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review 2019-01-21 18:49
Strega Nona
Strega Nona - Tomie dePaola

Strega Nona is a story about a woman and her helper who wants to prove to the townspeople his knowledge of the secret recipe. Students can create a story map for this book that includes the setting, characters, problem, and solution. This book is a level 730L on the lexile leveling system.

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review 2016-10-22 00:19
Strega Nona
Strega Nona - Tomie dePaola

The book, Strega Nona is very interesting. Strega Nona lives in a small home near the town, and she does a lot of work for people of the town. Eventually she feels to old to take care of everything, and so she hired help. Big Anthony came and he stole him what he needs to do and in return he will get 3 coins and a place to stay and food to eat. After a while, Strega Nona only had one rule for Anthony, and that was to not touch her pasta pot. One evening, Anthony over heard Strega Nona singing to the pasta pot, and the pot ended up being magic and pasta appears in it when it is sung to. Strega Nona let one at to visit her friends, and she told big Anthony to not touch the pot again. After she left, big Anthony sang to the pot and made pasta for the whole town and when he sang the song again to ate the pasta stop growing he forgot the 3 kisses at the end of the song. The pasta kept growing until the pasta almost took over the whole town. Strega Nona came back from her trip and she knew what big Anthony had done, she sand the song and made the pasta stop growing. In the very end, she made big Anthony eat all of the pasta she can sleep in her bed tonight and so he did. This book is useful in the classroom, because this teaches students to not touch anything without asking and kept their hands to themselves. Also mind instructions when given. This book is towards kindergarten-2nd grade!

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review 2013-10-27 04:32
Strega Nona Meets Her Match (Strega Nona #5)
Strega Nona Meets Her Match - Tomie dePaola

Genre: Humor / Competition / Italy / Folktale

Year Published: 1993

Year Read: 1996


Series: Strega Nona #5


Strega Nona is back again and this time she faces her biggest challenge yet… Strega Amelia! Tomie dePaola did an excellent job on both the illustrations and the story and therefore, makes “Strega Nona meets her match” an instant treat.

Tomie dePaola’s storytelling is clever and funny as he details Strega Nona’s efforts to get her job back from Strega Amelia. Also, the storytelling gets extremely hilarious when Big Anthony tried to do everything right for Strega Amelia, but ends up running all the machines backwards and ruining Strega Amelia’s chance for a profitable business. Tomie dePaola’s illustrations are also the highlights of the book as he comically illustrates the Mayor’s predicament when Big Anthony tried to cure his headache, but ended up making the machine malfunction.

“Strega Nona meets her match” is a wonderful story about peer pressure as Strega Amelia tries to get the townspeople to use high-tech products for fixing their problems over Strega Nona’s old-fashioned remedies. However, when things go wrong at Strega Amelia’s clinic, the townspeople realize that sometimes it is better to just stick with the old and simple techniques than try out new techniques that they have no control over. “Strega Nona meets her match” is a wonderful classic that both children and adults will cherish for many years because of its clever humor and its even more clever storytelling.


Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2013-10-24 00:00
Strega Nona Does It Again - Tomie dePaola Fans of the other Strega Nona stories will enjoy this one, too.
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review 2013-10-04 05:43
Strega Nona's Gift by Tomie dePaola
Strega Nona's Gift - Tomie dePaola

Genre: Christmas / Humor / Italy


Year Published: 2011


Year Read: 2012


Series: Strega Nona #10



Ever since I was a child, I have been reading Tomie dePaola’s popular “Strega Nona” series and I have almost read every single book in the “Strega Nona” series!  So when I started looking for some more “Strega Nona” books to read, I was really surprised to find this little gem, “Strega Nona’s Gift” which was just recently made in 2011.  “Strega Nona’s Gift” is a Laura Ingalls Wilder Award-winning book by Tomie dePaola and it basically details the various Christmas celebrations that are celebrated in Italy, with Strega Nona being the one hosting the celebrations.  “Strega Nona’s Gift” is a truly wonderful book for children who want to learn more about the Christmas traditions celebrated in Italy.


Basically, this book mainly details the different types of Christmas fiestas that are celebrated in Italy including the “Feast of San Nicola” which is “the feast of Saint Nicholas” in Italian and it is where the children are allowed to choose their favorite meals on December 6th.  Another holiday tradition celebrated in Italy is the “feast of La Vigilia” which is “the feast of Christmas Eve” in Italian and it is celebrated on December 24th and it is where the feast celebrates the birth of Jesus and no meat is allowed to be eaten and instead, the tradition is to eat seven courses of seafood which includes eel.  This story is also about how Strega Nona and Big Anthony celebrated Christmas with the villagers.


When I first picked up this book, I was thinking about what other kinds of adventures that Strega Nona and Big Anthony could possibly get into. Well, I was definitely pleasantly surprised by the turn of events in this little book!  Tomie dePaola, whose work is well known for being hilarious and heartwarming at the same time, has done it again in this latest installation of the “Strega Nona” novels.  I really loved the fact that in this story, it is set up more like learning about the traditions celebrated in Italy during Christmas time, while having Strega Nona and Big Anthony as the main characters.  Basically there are many traditions celebrated during Christmas and here it is:


8 Days of Christmas celebrations celebrated in Italy:


  1. Feast of San Nicola (December 6)
  2. Feast of Santa Lucia (December 13)
  3. Feast of La Vigilia – Christmas Eve (December 24)
  4. Christmas (December 25)
  5. The Feast of San Silvestro (December 31)
  6. Il Capodanno – New Year’s Day (January 1)
  7. The Eve of Epifania – Epiphany (January 5)
  8. Feast of Epifania – Epiphany (January 6)


I also loved how Strega Nona is the one hosting the Christmas festivities for the village, because even though the majority of the book is spent on explaining to the readers about the traditions being celebrated in Italy during Christmas time, Strega Nona still plays a major role in this story as being the one who hosts the festivities.  I also loved the way that Tomie dePaola made this story extremely heartwarming and sweet as it shows the villagers and Strega Nona celebrating the spirit of Christmas and having a good time with each other.  I was actually surprised that Big Anthony’s mistake in this book was not as major as it was in “Strega Nona” or “Strega Nona meets her Match,” since I was expecting a huge catastrophe to happen once Big Anthony is in the picture, but I was satisfied with the soothing mood of this book and I loved how Tomie dePaola handled Big Anthony’s mistake in this book.  Tomie dePaola’s illustrations are just as cute as ever as Strega Nona is a short woman that still wears her classic purple dress and white apron and also wears a white shawl over her head, which makes her look extremely wise.  I also loved the illustrations of all the food that Strega Nona prepares including fish, lentils, cakes and turkeys.


Overall, “Strega Nona’s Gift” is a brilliant book that teaches children about how holidays are celebrated in other countries and children will surely enjoy this book for many years! I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since the Italian phrases might be difficult for younger children to understand.


Also, check out Strega Nona’s first holiday book, “Merry Christmas, Strega Nona!”


Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog


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