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Strega Nona's Magic Lessons (Strega Nona #3)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  798 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
The popular Big Anthony tries once again to use Strega Nona’s magic with the usual hilarious and disastrous results. “Played for laughs-successfully.â€--Booklist
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 29th 1982 by Harcourt Children's Books
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Nov 14, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have been reading the “Strega Nona” series ever since I was a child and there were many “Strega Nona” books that I have really enjoyed over the years! One of my favorites was this little gem called “Strega Nona’s Magic Lessons” by Tomie dePaola and it is about how Big Anthony wanted to learn magic like Strega Nona, but might have to go through drastic measures to learn magic! “Strega Nona’s Magic Lessons” is a truly clever and hilarious story for “Strega Nona” fans!

Bambolona, the baker’s daugh
Mar 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: childrens, humor, italy, 2011
Once again, Big Anthony is at it again and is trying to do magic. This story tells about how Bambalona comes to work with Strega Nona and becomes her apprentice. The story is funny and the illustrations (especially with Big Anthony in a dress) are hilarious. We really enjoyed this story in the Strega Nona series by Tomie dePaola, and we will certainly look for the last few books in the series we have not yet read.
This was an entertaining and amusing little tale that had nice illustrations to go along with it. I'd recommend it if you were a fan of Tomie de Paola.

*Taken from my book reviews blog:
Bridgette Redman
Feb 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Poor Big Anthony. So much of what he wants out of life is beyond his grasp. He wants what he sees and hears without any thought to the labor needed to acquire it or the consequences of something done half-heartedly.

And in the days before Ritalin, only a compassionate Strega is able to protect Big Anthony from his inability to concentrate and his knack for getting himself into messes. Strega Nona’s Magic Lessons is another Tomie dePaola picture book in the Strega Nona series. In this book, Streg
I have to admit that I have not read Strega Nona proper, and therefore lacked the necessary back-story to fill in the gaps of this book. I did not realize how much the two depend on each other, as I feel like this book drops the reader midway through the story. Perhaps it's unfair to review this without first reviewing Strega Nona; however, I feel that this story could, and perhaps should, have been independent. That being said, I think children will find enough humor in the depicted events to f ...more
Kelly Tessitore
Feb 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was a wonderful story about a young girl not settling for her hard life with a lazy father. She asserts her independence and goes to a sagacious old woman named Strega Nona for help. Strega Nona immediately offers to show her how to perform magic. A young man named Anthony comes into the story and wants to learn magic too, but he can not because he is a boy. Thus, he decides to pretend to be a woman in order to learn the magic. But Bambolona and Strega Nona trick him and he reveals tha ...more
Bethany Vines
Though I vaguely remember reading these books when I was younger, I now realize why they may sometimes be questioned or "challenged". This book is about Strega Nona who knows magic and teaches it to people that come to her for help. Bambolona, the baker's daughter, gets tired of having to work so hard and decides to go to Strega Nona for help. Strega Nona quickly accepts her as a student. However, when Strega Nona's male servant asks her to teach him the magic, she says that she cannot teach him ...more
Taylor Moore
This book is full of problem and solution. Bambolona does not want to work in her father's bakery anymore, and Strega Nona agrees to teach her magic. Big Anthony also wants to learn magic, but Strega Nona says she can't teach him because he is a male and can't be a Strega. So, Big Anthony decides to put on a dress and try to learn magic. He thinks he has them fooled until they trick him into thinking that he has turned Strega into a toad! Kids will find this story funny, and discussion of proble ...more
Johara Almogbel
Dec 31, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 52-books-2012
I needed a short story because I wanted to finish the 52 Books in 52 Weeks challenge on time, (and I have a final tomorrow) but, at the same time, I wanted to finish the challenge with something meaningful.

So, I went looking through the book collection I had as a kid, and, suddenly, remembered the Strega Nona tales. And I knew it was just what I was looking for.

