Customer Reviews for

Strega Nona

Average Rating 5
( 29 )
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5 Star

(26)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

A Great Family Read

A good story for young children - entertaining and an easy opener for discussing one needing to take responsibility for the actions one takes. Set in easy to understand terms so even very young readers [4 or 5 yrs old]are able to see what happens when you do something y...
A good story for young children - entertaining and an easy opener for discussing one needing to take responsibility for the actions one takes. Set in easy to understand terms so even very young readers [4 or 5 yrs old]are able to see what happens when you do something you are told NOT to do... A favorite in our family with my 5 yr.

posted by Firestar51 on March 16, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

The Illustrations Tell the Story

In Strega Nona, a retold 'old tale,' Strega Nona leaves Big Anthony in charge of her house while she goes for a visit, but Big Anthony ignores Strega Nona's instructions. He uses the forbidden pasta pot and cannot get it to stop making pasta. Strega Nona has to come hom...
In Strega Nona, a retold 'old tale,' Strega Nona leaves Big Anthony in charge of her house while she goes for a visit, but Big Anthony ignores Strega Nona's instructions. He uses the forbidden pasta pot and cannot get it to stop making pasta. Strega Nona has to come home and save the village from being overrun by pasta from the pot, and Big Anthony must clean up the mess. The illustrations throughout the book assert the stability of the community presented in the story, but they also preserve the magical element to the story. de Paola's illustrations contain minimal color variation and are all outlined with thick, black lines. Earth tones make up the majority of the color scheme with an occasional bit of peacock blue or salmon pink added in. The illustrations are also plain, with few fine line details. Most of the town's citizens have similar body shapes, and most illustrations contain the same boxy buildings with European tiled roofs. Elements in most of the illustrations are arranged so that interacting characters or objects are on the same horizontal plane in the illustration. All of these elements establish a sense of stability in the story. Strega Nona is an old woman, and as long as townspeople can remember, she has been there to remove warts, find husbands and cure headaches. Everyone goes to see her about their problems, including 'the priest and the sisters of the convent.' Life is slow and predictable in the town of Calabria, and the townspeople do not complain about the pace. Chaos and instability begin to enter the book when Big Anthony starts to tinker with the pasta pot. Cooked pasta starts boiling up and over the edges of the pot. The pasta introduces a new shape to the already-familiar ones of the townspeople's bodies and the background buildings. The pasta still is outlined with a thick black line to show its persistence in overflowing from the pot, but the noodles are squiggly and unpredictable in their motion throughout the pasta's growth and expansion. It curls, loops and branches out, lifting Big Anthony off the ground and out of the plane with the rest of the townspeople. The climax of chaos comes on the page just before Strega Nona comes back from her visit. Townspeople are running around with their arms flailing and on all different horizontal planes in the illustration. The pasta spills into the town in the background, overtaking the familiar buildings and their tiled roofs. On the next page, Strega Nona stands in the lower right corner, watching the pasta overtake the town. Already, stability has been restored at least partially because the townspeople are gathered together on just a few horizontal planes and the pasta is contained on the left side of the page for the most part. The rest of the story finishes with square, stable illustrations, and Strega Nona asserts herself as the only character able to control the magic. In all of the illustrations, at least part of the picture spills over into the white space. This could be a few strands of pasta, the roof a building or someone's foot. These spillovers take the story out of the reality contained within the squares of the illustrations. They serve as a gentle but constant reminder that Strega Nona is just a tale and not to be taken as completely factual. The real magic of de Paola's story Strega Nona is in the illustrations, not the text. de Paola's illustrations are able to stand alone and communicate the entire plot of the story without relying on the text. Because the illustrations are so strong, the text was not emphasized and is printed in plain, unassuming Times New Roman font throughout the book. It fades into the white space of the pages, allowing the illustrations to take center stage as de Paola's true work of art. Strega Nona is a charming tale that exemplifies why people should not mess with things that they do not know about. The text and illustrations engage the reader and make an enjoyable read.

posted by Anonymous on April 17, 2000

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  • Posted March 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A Great Family Read

    A good story for young children - entertaining and an easy opener for discussing one needing to take responsibility for the actions one takes. Set in easy to understand terms so even very young readers [4 or 5 yrs old]are able to see what happens when you do something you are told NOT to do... A favorite in our family with my 5 yr.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2013

    I like strega n

    I like strega n. Mees her match but this is good

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 25, 2011

    Awesome and Great!!!

    Strega Nona
    By Tomie de Paola

    The people whisper about Strega Nona because she has a magic pot. Anthony made pasta for the people in the town. Anthony had to eat all the pasta all night long because he made a big mess.

    I will give it five stars. I love this book because Anthony had to eat all the pasta he made with the magic pot. It is good, awesome and great. I think moms, dads, kids, friends and family will like this book. I would recommend this book to anyone.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2012

    Love it

    My teacher read it i love it!!! I love tomie de polo check out the art lessan by tomie de polo.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2011

    Amazing

    My st udent, love this book

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2011

    Highly recommend.

    I loved this book. I've read it to many of my students when they came to the school library. The pictures are wonderful. BUT, why does it cost more as an ebook than the hardcover???

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2011

    A classic that will last foever

    I have loved strega nona ever since i was little and now im twelve and i am sick in bed with a fever and i cant wait to read it one again

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2011

    delightful

    My favorite Tomie dePaola--great story, very appealing illustrations.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2010

    Strega Nona

    Strega Nona is a wonderul book that allows children to peek into the costumes of the Italian culture. The books are engaging and children enjoy the fun illustrations. The strega non books also allow children to learn a few Italian words. I really enjoy the Strega Nona series and I highly recommend Strega Nona books to parents, students and fellow teachers.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2009

    Oh, Anthony!

