone? Is there such a thing as a Broom Enthusiasts Club?

  • Do you have a secret handshake? Can you make up a family secret handshake? How silly can you make it?

Book details

Author:Adam Rubin
Illustrator:Daniel Salmieri
Topics:Misfits and underdogs, Wild animals
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Dial Books
Publication date:September 3, 2013
Number of pages:40
Publisher's recommended age(s):3 - 5
Read aloud:2 - 5
Read alone:6 - 7
Available on:Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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