Author: Tomie dePaola
Genre: Italy / Food / Humor / Drama
Year Published: 1975
Year Read: 1993
Series: Strega Nona #1
Publisher: Everest Publishing
Content Rating: Ages 5+ (One Intense Scene)
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.