Brava, Strega Nona!: A Heartwarming Pop-Up Book

( 17 )

Overview

Tomie dePaola’s Strega Nona has been loved by generations of children’s book readers, but they’ve never seen her like this!

In six spreads of pop-up magnificence, paper engineered by the renowned #1 New York Times bestselling team of Sabuda and Reinhart, Strega Nona shares her words of wisdom for leading a magical life, all rendered in Tomie dePaola’s classic style.

With doors to open, tabs to pull, and a host of other interactive features, ...

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Overview

Tomie dePaola’s Strega Nona has been loved by generations of children’s book readers, but they’ve never seen her like this!

In six spreads of pop-up magnificence, paper engineered by the renowned #1 New York Times bestselling team of Sabuda and Reinhart, Strega Nona shares her words of wisdom for leading a magical life, all rendered in Tomie dePaola’s classic style.

With doors to open, tabs to pull, and a host of other interactive features, readers will be drawn into Strega Nona’s world in a way they’ve never been before. Brava, Strega Nona! is a glorious celebration of important values that will introduce a whole new generation of readers to this lovable character.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Tomie dePaola's original Strega Nona garnered him Caldecott Honor laurels, but this encore performance is sixfold more enchanting. That's the number of magnificent pop-up spreads that master paper engineers Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart have created for this edition.
Publishers Weekly

DePaola's timeless Tuscan heroine trades in her magic spells in a pop-up book that will be best appreciated by kids who already know Strega Nona, Big Anthony and the rest. There's little storytelling: the initial spread has a small autobiographical inset "by" Strega Nona (complete with pop-ups) and a text box in Strega Nona's voice, declaring her intention to pass along her own and Grandma Concetta's secrets "for a magical life." The first of these is "famiglia-family"; accordingly, Sabuda and Reinhart (Encyclopedia Mythologica) supply a towering tree from which ancestors' portraits bloom and from which a swing hangs, holding Strega Nona. Elsewhere, Strega Nona's friends dine under a grape arbor; Big Anthony slides into the village square on an avalanche of pasta; Strega Nona's pasta pot overflows with red hearts (her "secret ingredient" is love). Don't look for Sabuda and Reinhart's most jaw-dropping work: built for relatively young hands (though not for toddlers), this book has few movable parts, and the interactive elements, like lift-the-flap shutters and doors on village houses, are clearly labeled for durability's sake. All ages. (Oct.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Strega Nona, a favorite familiar character, returns to pass along the secrets she learned from her Grandma Concetta. A small book inside on the first double page called My Life in Italian and English opens to four pop-up pages describing Strega Nona's birth and early life. The spectacular pop-up across these double pages is of her family tree, and "a big family" it is. This is for "Family," the first of the six ingredients she lists "that make life magical." There are a few clarifying lines for each ingredient, named in both Italian and English. All the typical dePaola characters are conceived with comic clarity and set in remarkably engineered theatrical scenes. On the next spread, "Eating together brings joy," a food-filled table rises with the characters sitting around it. On the pop-up page for "Friends," we encounter houses in Strega Nona's village, with people popping out of the windows and doors. The "Patience" spread reminds us of Big Anthony's disastrous experience with the magic pasta pot, with an intimidating tidal wave of twisting pasta coming from the overflowing bowl. "Celebration" reveals a dazzling panorama of the village square, complete with a multitude of inhabitants and a twirling fountain. For the secret ingredient "Love," Strega Nona herself rises from the double page, ready for a big hug, as multiple garlands of hearts surround her. "Always share your love and it will bring you a magical life." This is the message of this inventively creative three-dimensional tale. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

K-Gr 4

This well-loved wise woman shares her secrets-passed on to her by Grandma Concetta-for a happy and "magical" life. Each spread names one essential element, identified in both Italian and English, and elaborated upon by the character in a chatty first-person narrative. Eye-catching 3-D sculptures offer an imaginative interpretation of the text. For "Famiglia - Family," a tree sprouts up from the pages, its lush green branches festooned with portraits of Strega Nona's relatives, many of whom proudly display the same "big nose and chin." "Mangia - Eat" shows her sharing a meal and the "telling of old and new stories" beneath the graceful arch of a grape arbor. A lively village scene with lift-the-flap doors introduces "Amici - Friends." The final spread, "Amore - Love," shows a contented Strega Nona working over a cauldron overflowing with hearts. Though dePaola's Strega Nona: Her Story (Putnam, 1996) presents a more thorough biography, fans of this wise witch will appreciate Brava 's warmhearted narrative and familiar folk-art illustrations. The artwork glows in rich shades of peach, red, and green, and the paper engineering is superlative. This book makes a fine choice for display (or supervised handling) in libraries and can also serve as an attention-grabber for author studies.-Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399244537
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/30/2008
  • Pages: 12
  • Sales rank: 142,960
  • Age range: 3 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.34 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Tomie dePaola
Tomie dePaola won a Caldecott Honor for the original Strega Nona. He lives in New London, New Hampshire.

Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart are the foremost paper engineers in the world. They both live in New York City.

Biography

Born in 1934 into a large extended Irish/Italian family, Tomie dePaola received his art education at Brooklyn's Pratt Institute and the California College of Arts & Crafts. Although he always wanted to create children's books, he spent several years applying his talents to the fields of education, theater, and graphic design. In the mid-1960s, he received his first commission to illustrate a children's science book. A year later, he published his first original picture book, The Wonderful Dragon of Timlin. Today, he is one of the most prolific -- and beloved -- author/illustrators in children's literature.

