Strega Nona's Harvest

( 3 )

Overview

A charming celebration of autumn's bounty by perennial favorite Tomie dePaola

Tomie dePaola's beloved Strega Nona is back in a colorful picture book, perfect for fall and the changing seasons. With beautiful illustrations reminiscent of the artwork that won Tomie dePaola the Caldecott Honor for the original Strega Nona, this celebration of harvest and gardening will make the perfect addition to any Strega Nona collection.

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Overview

A charming celebration of autumn's bounty by perennial favorite Tomie dePaola

Tomie dePaola's beloved Strega Nona is back in a colorful picture book, perfect for fall and the changing seasons. With beautiful illustrations reminiscent of the artwork that won Tomie dePaola the Caldecott Honor for the original Strega Nona, this celebration of harvest and gardening will make the perfect addition to any Strega Nona collection.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
DePaola's bighearted witch returns in a winning tale about generosity and cooperation. When the full moon shines at the end of May, Strega Nona enlists Big Anthony and Bambolona to help plant her annual vegetable garden. After singing to the moon, bidding it to “let the moonbeams shine from thee,/ To make my garden grow,” she adds her familiar “ingrediente segreto—secret ingredient”: three kisses she blows to the moon. In a diverting subplot, Big Anthony, who wants to impress bossy Bambolona with his green thumb, grows his own (considerably more slapdash) garden next door (he blows six kisses to the moon “just to be sure”). In the fall, both gardens flourish, and Big Anthony anonymously leaves huge piles of veggies outside Strega Nona's door. She, too, decides to share her bountiful harvest, hosting a feast for the grateful villagers. Readers get an introduction to some basic Italian words throughout, defined within the text or, in the case of the vegetables, in dePaola's signature, cheerful acrylic illustrations. Without an ounce of moralizing, dePaola demonstrates the benefits of sharing (not to mention eating locally). Ages 3–5. (Sept.)
Booklist
[A]ll the warmth and gentle humor that have made the long-running Strega Nona series a favorite.
Children's Literature - Suzanna E. Henshon
Who can resist another Strega Nona story? It is spring and the snow is melting. Strega Nona pulls out a wooden box and discovers the small packets of seeds that she saved from last year's garden. She will plant these seeds when the moon inspires her. Meanwhile Big Anthony spreads the compost and manure in the soil where the vegetables will grow; later he creates straight rows with a hoe. Bambalona chastises Big Anthony for not making the rows straight enough. That night Strega Nona sings to the moon—and blows her secret ingredient—three kisses—to the stars. Big Anthony decides to plant his own garden behind the goat shed. He will show Bambalona that he can create a good garden after all. While Strega Nona's garden grows beautifully, Big Anthony's is chaotic and disorderly. Why does his garden look like a jungle? When it comes time to harvest the vegetables, Big Anthony is not sure what to do with his bounty. So he leaves a large pile of vegetables at Strega Nona's door, and every morning she awakes to another tall pile. Fortunately, Strega Nona decides to share the vegetables with the villagers whose harvest was less successful. For over thirty years, young readers have loved reading about Big Anthony and Strega Nona; this book is another rich harvest for readers. Reviewer: Suzanna E. Henshon, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 2–4—While its characters are familiar and their actions predictable, this tale adds a second dimension, instructing young readers on how to grow vegetables. Strega Nona saves her seeds from last year's garden, rotates her crops to keep the soil "happy and strong," and, much to Big Anthony's chagrin, explains the importance of compost and manure in the planting process. But most importantly, she stresses the need to sow seeds in orderly rows, a step Big Anthony chooses to ignore. The results are two very different gardens, as depicted by dePaola's familiar transparent acrylic illustrations, with bumbling Big Anthony having much more produce than he can handle. Sure to reap lots of fans.—C. J. Connor, Campbell County Public Library, Cold Spring, KY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399252914
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/8/2009
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 66,982
  • Age range: 3 - 5 Years
  • Lexile: AD690L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.78 (w) x 11.32 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Meet the Author

Tomie dePaola

Tomie dePaola lives in New London, New Hampshire. He has been awarded the Smithson Medal from the Smithsonian, the Regina Medal (a Catholic recognition), and was designated a "living treasure" by the state of New Hampshire.

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
    ( 3 )
    Rating Distribution

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    Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
    • Posted January 2, 2010

      I Also Recommend:

      THANK YOU, ONCE AGAIN, TOMIE DEPAOLA !!!!!

      This is Tomie at his BEST !!! We are so very fortunate to have him writing and illustrating his endearing stories for children (AND THE ADULTS WHO READ THEM TO THE CHILDREN!) !!!
      Having been a teacher of many grade levels for over 40 years, I can say without doubt, that Tomie's books are not only on my library shelves but in my heart. The gentle yet profound lessons that he teaches through his writing and the beauty with which he enhances each story with his fanciful and colorful illustrations make not only his books but HIMSELF a TRUE CLASSIC!!! Thank you so very much for sharing your gifts with us, Tomie. Love you!!

      1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted November 11, 2009

      Strega Nonna

      typical Tomie DePaola, great story and illustrations and always a lesson to learn. Great for a fall/Thanksgiving gift for a little one.

      1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted October 13, 2013

      No text was provided for this review.

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