Strega Nona
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Strega Nona (Strega Nona #1)

4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  45,678 ratings  ·  563 reviews
A book and CD edition of Tomie dePaola's classic bestseller, Strega Nona.

Strega Nona -- "Grandma Witch" -- is the source for potions, cures, magic, and comfort in her Calabrian town. Her magical everfull pasta pot is especially intriguing to hungry Big Anthony. He is supposed to look after her house and tend her garden but one day, when she goes over the mountain to visit...more
Paperback, 40 pages
Published October 4th 2011 by Little Simon (first published January 1st 1975)
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“Strega Nona” created in 1975 by Tomie dePaola, was the author’s first book about the kind and elderly “grandma witch.” This book has since been a popular favorite among children and has won the Caldecott Honor Book Award for its excellence in writing and in its drawing. Strega Nona is sure to be a hit with both children and adults.

Tomie dePaola does an awesome job at creating a story that is humorous and exciting at the same time. Big Anthony humorously plays the role of a tragic hero as he at...more
Lisa Vegan
Listen, pay attention, and follow instructions, or there may be negative consequences; in this case, pasta might take over the world. I have enjoyed this author/illustrator’s other books and his illustrations work so well in this story.

I love that this tale isn’t scary, doesn’t have any villains, and that there is a positive message. The story really is very amusing, and it’s fun to read aloud.

I never knew a book that makes pasta look both so appealing and unappealing.

I love the magic pot! My k...more
What's not to love about this book? It's a great story.

My acquitance with this book occured, not when I was at the targeted age, but when my brother was. My brother loved spagetti as a young child (he still loves it). He had so many books that dealt with spagetti, including a real annoying one More Spaghetti, I Say!. He had to be read these books constantly. Honestly, I can still recite parts of them by heart. The words are burnt into what passes for my brain.

There was one huge but.

When you read...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
This story has the feel of an old fable - the kind of story brought over by your grandparents when they immigrated - but it is in fact made up by the author, Tomie dePaola, and first published in 1975. It reads like a fairy-tale, of the classical kind, and has strong moral messages - ones about how you reap what you sow, and going behind someone's back, and meddling in what you don't understand, and being greedy, and so on.

Part of what gives it that old-world (read: old-Europe) feel are the won...more
A book that didn't hold my children's attention as well as I would have liked. It's a Caldecott award winner and deserving of it, the pictures detailed and fun, but for the most part, I think maybe it used too many of the same color scheme, because many of the pages looked similar. My kids became bored and I had to draw them back into the story. I thought it was cute and enjoyed it, but I might have to wait until my kids are a little older.
Amy Musser
Long ago in Calabria in a small town lived a woman everyone called Strega Nona, “Grandma Witch.” Although the townspeople were wary of her, they still came to see her for potions and cures because they worked every time. But Strega Nona was growing old and she needed some help around the house, so she hired Big Anthony, who didn’t pay attention. She gave him a list of chores and finished with the warning to never touch the pasta pot. One evening when Big Anthony was milking the goats he heard St...more
Jessica Sheaffer
Strega Nona, won the Caldecott Honor in 1976 and was voted one of the “Top 100 Picture Books” of all times in 2012 by a School Library Journal poll. The reason for this folktale’s lasting legacy is that although it is set in Italy a long time ago, the moral lessons and character traits are still relevant in today’s world. The story is about a young man (Big Anthony) in an Italian village that seeks employment from the local witch, Strega Nona. Strega Nona is wise and Big Anthony is foolish. Pred...more
This book reminded me alot of the stories that I used to hear growing up. The idea of the feared, misunderstood, but respected humble woman who could do magical things for people seems to be common in a lot of European tales. I find the lessons in these stories to be very morally tied. In this story the lesson is not to be sneaky and curious, and to listen to your elders when they tell you not to do something. It also shows the (rather comical) consequences for not following directions. I liked...more
This book is about a boy named Anthony who helps out a nice old lady named Strega Nona. One day he notices her saying a magical spell into a pot that magically produces noodles. Unfortunately, he doesn't notice that she blows three kisses into the pot to stop the production of noodles. When Strega Nona leaves town and leaves Anthony in charge. He makes the noodles using magic but can't stop them, so the whole town overflows with noodles. Then Strega Nona must come back to save the day. I liked t...more
Jackie "the Librarian"
It's been a while since I've read this for a preschool storytime, but I can still remember the rhyme Strega Nona recites to her magic pasta pot:

"Bubble, bubble, pasta pot.
Boil me some pasta, nice and hot.
I'm hungry and it's time to sup.
Boil enough pasta to fill me up!"

