Giada De Laurentiis

Giada De Laurentiis: 'Between the reading and the cooking, I sort of built my self-confidence'

"For many children, the library is the first time they're really introduced to reading."

I moved to the states when I was eight years old and didn't speak any English. Went to public school and found that I was a little different than alot of the kids I went to school with and so a lot of times, you know, had lunch alone and spent a lot of time in the library reading and also cooking.

Those are the two things that I found alot of fun in my life. And between the reading and the cooking I sort of built my self-confidence.

I think that libraries, for many children, is the first time they're really introduced to reading. And so I think it's really really important. You know, I had a lot of books as a child, my parents love to read, both in Italian and in English, but I was able to sort of discover new books through the library.

We had a very nice school library at my school. So yes, it did play a very big role. And I remember specifically as growing up going to college and my university having the most unbelievable library with the most unbelievable view.  And I remember spending many evenings instead of going out with my friends, at a library actually reading and do my homework.

So it was sort of a place of, a quiet place, you know when they talk about doing meditation these days, I always think of all the time I spent in the library.

I have a 5-year-old daughter, so we have gone to the public library several times. She just turned 5 in March and I think now for the first time is truly appreciating libraries. She starts kindergarten in the fall and in a new school and so my husband and I, in order to feel that she could get comfortable in the school, sent her to camp.

In the last couple weeks, she's been spending alot of time at camp and I happen to ask her what was one of her favorite things about camp.  And although they do swimming and pottery and arts and craft and drawing and all sorts of things, spending time in the library, she told me, was her favorite because, she said, "Mommy, it's so beautiful and they read us all different books. Books that I don't even have a home. And it's peaceful and it's really fun. It's a fun place."  So at five she started to really enjoy spending time at the school library. 

So I have written a children's book series called "Recipe for Adventure" about a brother and sister and they go on all these food adventures around the world. The first book takes place in Naples and it's their adventure in Naples discovering  all the wonderful things that first started Naples, like pizza  and like zeppole, which are Italian, it's like Italian street food, but they're like doughnuts the Italian version of donuts, and how they make friends and learn about the Italian culture and how they make their way back home and then the second adventure that a Alfie and Emelia go on is in Paris, which is the second city I have, that I've loved for a long time spent a year and a half going cooking school in. Again, sort of rediscovered myself as an adult there, so I found it to be a wonderful place for food and culture. So they go to Paris second.  And then I have two more books that come out, one in January 2014 and another one next summer.

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