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Strega Nona's Gift (Strega Nona #10)

3.84  ·  Rating Details  ·  238 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
In Strega Nona's village, the holiday season is a time of celebrations - and nothing says celebration like a feast! All the kitchens are bustling from the Feast of San Nicola, when the children choose the food, to the Feast of Epiphany, when someone gets to be king or queen for the day. Even the animals share in the holiday spirit, and when Big Anthony smells the delicious ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 18th 2011 by Nancy Paulsen Books
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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 ...more
Nov 10, 2013 midnightfaerie rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
Tomie dePaola is quickly becoming a household favorite. He's a little lengthy for my preschoolers, however, my 5 yr old loves him. dePaola is educational and enjoyable to read. The illustrations have a unique style all their own that even I enjoy while reading. This one was one of his Strega Nona books, this one being about Christmas traditions in Italy. Wonderfully cultural book. A great educational read for any child.
Dec 30, 2011 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
We recently read Merry Christmas, Strega Nona, and I was wondering how similar this story would be to that one. This tale has a lot of similarities, but is more educational because it describes all of the holidays in Italy from 6 Dec (Feast of San Nicola) until 6 Jan (Feast of Epifania).

It's a fairly typical Strega Nona, with Big Anthony making some poor choices, but making up for it in the end. Overall, it's an entertaining story and we really enjoyed reading it together.
Jan 28, 2012 Samantha rated it liked it
Recommended to Samantha by: Alexandria
This book is full of beautiful pictures depicting age-old traditions. Tomie dePaola always has such nice stories. Big Anthony was a well written character that brought some humor to the book. = ]
Oct 20, 2014 Rienzi added it
In the village where Strega Nona lives, there are many days in December and January celebrating different things. There are a lot of feasts that come along with these celebrations, so everyone is cooking a lot of food. We see as the month goes by what Strega Nona and Big Anthony do to prepare for these feasts, and see some funny things happen along the way. This book's illustrations and story line are both entertaining and educational for readers.
The theme of this book is about culture, and why
Sarah Sammis
Dec 23, 2015 Sarah Sammis rated it liked it
Recommended to Sarah by: my daughter
Some of the Italian words are a tongue twister. So it's all about the December / January holidays that lead up to the Epiphany.
Darby Allen
Oct 07, 2014 Darby Allen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-lit
Summary: Tomie dePaoloa's book summarizes and explains some Italian holidays in a way that children can understand. Big Anthony finds himself in a comical situation because he didn't follow one of the rituals correctly. He has to learn how to fix his own problems, without causing further problems.
Theme: Holidays, repentance.

This book would be great when teaching lesson's about different cultures. Maybe around December, doing a lesson about how other cultures celebrate the holidays. I would def
Aug 17, 2012 Patricia rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-picture
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 13, 2011 Tasha rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
In the small Italian village where Strega Nona lives, everyone is busy preparing for the holidays. They stretch from December 6th and the Feast of San Nicola to January 6th and the Feast of Epifania. This picture book looks at the various Italian feasts, focusing mostly on the Eve of Epifania where animals are said to be able to get the power of speech. So all of the people in the village made delicious food for the animals to keep them happy. However, when Big Anthony realizes that he is eating ...more
Dec 29, 2012 nicole rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012
I am biased, as the first page of this book is about the Feast of St. Nicholas, or my name day. I don't know if name days are an Italian, Calabrian, or Nonni instituted event, but for me, it means my Nonni calls me (and my uncle and cousin, both named Nicholas) on the morning of December 6 and says wonderful things about me. When I was younger, delicious food was also involved.

I had seen this book at Barnes and Noble, and meant to put a hold on this as my Christmas Eve read, but there are still
Judy Lindow
Dec 21, 2013 Judy Lindow rated it did not like it
Shelves: picture-books
I guess I just don't roll with the group. As an adult the different days of celebration are mildly interesting. I hate to point out that there's a lot of slaughter going on to support these holiday celebrations. Dec. 6th (favorite meal), Dec. 13, on Dec. 24 (7 courses of seafood), Dec. 25 (meats of all sorts) … on and on … "and sure enough, as each one of the villagers drifted to sleep, everything seemed to turn to food … Bedposts became sausages, etc." … So although this may be very entertainin ...more
Feb 17, 2016 Stacy rated it really liked it
Shelves: children, christmas
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kay Mcgriff
Nov 12, 2014 Kay Mcgriff rated it really liked it
Of course I remembered Strega Nona. This one turned out to be another Christmas story. (I'm really not trying to rush the season, but I do love Christmas stories.) Strega Nona is cooking and cooking and cooking for all the feasts through the month of December in her village of Calabria. She even cooks a feast for the animals, but something goes wrong when Big Anthony can't resist the goat's treat. What will it take to set the world right again?
Johara Almogbel
Apr 07, 2014 Johara Almogbel rated it it was ok
I bought this book without knowing it was basically a short summary of italian (?) christmas traditions. The illustrations were pretty as usual, but since this was a holiday book it seems like Big Anthony didn't get into as much usual shenanigans and so it wasn't as entertaining.

Which is a shame, because I still remember and love all the other Strega Nona stories I read at school as a little kid and was hoping this would be the same.
September Michaud
Oct 23, 2015 September Michaud rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, christmas
Another awesome Strega Nona story. Honestly, all of the Italian traditions were a little difficult for me to keep up with, but luckily there is a nice list which explains all of them on the last page of the book.