    This is a family classic for us, and we give it to all newborns in board book format. It's a perfect read-aloud book with a good moral, but also with a compassionate message.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 16, 2008

    Favorite

    This is one of my favorite childrens books. I had it when I was little and I'm planning on reading it to my children. I still remember that magic pasta pot! :)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2007

    Strega Nona- Tomie De Paolo

    Stega Nona or the old witch who everyone talked about in the town, went to see her for anything from an headache, to finding a husband, and getting off warts. She was the witch of the town that solved everyones problems. But Stega Nona was getting old and needed some help. So Big Anthony came to work for Strega Nona. He had to 'sweep the house and wash the dishes. You must weed the garden and pick the vegetables. You must feed the goat and milk her. Amd you must fetch the water. For this i will give you three coins and a place to sleep and food to eat.' So it was a deal, Big Anthony went to work for Strega Nona. Then one day while doing his chores he hears Strega Nona sing to her pasta pot. Then all of a sudden the pot began to make pasta like magic. Will Big Anthony use the pasta pot for himself? Will he do the spell right? Will he ever get it to stop? Read and you will find out. This book is a delight to read. I think that it is good for students because it helps them learn about what is not theirs to use. this book is good for second grade Tomie DePaola lived in Connecticu and studied at Pratt Instutue in Brooklyn, NY. He now lives in New Hampshire. dePaola, Tomie. SRTEGA NONA. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1975.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2014

    Anonymous

    Great book! My 4 year old enjoyed it as much as I did. Love the music with the narration and the illustrations are beautiful. This is a book all ages can enjoy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2013

    Super

    I tead this book wans and i want to read this book again but i can't because i don't have enough money

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2013

    Great Story

    My 6 yr old loved this. It sounds like an old world fairy tale, but with not too harsh an ending

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2013

    Such a FABULOUS book. my teacher taught this to us back in the s

    Such a FABULOUS book. my teacher taught this to us back in the second grade and i have loved it ever since!! MARVELOUS!!

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  • Posted May 28, 2012

    Fun Folktale!

    The story is an Italian folktale about Strega Nona, or “grandma witch” who cures everyone’s troubles through magic. Big Anthony is hired to help her with her duties and disobeys her instructions to keep away from a pot that he later sees she uses to perform her magic. Big Anthony uses the wrong words in trying to imitate her mystical works and ends up in a big mess. He learns his lesson in the end. This book is the start of a series of books about Strega Nona. This particular story won the Caldecott Award and was recognized for its marvelous illustrations. This book is fun and will truly be enjoyed by anyone who favors folktales.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2012

    Love it

    I love this story ! I love sterga nona. I think that teachers would love reading this story to their class. It teaches a informatoinal lesson. I think the lesson is when someone tells you not to do it you should not do it. The illastrations are very colofull and nice, it tells what is happening this story. Whoever has nook color or a nook i think you should get this book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2007

    Strega Nona

    Strega Nona means ¿Grandma Witch.¿ This is what everyone in the town called the old lady. All of the people would talk about Strega Nona but ¿even the priest and the sisters of the convent went, because Strega Nona did have a magic touch.¿ She cured anything and even ¿made special potions for the girls who wanted husbands. She was getting very old so she hired Big Anthony live with her, take care of her garden, and animals. One day he saw Strega Nona singing a song and a magic pot making pasta. What Anthony didn¿t see was ¿Strega Nona blow three kisses to the magic pasta pot.¿ When Anthony told everyone in town what he saw they didn¿t believe him. So he decided one day he would prove himself to them. When Strega Nona went to see a friend over the mountain, Anthony saw his chance. Strega Nona warned him to stay away from the magic pot. But Anthony didn¿t listen. Anthony ends up getting himself in big trouble and wishing he would have listened to Strega Nona and stayed away from the magic pot. Tomie dePaola is best known for his children¿s books. In the 40 years that he has been publishing books, he has written and/or illustrated over 200 books. Some of these include 26 Fairmount Avenue, and Meet the Barkers. His awards include the Caldecott Honor award (for Strega Nona), the Newberry Honor award, and the New Hampshire Governor¿s Arts Award of Living Treasure. Now he lives in New London, New Hampshire with his Airedale dog, Brontë. dePaola, Tomie. Strega Nona. New York: Prentice-Hall, 1975

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2006

    Caldecott Honor Book: Strega Nona

    What exactly does the name Strega Nona mean? Strega Nona stands for Grandma Witch. This enchanting old tale is retold by Tomie dePaola. He has written and/or illustrated more than two hundred children books. The strong illustrations are able to communicate the entire plot of this particular story. All the people in the town come to Strega Nona¿s house for their troubles. ¿Even the priest and the sisters of the convent went, because Strega Nona did have a magic touch.¿ Strega Nona hired Big Anthony to help her out at the house because she was getting old. One day, Strega Nona had to go out of town, and she left Big Anthony in charge. However, Big Anthony did not follow her instructions. She told him to not touch the magic pot. Big Anthony¿s curiosity took over, because he had seen Strega Nona talk to the pot and make continuous pasta. So, Big Anthony decides he will take the magic pot to town and show the people in the town. He managed to make continuous pasta, but he couldn¿t stop the pasta. The pasta kept coming out almost taking over the whole town. Finally, Strega Nona comes back and takes care of it. So, what was the secret to stop the pasta from flowing out of the magic pot? The answer is a simple three kisses. dePaola, Tomie. Strega Nona. New York: Aladdin, 1975. Reading level: Preschool-Third Grade

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