New Uplifting Tale Told by Bella, the Leaning Tower of Pisa –

Bethesda, MD, June 07, 2024 –(– Written by a travel writer, told in fun-to-read rhyme, and splashed with joyful art, memorable verses, and Italian words, “Pisa Loves Bella” (MB Publishing) is a celebratory and heartfelt story—as sweet as spumoni!—about kindness toward others and yourself.

In this uplifting tale told by Bella, Italy’s famous Leaning Tower of Pisa, children will learn social-emotional learning skills, such as self-acceptance, showing kindness to themselves and others, and empathy.

For hundreds of years, Bella has felt proud of her gravity-defying tilt. But her confidence is tested one day when she overhears hurtful words about her appearance. Bella responds by making a big change, one that leaves the residents of Pisa and visitors from around the world worried that their treasured tower will never be the same again.

“Pisa Loves Bella” brings this iconic city and its beloved bell tower to life, showing readers just how much kindness matters.

Author Kimberley Lovato was inspired to write this story because of her own memories of being teased as a child over her red hair and freckles and her last name, Dumm. Just as Mayor Luigi and Pisa’s citizens help Bella, Kimberley’s good friends helped her regain her confidence.

“Pisa Loves Bella”—with Barbara Bongini’s expressive pictures accompanying every twist and turn in the story—illustrates the eternal importance of thoughtful words. Whether you live in Poughkeepsie, Perth, or on a busy piazza in Pisa, the power of kindness is as evident as Bella’s beautiful lean.

Parents are sure to appreciate the book’s focus on promoting friendship and compassion, as well as fostering empathy. Additionally, they’ll enjoy how the story transports young readers to Italy without having to pack.

Kathy McCabe, host of Dream of Italy on PBS and founder of Dream of Italy Magazine, says this about this inspiring read: “Pisa Loves Bella tugs at the heart with a sweet and creative story about one of Italy’s most iconic symbols. Kids will be captivated. . . . Complimenti to Kimberley and Barbara! I will be buying a copy for all of the tiny budding Italophiles I know!”

More Praise for “Pisa Loves Bella”

“A delightful and beautifully illustrated book! Children will love this story and its deeper message, and learn about a wonderful place in Italy through its catchy rhymes. This book is a winner!” —Corinna Cooke, best-selling author of the Glam Italia! travel guides

“A feast for the eye, a thrill for the ear, a joy for the soul! The vibrant and enchanting illustrations and words capture the charms of Italy and the big-hearted, life-affirming spirit of Italians. Brava!” —Dianne Hales, best-selling author of La Bella Lingua, La Passione, and Mona Lisa

“A vibrant, delightful book that will certainly inspire a child’s curiosity about Italy’s famous tower, and with entertaining rhymes, delivers a profound message to all about the power of kindness and honoring who we truly are.” —Susan Van Allen, Italy tour guide, speaker, and author of 100 Places in Italy Every Woman Should Go

“Poetic storytelling . . . zippy rhymes . . . and vibrant and cheery illustrations capture the essence of Pisa’s charm and Bella’s endearing personality. . . . Pisa Loves Bella delivers a timeless lesson in celebrating individuality and extending compassion to others. Through Bella’s transformation, readers of all ages are reminded of the importance of resilience and self-love. With its engaging storytelling and universal themes, this book is a welcome addition to children’s literature, offering a delightful journey through the picturesque city of Pisa.” —The Children’s Book Review

“Some children’s books are meant to entertain. Others teach valuable life lessons or offer insight into other cultures. Kimberley Lovato’s PISA LOVES BELLA: A Towering Tale of Kindness is the rare example of a book that does all of the above. . . . Bella’s encounters demonstrate empathy, understanding, and resilience—themes that will resonate with readers young and old.”
—James Weiskittel for IndieReader

About “Pisa Loves Bella: A Towering Tale of Kindness”
Publication date: June 30, 2024
Ages 4–8 • 8″ x 10” • 42 Pages
Hardback ($21.95) 979-8-9871401-6-1
Paperback ($12.95) 979-8-9871401-8-5
Kindle ($9.99) 979-8-9871401-7-8

About MB Publishing
MB Publishing (founded in 2003 in Bethesda, Maryland) publishes picture books and middle grade novels. Memorable stories—filled with courage, history, adventure, determination, humor, love, and friendship—entertain, educate, and inspire young readers. Their picture books are filled with sparkling rhymes and charming illustrations of lively characters and detailed scenes to pore over . . . and to treasure.

Media Contact:
Alex Zumpino
Alex Zumpino PR

About the Author:

Native Californian and travel journalist Kimberley Lovato has written guides, a culinary travel book, and fascinating articles about the wonders of the world for such publications as National Geographic Traveler and Virtuoso: The Magazine. Her work has been recognized with awards from the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and Travelers’ Tales. “Pisa Loves Bella: A Towering Tale of Kindness” is Kimberley’s debut picture book. Visit her website to download fun activity sheets for kids:

About the Illustrator:

Italian illustrator Barbara Bongini was born in Milan. After graduating from the European Institute of Design, she pursued a career in children’s publishing. Her vibrant illustrations have graced many titles, including My Little Golden Book About Chicago; Tony Bennett: A Little Golden Book Biography; and Milano: il gioco dell’arte. When Barbara works, she is always in the company of her cat, Achille, who often gives her advice.