- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
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, 2009Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
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, 2000Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Page 1 of 1
Posted October 25, 2008
No text was provided for this review.
Page 1 of 1