Friday, May 18, 2012

[BOOK REVIEW] Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola

Title:  Strega Nona

Author:  Tomie dePaola

Genre: Italy / Food / Humor / Drama

Year Published: 1975

Year Read: 1993

Series: Strega Nona #1

Publisher:  Everest Publishing

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 5+ (One Intense Scene)

“Strega Nona” created in 1975 by Tomie dePaola, was the author’s first book about the kind and elderly “grandma witch.” This book has since been a popular favorite among children and has won the Caldecott Honor Book Award for its excellence in writing and in its drawing. Strega Nona is sure to be a hit with both children and adults.

Tomie dePaola does an awesome job at creating a story that is humorous and exciting at the same time. Big Anthony humorously plays the role of a tragic hero as he at first was able to feed the townspeople all the pasta they desired, but then ends up nearly destroying the town when he did not listen to Strega Nona’s warnings about the pasta pot. Strega Nona also acted as a savior to the people when she saved the town from the pasta and therefore saving their lives. Tomie dePaola’s illustrations are simply delightful as he illustrates Strega Nona as a helpful and intelligent old woman with an old-fashioned apron around her and Big Anthony as a big and klutzy man who seems to have wild blond hair.

“Strega Nona” is a wonderful story about the consequences of not listening to certain warnings that could endanger people’s lives. Also, this book shows the importance of respecting one’s elders as the villagers respect Strega Nona’s wisdom on cures and life. “Strega Nona” is surely an excellent book for learning about folktales around the world, since the story is supposedly from Italy and will enchant adults and children five years or older for many generations.

* 1976 Caldecott Honor

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