In addition to illustrating stories by other writers, DePaola has created artwork for collections of poetry, nursery rhymes, holiday traditions, and folk and religious tales. But, he is most famous for books of his own creation, especially Strega Nona ("Grandma Witch"), the beloved story of an old woman who uses her magical powers to help the people of her small Italian village. Written in 1975, this Caldecott Honor winner is still delighting children today.

DePaola admits that there are strong autobiographical elements in many of his books (Nana Upstairs & Nana Downstairs, The Art Lesson, Stagestruck), but nowhere is this more evident than in 26 Fairmount Avenue, a series of charming chapter books based on his Connecticut childhood. Taking its name from the address of his family home, the series captures the experiences and emotions of a young boy growing up in the late 1930s and early '40s in the shadow of World War II. The first book in the series received a 1999 Newbery Honor Award.

DePaola and his work have been recognized with many honors, including the Smithsonian Medal, the Kerlan Award for "singular attainment in children's literature," the Catholic Library Association's Regina Medal, and several awards from the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. In 1999, the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts bestowed on dePaola the Lotte Jacobi Living Treasure Award for the body of his work.

Good To Know

  • Tomie dePaola's name is pronounced Tommy de POW-la.

  • Between college and graduate school, dePaola spent a short time in a Benedictine monastery before determining that religious life was not for him.

  • Using a combination of watercolor, tempera, and acrylic, dePaola's artistic style is best described as folk-traditional.

  • DePaola's favorite painters and strongest artistic influences are Matisse, Giotto, and Ben Shahn.
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    Customer Reviews

    Average Rating 4.5
    ( 17 )
    Rating Distribution

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    (1)

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    Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews
    • Posted December 9, 2008

      A work of art

      This pop-up should be sold with art books as well as with children's books, it is so incredible. The beautiful Tomie dePaola artwork is enhanced by the 3-Dimensional presentation. I heard dePaola's interview on National Public Radio, and learned that behind-the-scenes this book was the work of many others, including the 3-D specialists credited and hand-assemblers who get no credit. I wouldn't give it directly to a very young child, though: unfolding this glorious work needs to be supervised by adults. For both children and adults, familiarity with the Strega Nona picture book stories will multipy the appeal of this book.

      4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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    • Posted February 9, 2009

      more from this reviewer

      Bravo for 'Brava'

      Charming book. Excellent pop ups. My children are mesmoriezed everytime I read it to them!

      2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted February 9, 2009

      Awesome Book!!

      I wish that I had a pop-up book like this when I was little. My daughter loves it and I think it was well worth the money . I was very impressed.

      1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Posted February 9, 2009

      Great book

      What an amazing book. Great keepsake and book for the entire family to learn from.

      1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted February 20, 2010

      Brava Strega Nona!

      Although this book was purchased as a gift, I could not part with it. The illustrations and the use of pop-up as an art is delightful and fantastical. A prize for anyone who loves paper!

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

      Posted February 7, 2010

      Just a nadorable and sweet gift. Loved by the people who received it. A keepsake.

      Colorful and most entertaining presentation of this classic story with simple & interesting explanation of Nona's development. A fabulous gift & keepsake.

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

      Posted December 5, 2009

      A great celebration of life

      I have given this book as a gift on a number of occasions and it is always a hit. It is full of wonder for adults let alone children.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted May 9, 2009

      Always loved Strega Nona

      My children and grandchildren have always loved Strega Nona, but I bought this book for me. Sabuda and Reinhart have to be the Michaelangelos of the pop-up book genre, and this example is outstanding.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted April 20, 2009

      more from this reviewer

      A beautiful work of art!

      I sent this book to a friend in Italy who collects the pop-up books of Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart. He was extremely happy with this particular selection and highly recommends it to others who love good pop-up art.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted April 6, 2009

      Brava Strega Nona

      Tomie dePaola has outdone himself on this one. What a team dePaola and Sabuda make. I've shown it to so many people already, I hope it's still in good condition to give as the gift I had initially intended.

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

      Posted March 31, 2009

      I Also Recommend:

      Sabuda Does it Again

      This book is a great introduction to the paper pop-up creations of Robert Sabuda. Paired with Tomie de Paola's fascinating character Strega Nona this book is a winner for young and old. Taking us back to the basics of life and what is important. Brava Strega Nona teaches everyone important lessons about family, friends and community and how to become the best you can be. The pop-ups are incredible, talk about a familly tree or a village celebration. This book was loved by my son's class when he took it in for show and tell. His teacher especially enjoyed it. This book is enjoyable for anyone to read because the lessons we are reminded of can be appreciated by everyone.

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    • Posted March 21, 2009

      I Also Recommend:

      Bravo for Brava, Strego Nona!

      This pop-up book is incredible! It is intricate and complete. There is no upper age limit on this work of art, but probably is not for the very young child.

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

      Posted February 16, 2009

      Beautiful

      This is a book to share with your children, grandchildren, and all of their children

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

      Posted February 10, 2009

      No text was provided for this review.

    • Anonymous

      Posted December 16, 2009

      No text was provided for this review.

    • Anonymous

      Posted December 19, 2008

      No text was provided for this review.

    • Anonymous

      Posted December 28, 2008

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    Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews

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