But of course, it takes more than just knowing the words to the rhyme to make the magic pasta pot behave. It takes three blown kisses, too! Big Anthony doesn't know that, though, and almost drowns the town in pasta while Strega N...more
Strega Nona was one of my favorite picture books as a kid, and I thought of it at the last minute for my food-themed storytime. I like to have little kid options (in this case, Growing Vegetable Soup and Eating the Alphabet) and big kid options to go with the books that have more of a universal appeal. Unlike other works from the 1970s, I really feel like Tomie dePaola's illustrations have stood the test of time. When I read a popular or classic children's book (The Very Hungry Caterpillar, If Y...more
Megan Alexander
Title: Strega Nona
Author: Tomie dePaola
Illustrator: Tomie dePaola
Date of Publication: 1975
Genre: Fiction
Awards: Caldecott Medal
In a town in Calabria lived a woman called Strega Nona, which means Grandma Witch. She was a sweet old lady who would help all the towns’ people of their troubles such as headaches, finding a husband, and getting rid of warts. Strega Nona was getting old and needed help tending to her garden. She took in Big Anthony and gave him a place to stay in exchange for hi...more
Sara Graffis
I have always loved this book for two reasons- the story is wonderful and the illustrations are amazing. First, the story is a very well written folk tale about Strega Nona, which means Grandma Witch. She has a magic pot that makes pasta when she sings a special song. And to get it to stop making the pasta, she has to sing another song and then blow it 3 kisses. Her helper, Big Anthony, does not see her blow the pot 3 kisses to get it to stop making the pasta and when she leaves town, Big Anthon...more
Lizeth Velazquez
dePaola, Tommie. Strega Nona (1975). Strega Nona "Grandma Witch" is known to have special magic abilities in the town of Calabria. Many of the townspeople who are dressed and set up in medieval era secretly see her for her magic potions. Strega Nona posts an ad to hire help for the house, as she is growing old and tired. Who responds? Big Anthony, who one day happens upon Strega Nona as she uses a magic pasta pot. Despite being warned, Anthony uses the magic pasta pot while Strega Nona is away....more
Anna Summers
Strega Nona is the classic folktale retold by Tomie dePaola. In this tale, Strega Nona tells Big Anthony not to touch her magic pasta pot. While Strega Nona is away, Big Anthony uses the pasta pot. Not knowing the magic, the pot makes so much pasta that it starts causing trouble in the town. Finally, Strega Nona stops the pot from making pasta. She gives Big Anthony a natural consequence of eating all of the pasta that he made. This has always been one of my favorite books. It is a timeless stor...more
Van Phan
DePaola, Tomie. Strega Nona (1975).

Strega Nona is a hard working old lady. One day she needed help around her house because she was not able to maintain it due to her busy workload. Strega Nona hired Big Anthony to do the cleaning and washing for her. Strega Nona has magical powers that were able to heal people. Everything from a wart on their face, a broken heart, and headaches, Strega Nona was able to cure. Her comfort brings everybody else’s comfort through a magical pot. Like a pasta pot but...more
This is a very basic morality story - Big Anthony (who never listens) was told Not To Touch The Pasta Pot, but when he had a chance he went right for it! Alas, he hadn't paid attention and so neglected to properly learn how to turn the pasta pot *off* - with predictable results.

