Nonna’s Special Sauce.

‘I can only eat some foods because I have food intolerances. This means that I cannot eat dairy, fructose, preservatives and large amounts of sugar. If I eat these foods I get a sore tummy so Nonna makes sure the sauce has none of these foods in it. She calls it my special sauce: “Bella Speciale Ragu”.’

Nonna’s Special Sauce is a self written and Illustrated children’s book about cooking with food intolerances. Inspired by the ISTD “Food for Thought” brief and my own experiences working with children and having food intolerances, this book is meant to be a simple way to talk to children about food intolerances as it is usual a health issue occurring predominantly in children. Initially, the project called for research into the origins of the famous pasta sauce before I could begin drafting my text. Because it is a children’s book aimed at children 5-10 I had to target my text and use of language to the right audience. This called for a slightly larger point size as well as using simple full words rather than slang or abbreviated language. 

The character of Nonna Rosa was inspired by the combination of my two Grandmothers. I put their features together to draw the character but made sure she still fit the Italian stereotype. The other character is the granddaughter who is a younger representation of myself who narrates the story along the way. She is meant to be the relatable little girl figure who children can see as an embodiment of themselves throughout the story.

Short sheet pages were used to hold the text to allow for my Illustrative pages to be full bleed. The Illustrations also housed textures and patterns as I wanted the book to encompass all senses to allow for holistic understanding. 

The book needed to be fun and inclusive to all and allow for easy understanding of what a food intolerance can look like and how families are working together to make it fun and inclusive for all.

The final text was self perfect bound. The perfect bind was chosen due to the textural nature of the book, making the pages thick and rigid to work with. This meant that I was able to work on all stages of the process from research to drafting, illustrating, editing, printing, adding texture and binding to make the final product.

June 2018
Text: Nonna’s Special Sauce by Katelin Eichner.
Image: 297mm x 210mm 200gsm matte; colourtech 300gsm matte board.

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