Hopping to America

A Rabbit's Tale of La Befana

Children - Social Issues
32 Pages
Reviewed on 05/29/2018
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Author Biography

Zoom Into Books Author

Diana Pishner Walker was born in Clarksburg, WV and is the daughter of the late Louis and Anna Allessio Pishner. She attended Notre Dame High School in Clarksburg, WV and graduated in 1977. She attended Fairmont State College, Fairmont WV and was a “Fast ForWord” computer aide at East Dale Elementary School. Currently, Diana is part of the Headline Kids School Show program and visits schools, libraries, and speaks to groups across the United States.

Diana resides in Fairmont, WV with her husband Mark. They have three children: Curt (son) and wife Allyson, Chris (son) and wife Ashley, Courtney (daughter) and husband Phil, three grandsons, Ashton Louis, Austin Maddox, and Ace Ervin

Diana’s Italian roots run deep. Her maternal grandparents were from San Giovani in Fiore, Province of Cosenza, Italy. Her paternal grandparents were from Caulonia, Reggio Calabria Italy.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers' Favorite

Hopping to America: A Rabbit’s Tale of La Befana is a children’s picture book written by Diana Pishner Walker and illustrated by Ashley Teets. After moving from Italy to America, the Riepule family wonder what surprises lie in store for them. They quickly discover other Italian-Americans living in America, all of whom continue precious Italian traditions including that of Epiphany with La Befana. With Christmas fast approaching, Mamma Rosa prepares merry gifts for the festive occasion. Her oldest son, Joby, fears going to the well for water as he knows that Fox Gregory will be watching, but after Nonna catches the fox stealing gifts from them, an agreement is reached which is beneficial for all.

I quite enjoyed the upbeat story in Hopping to America: A Rabbit’s Tale of La Befana. Diana Pishner Walker’s tale of two different traditions which belong to two different countries, but are held close within the hearts of the Italian-American immigrant families, enlightens me about the different cultures around the world. While immersed deep within their own culture, unwilling to leave it behind, the Riepule family wholeheartedly embraces the new celebration of Christmas with Santa Claus rather than shirking it and pushing it aside. The teaching of selflessness, gift-giving and being charitable towards others is the very strong message which I took from this story and it left me with a smile. I wholeheartedly recommend Hopping to America: A Rabbit’s Tale of La Befana to all young children aged 5-12 who are living in America, regardless of their backgrounds, so that they might also learn to embrace the culture of their immigrant friends.