The image of Big Anthony eating his debt to the village is priceless :)
Jun 29, 2008 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading to young children
This book is such a classic. We've read this one several times and it never gets old. It has a fun story and cartoonish illustrations that depict an older time - we just love Tomie dePaola's books!
A retelling of the Sorcerer's Apprentice but with pasta instead of water and an old witch rather than a Sorcerer. Cute and with good enough art.
Rosa Cline
Mr dePaola does a wonderful job at illustrating and writing this story. He mixes other cultures along with a very few words that is something other than English (but gives the translation for them) In this story Strega Nona gets a dream that her Grandmother is telling her to take a vacation, so when she sets out to take one she leaves her children in charge. She sends back gifts for them but instead of using the gifts that she sent; her daughter switches gifts and her brother uses to much bubble...more
Renee Burr
I love this story because it reminds me of my grandma and her delicious cooking. It is the story of Strega Nona, a little granny in Italy, who hires Big Anthony to be her servant. She tells him not to touch the magic pasta pot, but of course he does. I love the part were the pasta is about to take over the town! As with any good folktale, there is a happy ending and Big Anthony (and the reader) learn an important lesson about listening to your elders!
With some discussion this story could lead to...more
Brianna Wall
When selecting books to read to my preschool class, I wanted to pick some classics that stood out to me in my childhood. I didn't quite remember what the story was about, but after rereading it as an adult I fell in love with the book all over again. I think it is a fabulous tale that teaches children about being cautious of their actions because consequences follow. Strega Nona told Big Anthony not to touch the pasta pot. Of course he did, but instead of being scolded Strega Nona kept her cool...more
Nicole Entwistle
This book is an amazing story of a lady that everyone thinks is a witch. This woman in the story helps this boy out and the boy finds out she has a magic pot. He tells everyone about the magic pot and now everyone wants pasta from the pot. Strega Nona tells the boy not to touch her pot because she had to go out of town on vacation. He ends up touching the pot and he ends up having to clean up his mess. This book shows a great lesson in the story about touching stuff that does not belong to you....more
Strega Nona or Grandma Witch is a book about a witch who helped heal people and make potions. She is getting to old to perform her duties and was looking to hire help. Strega Nona told her new partner Big Anthony about her secret pasta pot and told him to never touch the pot until one day when touched and used the pot for pasta. This book is a great book to teach children not the steal or use things that are not yours without asking. I would use this in my classroom in the earlier weeks of start...more
a cute story about an old lady
Don Gubler
I relate to big Anthony.
Kimberly Erskine
Strega Nona is a very magical story that brings readers into a fantasy world. While this world may seem hard for some people to imagine, it relies more on pictures to show details rather than the text. Text is kept to a maximum of three or four sentences (though usually just one or two) while pictures take up no less than half of the page. Author and illustrator, Tomie de Paola chose to play with rhythm and rhymes in the text by creating a fun song for the magic pasta pot. This also helps to add...more
1975: Strega Nona by Tomie de Paola (Scholastic Inc.)
Caldecott Honor Book
Traditional Literature/Early Childhood
In this re-telling of a Calabrian folktale, Strega Nona or "Grandma Witch" helps villagers with all of their problems, from curing headaches to helping girls find husbands. Strega Nona hires Big Anthony to help her with chores around her house and garden. Strega Nona tells Big Anthony that he must never touch her pasta pot because it is valuable. One day, Big Anthony sees Strega Nona si...more
Big Anthony, who does not listen, goes to live with Strega Nona (Grandma Witch). He is required to carry out certain chores and responsibilities. One day, he spies Strega Nona cooking up pasta in her Magic Pasta pot. Strega Nona warns him to never touch the pot! When she goes to visit a friend one day, Big Anthony cannot resist temptation and he sings Strega Nona's magic song to the pot. Sure enough, the pot begins to cook up the pasta. The only problem is that Big Anthony did not pay attention...more
This story borders on being TOO LONG and TOO WORDY to use in a library pre-school story time, but it is a Caldecott Honor book (fitting in with our "Caldecott Cacophony") and FOOD MAGIC themes for this week's events AND it provided the perfect segue to our craft activity.

We especially loved repeating the magic verses while making "magic making motions" with our hands and inviting the children to do the same.

For our craft, each child received a paper plate, wiggle eyes, a red adhesive dot ,and a...more
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Strega nona 8 49 Jun 30, 2012 06:22PM  
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Tomie dePaola (pronounced Tommy da-POW-la) is best known for his books for children.
He's been published for 40 years and has written and/or illustrated over 200 books, including 26 Fairmount Avenue, Strega Nona, and Meet the Barkers.
Tomie dePaola and his work have been recognized with the Caldecott Honor Award, the Newbery Honor Award and the New Hampshire Governor's Arts Award of Living Treasure....more
More about Tomie dePaola...
The Legend of the Bluebonnet The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush The Art Lesson Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs The Clown of God

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“In a town in Calabria, a long time ago, there lived an old lady everyone called Strega Nona, which meant "Grandma Witch".” 0 likes
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