Strega Nona’s Gift

Tomie dePaola. Penguin/Paulsen, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-399-25649-3
Strega Nona and her entire Calabrian village are busy preparing for holiday feasts, from the Feast of St. Nicholas on December 6 to Il Capodanno (New Year’s Day) and beyond. On January 5, the eve of the Epiphany, when everyone traditionally cooks for their animals, Big Anthony can’t resist “Signora Goat’s” delicious food, and the resentful goat devours Big Anthony’s blanket. Too cold to sleep, Anthony misses out on the dreams of delicious food that Strega Nona’s magic grants the people of Calabria: “The walls turned into ricotta and mozzarella. Bedposts became sausages.” DePaola delivers a hearty sampler of Italian holiday traditions and seasonal cuisine. Ages 5–8. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/26/2011
Release date: 10/01/2011
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