Adorably drawn and wonderfully written, Strega Nona is what had encouraged me to write. (A horrible story called The Spooky Swamp, in s
Jan 20, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Strega Nona's Magic Lesson takes some creative turns in the extended odyssey of "Grandma Witch" and her two assistants, Big Anthony and Bambolina. Big Anthony becomes perturbed when Strega Nona agrees to mentor Bambolina in the ways of her nature-based magic but refuses to do the same for him, and when Big Anthony tries to find a different way to learn the secrets of being a "Strega", the result is a funny story that readers will remember well. I would give one and a half stars to Strega Nona's ...more
This book is filled with problem/solution conflict. The first problem is that Bambolona doesn’t want to work anymore. The solution is that she will go to Strega Nona for help. The problem of who will take over the bakery work was solved by Big Anthony, and there are many more problems and solutions throughout the story. The illustrations depict the events for each page very well and the exaggerated features on the characters are fun to see. It is a good book for first through third graders.
Sarah Attayek
Strega Nona is very kind to Bambolona. After Bambolona is worked to death in her father's backery, she takes off and finds comfort in learning magic. Anthony, a man more intent on finding ways out of work than actually working, dresses up like a woman to also learn magic from Strega Nona. I enjoyed reading this book and appreciate the feminist message behind the text. Bambolona and Strega Nona have agency and Anthony falls behind. He was not willing to do the work.
Elizabeth S
May 31, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: f-picture
I wasn't quite sure what the theme of the book was supposed to be for a while. Now I'm realizing that this is a sequel to an earlier book. If I'd read the earlier one first, maybe I would have caught on faster. The ending was clever and fun, and I liked that it helps if you notice subtle details in the pictures. There is also a good moral to the story. (Namely that there are no shortcuts to success.)
Jan 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is when we are introduced to Strega Nona's apprentice, Bambalona. Of course she has every right to be the disgruntled baker's daughter, manning the entire bakery operation. She is completely relieved and grateful for Strega Nona's help. Big Anthony's ego gets in the way again, and he learns a big lesson, but not until he tries - and fails - to trick Strega Nona into giving him more responsibility. Strega Nona and Bambolona turn the tables on him and teach him a good lesson!
Katherine Moses
This is one of my favorite stories. It is the story of Strega Nona and her helper Big Anthony. Big Anthony wants to learn Strega Nona's magic secrets. Of course Big Anthony gets into all sorts of trouble. This is an Italian folk tale that people have told for many years. Reading stories for different cultures is a great way to help children learn about the cultures.
Odd little book. Read to my 4 year old, she didn't quite get all of it, but she enjoyed the trickery once it was revealed to her at the end. Think I should have gotten one of the other Strega Nona books first, didn't realize when I grabbed this off a library display that it was part of a "series."
I truly enjoyed this book, simply because I enjoy anything that is remotely similar to Harry Potter. Fantasy and Sci-fi are my heart and soul when it comes to reading books, and this book definitely has both.
Feb 17, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Strega Nona trains an apprentice! Big Anthony disguises himself as a girl so that he too may be taught Strega Nona's magic, though he bumbles through his lessons as well as he did during his chores. Funny and a great read aloud.
Aug 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tomie dePaola writes beautiful stories and has amazing pictures to go with them.
Lynne Marie
This book is somewhat dated because of age but better than some of the new books out there!
Aug 07, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens, favorites
A heartfelt lesson about why you should never try Strega Nona's pasta spells when she isn't supervising.
Delie Dell Chua
Jan 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Strega Nona's series!
Not as cute as the original and I didn't love the "some jobs are for girls and some are for boys" theme.
Oct 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-alouds
Great series. Very funny.
Apr 26, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a nice book. I think it will teach the students to be good at all times because you will never know what may happen. A great problem solving book.
Feb 08, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: italy
We love Big Anthony
Feb 07, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Delightful book!
Leah Lemon
I love Strega Nona!
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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
  • 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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