Tino & the Pomodori

Written by Tonya Russo Hamilton

Illustrated by Britta Nicholson

Tino and the Pomodori  explores, through the eyes of a child, the magic that is the life cycle of a tomato plant. Tino takes the reader on a journey starting in the piazza of his small Italian village, to his farm where he learns to work the land. He explains how the tomato starts as a seed drying in the sun and grows to be, la bella frutta - the beautiful fruit, that would eventually make the family’s sauce and bruschetta to go with Nonna’s thick, hard-crusted bread.

Visually engaging with vibrant watercolor illustrations, Tino and the Pomodori, celebrates slow food and the wonders of gardens, Italy, and family traditions.  It is a wonderful introduction to Italian language and culture for children.  

Available in local Portland area markets and bookstores and online at, Amazon.com, Powells.com, B&N.com.

"Per fare tutto, ci vuole un fiore."  ​​To make everything it takes a flower.

Media & Reviews

"An enchanting blend of words and images that will kindle a child's imagination and touch the hearts of grown-up readers -- especially if their roots stretch back to a family garden. In recounting the steps of growing tomatoes (the pomodori of the title), this story captures the magical love that brings generations together to nurture and celebrate the cycle of life. The whimsical illustrations evoke an Italy that lives on in cherished memories. A charming book that makes the soul smile!"  

- Dianne Hales, Author; La Bella Lingua, and Mona Lisa: A Life Discovered​

A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall    

Curiosity of a Social Misfit    

Italophile Book Reviews    

​The Garden Window ~ Wales United Kingdom

   ​Rebecca Reads    

The Italian South

~ Gianni Rodari,

Italian writer, teacher, lyricist