Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Strega Nona: Her Story” as Want to Read:
Strega Nona: Her Story
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Strega Nona: Her Story (Strega Nona #6)

4.15  ·  Rating Details  ·  657 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews
From the moment Grandma Concetta sweeps through the door and pronounces her granddaughter a "strega", little Nona's fate is sealed. She will grow up to be just like her Grandma -- treating neighbors' aches and troubles, and preparing steaming plates of pasta from a magic pasta pot
Published (first published September 9th 1996)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Strega Nona, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Strega Nona

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 987)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Robyn Simmons
Nov 26, 2008 Robyn Simmons rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: primary readers
This book tells the story of a young girl and her Grandma Concetta. Her grandmother passes down all of the traditional family values and beliefs. The girl then believes that her grandmother's famous pot is magical! At the end of the story, her grandmother leaves her the house and the magic pasta pot, leaving her to carry on the tradition.
Oct 30, 2011 Dolly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
We have read several of the books in the Strega Nona series by Tomie dePaola, so this was a fun look at her early years. Written like a biography, we see Nonalina at her birth, as a young child, and during her school years, prior to taking over for Grandma Concetta as Strega of the village. The illustrations are colorful and entertaining, as we have come to expect in this series. And the ending is humorous, as we are led up to the beginning of the first tale. We enjoyed reading this story togeth ...more
Title: Strega Nona, Her Story
Author/Illustrator: Tomie dePaolo
Genre: European Folktale
Theme(s): Family, Culture, Folklore
Opening line/sentence: “It all began one night a long time ago…”

Brief Book Summary:
This book unwraps the story of how Nona became “Strega Nona” by addressing each stage in her life from childhood into adulthood.

Professional Recommendation/Review #1:
Kirkus (Kirkus Reviews, 1996)
This warm and affable prequel to Strega Norm (1975) is a biography of the Italian sorcerer. It is
Sara Cranford
Nov 06, 2014 Sara Cranford rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Strega Nona, Her Story tells the tale of a little girl, Nona, who was born into a family of Stregas, women who posess magic. When Nona was born, her grandma took one look at her and said "one day you will be a strega" because she knew that little Nona was special. Growing up, Nona spent every day by her grandma's side, watching her help the people of their tiny Italian town. She wanted to learn everything her grandmother could teach her, but she knew there was a secret to her grandma's magic. Af ...more
Feb 01, 2012 Isabella rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was one I was revisiting from childhood--a short story with wonderful voice and character. It is full of warmth and humor and familial love (all good, important qualities for children to be familiar with!). There is also a subtle message of there being equal honor in a variety of approaches of learning--and special emphasis on the value of learning traditions and wisdom from our knowledgeable elders.
Oct 28, 2010 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
These books remind me of my Nana, from Sicily and her stories she tells. I love reading them with my sons. In Strega Nona: Her Story we learn Nona's birth story and how she became a strega. I like the lesson in the book, the secret ingredient to many things in life is LOVE. I also like the message that you dont need a diploma to be good at what you do.
Apr 16, 2011 Katharine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My family loves the Strega Nona stories, and often recite the poem while we're making dinner:

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

Enough, enough, pasta pot
I have my pasta, nice and hot.
So simmer down my pot of clay
Unitl I’m hungry another day."

Strega Nona her story is about a young girl and her grandma, which are Italian that are simply witch that help out the village that they live in to get better. The story begins in that the grandmother showing the granddaughter how to be mostly a care taker for people and both her and her friend go to school for it. Yet the granddaughter thinks the way they are teaching them is not right, so the grandmother teaches her ways and ends up knowing more than her friend who got a degree on being a Stre ...more
Jan 22, 2014 Patricia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From her birth until she becomes a strega and invites Big Anthony to work for her, we learn of Strega Nona's childhood and youth.

Emma and I loved it when she tried out a new hairstyle. I loved Grandma Concetta's words of wisdom to Nona (in spite of Emma wanting to know WHY anyone would name their baby Nona, Grandma!):

"You don't need a diploma to be a true strega. You already have everything you need. You have the spirit and kindness that come from the heart. And when I pass my practice over to y
Jan 20, 2010 Josiah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I like the way that this backstory is developed, with young Nona growing up alongside her friend Amelia in the same house, learning from Strega Concetta about all of the things that would add up to make her a good Strega on her own when she grew to adulthood.

Even as Amelia moved away from home and took a distinct liking to the city life while Nona found that she loved the simple, natural lifestyle and earthy healing methods that Concetta used, the most important lesson that Strega Concetta imp
Jun 10, 2015 MaryAnn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Strega Nona is an old family friend and she lives in the Hills of Calabria (where one set of my grandparents were from). Her story 'as told to Tomie dePaola' does not disappoint.

This is a tale of the fostering of one generation by the generation that comes before with a little magic, knowledge and warmth. Tomie DePaola's art work adds humor and poignancy.

