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Strega Nona (Strega Nona #1)

4.22  ·  Rating Details ·  64,517 Ratings  ·  832 Reviews
When Strega Nona leaves him alone with her magic pasta pot, Big Anthony is determined to show the townspeople how it works in this classic Caldecott Honor book from Tomie dePaola.

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 suppose
Paperback, 40 pages
Published September 3rd 1979 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 1975)
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Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola is the first book in a classic children's literature series from the 1970s and 1980s. It was eventually made into a cartoon and several other children's merchandise, all fun and educational toys as kids grew up. I enjoyed the premise of the books but only read the first one, and maybe the second or third (can't remember!).

Strega Nona means "Grandma Witch," and she helps the townspeople with all their problems through her magical pasta pot. One day, she has
“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
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
Apr 24, 2009 Chris rated it really liked it
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
Jul 16, 2013 midnightfaerie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
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.
Jun 29, 2008 Dolly rated it really liked it  ·  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!
Strega Nona is one of my favorites, and it always makes me hungry for pasta. Just not that much pasta.
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
Amy Forrester
Dec 09, 2012 Amy Forrester rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 01, 2017 Zaul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love this book!
Jaeleen Parisi
Strega Nona written and illustrated by Tomie dePaola is a fun and insightful children's literature folktale about following directions. What I love most about this book, is stories nature to be relate-able. The story is unrealistic, but the idea of not listening to someone and then needing their help to solve the problem is an aspect of life must individuals endure. Additionally, I think this is a great story to tell to children because the lesson at the core is to listen to elders, which is an ...more
Oct 12, 2016 Heather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: caldecott-winner
Title: Strega Nona
Title: Tomis dePaola
Genre: Traditional Literature

Plot Summary: This folktale is about a boy named Anthony who comes to work for Strega Nona, who is getting too old to do physical chores around her house. She needs him to take care of these things for her so she can visit the town's people, giving them the help they need with various life problems. Nona tells him outright to not go near her pasta pot. When she leaves the town, what does he do...? He casts the spell on the pot to
Laura Watson
Summarize the book:
This is a book about Strega Nona who is a witch who helps people with their problems. She hires Big Anthony to live at her home and do many chores for her to keep up her house and garden. He sees her using a magic pot that makes its own pasta. When Strega Nona leaves he tells everyone to come and eat from the pot. Everyone eats a lot of pasta and then Big Anthony realizes that he cannot stop the magic pot from making pasta and it starts to take over the village and the people
Jessica Sheaffer
Jan 25, 2013 Jessica Sheaffer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
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
Renee Burr
Feb 09, 2014 Renee Burr rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Valentin Eni
Parcă am mai auzit de o poveste asemănătoare. Probabil Мишкина каша de Nikolai Nosov, autorul lui Habarnam (Neştiilă) Приключения Незнайки. Dar se pare că în cărţile fraţilor Grimm putem găsi o poveste asemănătoare Der süße Brei (The Sweet Porridge)

Iar Strega Nona mi se pare a fi Sfânta Vinere sau Duminică din folclorul românesc
Julia Brumfield
A wonderful retelling that strongly implies to its Italian background with the inclusion of cultural hints and Italian words in the air bubbles. This is truly a Tomie dePaolo work.

It is interesting to read this story and know that there are others from around the world that have a very similar plot. Instead of being pasta it may be anything from porridge or salt that may be out of control since of the folly of man.

The font is on the smallish side so I would recommend the book to slightly olde
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
May 17, 2013 Nicole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Francesca Brilli
This book follows Strega Nona (grandma witch) and Big Anthony, as he helps out Strega Nona, and makes a mess. Strega Nona has a magical pot that makes pasta, and when Big Anthony does it, he doesn't know how to stop it, and it spreads through the whole town. The pictures help guide the story, and make you want to keep turning the page. The "magic" that Strega Nona casts isn't overdone, and it the color scheme is mostly different shades of browns and greens - earthy tones. The narrator is third p ...more
Jasmin Chung
Strega Nona is an old lady who cures headaches, makes potions, and has a special pasta pot. One day, she employs Big Anthony to help her around the house and instructs him never to touch the pasta pot. He watches her make pasta from the pasta pot and decides to do it himself. What happens afterwards is disaster, of course.
The theme is about obedience. If Big Anthony had listened to Strega Nona, there wouldn't be a disaster.
This book can be used in a classroom is a good way to teach the importanc
Feb 02, 2015 Tracey rated it really liked it
How have I never read this book before today? It's so cute and funny and everything a children's book should be. It teaches a lesson without the kid knowing their learning a lesson. Don't touch stuff that I specifically say not to touch. I will find out and you will be punished. And I hope I wasn't the only one that thought the ending was going to be dark. I just had a feeling that I was going to see Big Anthony explode from eating all that pasta on the last page.
Reading this as a child I used to imagine the town I lived in filling with spaghetti from Strega Nona‘s magic pasta pot. Before Strega Nona leaves she warns Anthony not to touch her pasta pot. Of course he doesn’t listen and encounters a spaghetti disaster. It’s a great book on the consequences of disobedience.
Jul 08, 2008 Connie rated it really liked it
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 :)
D.L. Williams
Jan 05, 2015 D.L. Williams rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cute tale about an old world Italian witch. she helps people daily and gives a job to a young man. When she goes away, he betrays her, but Strega Nona takes it in stride and helps save the town in the end. Love the illustrations.
a cute story about an old lady
Aug 31, 2015 Katie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book,art and story. My mother read this to me as a child and I'm glad to be sharing it with my son.
Oct 27, 2014 Jen ƸӜƷ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book, where was it when I was a little girl. Fortunately, I'm not too old at heart to enjoy a beautifully designed and magically written story. :)
Mar 05, 2016 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My all time favorite author. I remember reading all of his books for my second graders when I was student teaching.
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What's The Name o...: SOLVED. Children's Book About a Witch Whose Name Began with S [s] 7 46 Apr 24, 2016 09:46PM  
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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)
  • 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's Gift
  • Strega Nona Does It Again

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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".” 3 likes
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