Strega Nona, Her Story

Tomie dePaola, Author
Tomie dePaola, Author Putnam Publishing Group $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-399-22818-6
Reviewed on: 09/09/1996
Release date: 09/01/1996
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-671-68429-7
Hardcover - 978-84-241-3349-8
Portable Document Format (PDF) - 32 pages - 978-1-4424-4944-2
Paperback - 978-0-13-851592-8
Paperback - 978-0-590-72625-2
Library Binding - 32 pages - 978-0-671-66283-7
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-0-671-66606-4
Board Books - 978-0-689-00377-6
Board Books - 32 pages - 978-0-689-81764-9
Prebound-Sewn - 32 pages - 978-0-606-02282-8
Hardcover - 978-1-56137-279-9
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-606-20259-6
Prebound-Glued - 32 pages - 978-0-613-30148-0
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-606-20375-3
Prebound-Glued - 32 pages - 978-0-8085-2722-0
Paperback - 30 pages - 978-0-590-68945-8
Prebound-Sewn - 1 pages - 978-0-8124-4831-3
Hardcover - 32 pages - 978-1-4424-1666-6
Paperback - 40 pages - 978-1-4424-3355-7
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DePaola executes a clever concept with his trademark charm and humor, offering a prequel to the series that began in 1976 with the Caldecott Honor book Strega Nona. Here the author/artist tells how his charismatic character came to become a strega (witch) with a ""magic touch."" The ""biography"" begins on a dark and stormy night in the hills of Calabria, where Grandma Concetta authoritatively oversees Nona's birth. Convinced that Nona will be a strega like her, the big-hearted woman teaches her granddaughter how to use herbs and spells to remedy villagers' aches and troubles. Nona, along with her overconfident friend Amelia (who sets herself up as Nona's rival in some of the other books), attends the Academy for Stregas, but soon concludes that its newfangled approach to magic is not for her, and returns home to practice her craft the old-fashioned way. Eventually she discovers Grandma Concetta's all-important secret ingredient: love. With their expressive faces and pertly exaggerated profiles (Strega Nona's signature hooked nose punctuates her face even as a newborn), the classic characters happily cavort in sunnily colored, droll illustrations. And dePaola does a splendid job of working this sparkling tale into the Strega Nona canon: on the final page, for example, the aging strega opens her door to the first respondent to her ad for a helper, whom fans will immediately recognize as the gangly and beloved Big Anthony. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)
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