Keep reading the series to really get to know Strega Nona. She and Big Anthony are well worth knowing.
Jan 26, 2016 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a lovely story that teaches how important the live for a customer is in the work field and that its best to use the simple and obvious method to do something over silly new ones.
Kim Hampton
Jun 18, 2015 Kim Hampton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really cute story about the love between a girl and her grandma. I loved it because it taught that the old ways are still the best, much better than the new-fangled way of doing things!
Erin Lee Arvin
Nov 04, 2015 Erin Lee Arvin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: happy-accidents
This book is delightful. I haven't read any other Strega Nona books, but this could definitely stand alone. Great Italian cultural consciousness, and beautiful story-telling.
Rebecca Saxon
A sweet prequel in which Strega Nona tells her story. Steeped in Italian culture and folklore this is a charming story.
Jan 12, 2016 Judy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pic-books
The story is in the details (text and art) as much as it is in the plot.
Aug 20, 2014 Mckinley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture, heroine
Her biography so to speak. Liked the others about Stega Nona better.
Elizabeth S
Jun 03, 2011 Elizabeth S rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: f-picture
When I picked this off the shelf at the library, I was thinking it was the first book about Strega Nona. Since I'd read one of the later ones, and I was somewhat confused because I hadn't read the first one, I thought I'd fix that. Well, now I'm even worse off than before! :) The goodreads description says this is a prequel, and it isn't kidding. I think the first 90% of the book works on its own, but it doesn't have much meaning if you don't already know the characters. The ending means nothing ...more
Brenna Johnson
Feb 01, 2014 Brenna Johnson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Everyone needs a Strega Nona!
Marie Willis
8 year old's rating: "I liked when Strega Nona got her hair done because it got poofy."
I love this story. I always have from the first time I read it.
Reading it to my daughter today I picked up on things that I had not before. Like how even though Nona and Amelia separate and Nona lives in the country and Amelia lives in the city it does not make one better than the other and they are still able to be friends even though they are different. Since that is something we are striving to teach my daughter I liked the subtle message of it in the story.
Mar 24, 2011 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kid-s-books
Since I've always liked Tomie DePaola's illustrations and I saw a lot of Strega Nona titles, I thought I'd try this one out. The end would've made more sense if I knew the original story, but this was kind of a prequel, I guess, to that. Since she seems kind of like an herbalist or something, I'm OK with it, although the mention of magic made me a little nervous since that is something that a very concrete thinking preschooler might take to heart.
Skylar Burris
Nov 27, 2008 Skylar Burris rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
I'm not one of those Christians who objects to reading stories to my children that contain magic and witches and such, but this one just made witchcraft seem perfectly consistent with Christianity, so I'm not comfortable reading it to my children again. Additionally, before reading this edition, there is apparently some background required, as the ending seems abrupt and cryptic otherwise.
This was a cute read. I enjoyed seeing how Strega Nona got started, after all, I have read several other books about her. I would recommend, especially if you were already a fan of this series.

*Taken from my book reviews blog:
This is the "back story" of Nona's birth, her learning time with Grandma Concetta as Nona learns to be a Strega. Most interesting is the presentation of the pasta pot and its magic secret that is left for now Strega Nona. dePaola has created a lovely warm character in Strega Nona.
Jessica Bennett
A granddaughter wants to be a strega just like her grandmother and decides to learn everything from her because she is the best teacher. This book has a few Italian words that children can learn while reading. I would read this book just for fun during free time.
Lori Smith
This book could be used to show students a different genre. Though it is a storybook, it is a biography. It is also a book about friendship and can show students another family dynamic due to the fact that Strega Nona is raised by her grandmother.
Carol Hardesty
One of my favorites in the "Strega Nona" series. It's really amazing to see the life of such a beloved childhood character. Tomie dePaola's storytelling and illustrations don't fail. Another gentle and colorful picture book from childhood.
Jenny Wright
A cute tale about where Nona Strega learned all of her tricks - from her own Nona! It is sweet that every book has so many Italian cultural references- from location to languages.
I picked this one up by mistake, and wondered where the magic pasta pot was until I realized I was reading the wrong book! This is the prequel, where she chooses her apprentice.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 32 33 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Hedgie's Surprise
  • The Wolf's Chicken Stew
  • Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock
  • Big Bear Hug
  • Island Boy
  • The Nowhere Box
  • Rabbityness
  • My Uncle Emily
  • Little Oink
  • The Vanishing Pumpkin
  • Paulie Pastrami Achieves World Peace
  • Yakov and the Seven Thieves
  • Babushka's Doll
  • This Is Venice
  • Big Words for Little People
  • The Bunyans
  • Wombat Walkabout
  • Whopper Cake
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
  • Big Anthony: His Story
  • Strega Nona Takes a Vacation
  • Strega Nona's Harvest
  • Strega Nona's Gift
  • Strega Nona Does It Again

Share This Book