Strega Nona Takes a Vacation

( 4 )

Overview

Lately Strega Nona has been distracted-she even gave Signore Mayor the wrong remedy for his headache. One night Nona has a dream about her Grandma Concetta, who has been in heaven for many years, and her little house at the seashore. Nona decides that she will take a vacation there. While Strega Nona is away, Bambolona will do the daily remedies and Big Anthony will do the chores. With these two left in charge, what could possibly go wrong?

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Overview

Lately Strega Nona has been distracted-she even gave Signore Mayor the wrong remedy for his headache. One night Nona has a dream about her Grandma Concetta, who has been in heaven for many years, and her little house at the seashore. Nona decides that she will take a vacation there. While Strega Nona is away, Bambolona will do the daily remedies and Big Anthony will do the chores. With these two left in charge, what could possibly go wrong?

Author Biography:

Strega Nona sends home gifts of candy and bubble bath while on vacation, but when Bambolona grabs the candy, Big Anthony is left with a lot of bubbles.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
There's no rest for a talented strega. At least that's what dePaola's (26 Fairmont Avenue) beloved Italian witch, Strega Nona, concludes in her latest romp. Strega Nona has been dreaming of childhood vacations spent at the seashore with her Grandma Concetta, and in her waking hours, she's distracted, wondering what her dream means. After she nearly confuses several remedies, the villagers recognize the problem: "It looks like Strega Nona needs a vacation." Strega Nona gets the message after Grandma Concetta again visits in a dream, and soon she packs her bags and heads for Concetta's old seaside cottage, leaving her assistants--sweet, bumbling Big Anthony and practical Bambolona--in charge. She enjoys fishing, swimming and watching sunsets, and sends gifts, candy for Big Anthony and bubble bath for Bambolona. But when Bambolona takes charge of the parcel, she takes the candy for herself and hands the bubble bath to Big Anthony. The results--troublesome and very sudsy--are conveyed almost entirely visually, in warm panel art. The breezy text, peppered with Italian words, hums along as dePaola's sunny, airy acrylics demonstrate his fondness for these favorite characters and the old-world setting. Strega Nona, happily, proves as magical as ever. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Children's Literature
For years, Strega Nona has worked tirelessly in her little village in Calabria to help villagers with their headaches, toothaches and other ills. When Grandma Concetta appears in a dream to tell her that it's time for a vacation, Strega Nona heads for the seashore. But, as Strega Nona fans know, it can be dangerous to leave her assistants Big Anthony and Bambolona unsupervised. It can also be hilarious. This tale will not disappoint faithful Strega Nona followers. The delightful illustrations perfectly express the feelings of this trio as they work through another episode in the Strega Nona saga. Adults and children alike are certain to smile and chuckle as they mull over this latest chapter in the life of dePaola's beloved Strega Nona. 2000, G. P. Putnam's Sons/Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers, $16.99. Ages 3 to 8. Reviewer: Jeanne K. Pettenati
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-In this latest installment in dePaola's enchanting series, Strega Nona seems to need a break from her demanding job. She dreams of oceanfront vacations spent with her grandmother and begins to make addle-brained mistakes while she works. No fool, the good witch eventually takes the hint and goes on a well-earned holiday, leaving Big Anthony and Bambolona to mind the store in her absence. Everything comes off without a hitch until Bambolona makes one selfish mistake that ends up inconveniencing the entire village of Calabria, bringing Strega Nona home in a huff. However, all's well that ends well. DePaola's transparent acrylic illustrations alternate between full-page pictures and comic-strip storyboards and are as integral to the narration as the text. As with all of dePaola's storybooks, God is in the details, right down to Grandma Concetta's open arms beckoning from heaven in one of Strega Nona's happy dreams.-Catherine T. Quattlebaum, DeKalb County Public Library, Atlanta, GA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
There's an inexhaustible sweetness to dePaola's Strega Nona stories, and this is no exception (Night of Las Posedas, 1999, etc.). With their gentle, light-filled colors and strong, simple shapes, the figures of "Grandma Witch," her cohorts Bambolona and Big Anthony, and the villagers of their Calabrian town fill the pages. This time, Strega Nona is so distracted by a dream of her own grandmother that she almost gives the wrong lotions and potions to the people who come to her with their aches and pains. She remembers her grandma Concetta's little house by the seashore, and the dream-pictures show the two of them swimming, gathering shells, flowers, and mussels, and gazing out over the water. Strega Nona goes off on vacation to do all of those things again, leaving Big Anthony and Bambolona with careful admonitions. But when she sends gifts back to both, Bambolona wants Big Anthony's candy, and switches the labels so he gets the bubble bath. Those who remember Big Anthony's encounter with the pasta pot will figure out the result, as he floats through town with only his feet, hands, head, and rubber ducky visible in the cloud of bubbles. A little dove warns Strega Nona and she heads back to the rescue, noting that next time she goes on vacation she might as well take the two with her. Don't miss "La gloria di Strega Nona" on the back cover, where Strega Nona does a Botticelli Venus with Big Anthony and Bambolona tossing flowers. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142500767
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/12/2003
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 149,938
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.52 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.12 (d)

Meet the Author

Tomie dePaola
Tomie dePaola
Best known for his award-winning picture book Strega Nona and for the 26 Fairmount Avenue series of chapter books, Tomie dePaola is one of the most prolific -- and beloved -- author/illustrators in the field of children's literature.

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 5
    ( 4 )
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    Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
    • Anonymous

      Posted November 8, 2005

      Very cute story!

      This is a very cute story as all the books that Tomie dePaola writes. I highly suggest you go to the library and check out and read the many, many stories this very talented man has written as well as illustrated!! So glad I took a children's literature class in college, otherwise I would've never discovered Tomie dePaola!!

      2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    • Posted March 18, 2012

      more from this reviewer

      Wonderful

      They are cultural & do tell are sweet, informative, interesting stories. Children & adults will enjoy them!

      1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted February 24, 2013

      Strega nona

      I love sll of the strega nona books there the best books ever maybe you would like strega nona books too

      0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted February 20, 2010

      No text was provided for this review.

    Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

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