Interesting colorful illustrations. Sometimes multiple paragraphs on a page.

Not sure if I could keep children's attention through a story time with this book.
Jan 05, 2012 Nick rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book
I like the Strega Nona stories, but this one has one minor weakness. It doesn't stand alone as well as the earlier ones, because it's more about the food and traditions of the Italian holidays than anything else, and the story makes little sense unless you've already read the earlier books, which establish the characters and the relationships.
If you HAVE read the earlier books, this one is a delightful addition, featuring eight different winter holidays celebrated in Italy. Big Anthony, as usual
Gianna Mosser
Mar 19, 2014 Gianna Mosser rated it liked it
I usually like Strega Nona. She's pagan, she's Italian, she makes magic pasta. But this one got a little too real with the Jesus story tie-in. I mean, the feast days and holy days aren't discussed in a religious, but a cultural context. It was just a little more than I was prepared to explain.
Alyssa Kraft
Feb 05, 2013 Alyssa Kraft rated it it was amazing
Strega Nona's Gift is a special book for children to read for the holidays. Strega Nona, Big Anthony, and the entire village of Calabria are busy preparing holiday feasts, from the Feast of Saint Nicholas on December 6 to New Year's Day (II Capodanno). Big Anthony gets a taste of his own medicine once again when he eats the food made for Signora Goat and misses out on the dreams Strega Nona sent him. Big Anthony learns his lesson about greediness the next day. At the very end of the book, childr ...more
Debby Baumgartner
Jan 21, 2016 Debby Baumgartner rated it it was ok
Shelves: christmas
A good overview of the celebration of the holidays in December and the new year in Italy. Big Anthony is back as Strega Nona's helper.
Sep 22, 2014 Jenn rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
A fantastic book on the Advent and Christmas feasts of Italy.
I adore DePaola's folk art style illustrations and have since I encountered them and read Strega Nona in the 70's. Big Anthony is a lovable character for me and somehow he always makes amends for his "mistakes". Interesting in this title how listing the December Italian festivals leads to the story that revolves around Epiphany.

I loved learning that it is an Italian tradition to wear red underware on New Year's. A fictioanl picture book with lots of learning!
Apr 29, 2013 Janelle rated it it was amazing
I read this book as part of my Author Study. Another fantastic book in the Strega Nona series. This magical story is a holiday story that introduces Christmas and New Year tradtions celebrated in Italy. Through Strga Nona’s creative character, children experience the festivals and feats celebrated each year in December and January. The author teaches different customs and worldly celebrations while staying engaged in the simplicity children can grasp.
Nov 24, 2012 Chanelle rated it it was amazing
I love this book! I think it is cool that the author created a book about his culture and related it to the holiday season. A great activity for students would be that they write about how they celebrate their holidays with their family and the traditions that they participate in. Then, you can read this book along with other books from different cultures. You could also have them create a visual of their favorite holiday tradition.
Oct 18, 2012 Kim rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
typical Strega Nona, sweet and charming

themes: animals, dreams, food, Italian holidays (12/6 Feast of San Nicola, 12/13 Feast of Santa Lucia, 12/24 Feast of La Vigilia/Christmas Eve, 12/25 Christmas, 12/31 Feast of San Silvestro, 1/1 Il Capodanno/New Year's Day, 1/5 Eve of Epifania/Epiphany, 1/6 Feast of Epifania/Epiphany), Winter
Nov 04, 2011 Samantha rated it really liked it
Great holiday picture book featuring beloved witch, Strega Nona. Informative and rich with tradition, there's a section at the end that briefly explains the different feasts and festivals mentioned in text and one book is recommended (Carol Field's Celebrating Italy) if readers want to learn more about Italian feasts.
Nov 10, 2011 Debbie rated it it was amazing
It's been too long between Strega Nona books for me, and this one really delivers! Tomie packs in all that there is to celebrate during the month of December, and he does it with two of the finest characters in children's literature, Strega Nona and Big Anthony. I look forward to Strega Nona's next adventure!
Candace Carr
Nov 23, 2012 Candace Carr added it
Shelves: diversity
This book is fun to read to students so they can learn about the Italian culture and some traditions around Christmas time. I would definitely read this book to students so they are learning about different cultures and seeing how some of them are the same as theirs.
Jan 26, 2012 Alexandria rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Samantha King
Recommended to Alexandria by: Myself
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lesley Looper
I enjoyed this story, partly because I've read other Strega Nona books that included Big Anthony. Still, it was fun to read about the various December feast traditions, starting early in the month and going throughout.
Carla Miller
Nov 28, 2013 Carla Miller rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
Love this and all the Strega Nona books. This was especially good as it notes all the Italian feast days celebrated in December and January. I think this one will have to be added to our children's collection.
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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 about Tomie dePaola...

Other Books in the Series

Strega Nona (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Strega Nona
  • Big Anthony and the Magic Ring
  • Strega Nona's Magic Lessons
  • Merry Christmas, Strega Nona
  • Strega Nona Meets Her Match
  • Strega Nona, Her Story
  • Big Anthony: His Story
  • Strega Nona Takes a Vacation
  • Strega Nona's Harvest
  • Strega Nona Does It Again

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