cover image Tony's Bread

Tony's Bread

Tomie dePaola. Putnam Publishing Group, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-399-21693-0

How did panettone , the rich Italian Christmas bread, get its name? With tongue firmly in cheek, dePaola provides this confection as a reply. Chubby Serafina, the baker Antonio's daughter, spends her days eating candy and weeping by the window. For although her father adores her and gives her the best of everything, Tony is convinced there is no man worthy of her. Then Angelo, a wealthy nobleman, falls in love with Serafina and enlists the help of three meddlesome ``aunties'' to win her father's approval. In return for Serafina's hand in marriage, Angelo sets Tony up in his own bakery in Milano, where he becomes wonderfully rich and famous from sales of an unusually shaped bread: pan di Tonio , or panettone . The tale is a typically charming dePaolian effort, and the illustrations abound with his trademark coziness. Another nice touch: like Tony's currant-filled buns, the story is sprinkled with Italian words and phrases, translations of which are cleverly woven into the text. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)