A Blog for the Master's of Information Sciences Program
Title: Strega Nona
Author: Tomie dePaola
Illustrator: Tomie dePaola
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication year: 1975
Brief Summary: From Simon & Schuster-“Strega Nona—“Grandma Witch”—is the source for potions, cures, magic, and comfort in her Calabrian town. Her magical ever-full pasta pot is especially intriguing to hungry Big Anthony. Big Anthony is supposed to look after her house and tend her garden, but one day, when she goes over the mountain to visit Strega Amelia, he recites the magic verse over the pasta pot, with disastrous results.”
Ideas for using this book in classroom or library – I have covered many Caldecott winners and honor books in this assignment and I think it interesting which ones are kept in public libraries (I can’t speak on school libraries because I do not currently work in one). This one is an almost new copy from the public library I used. I think it is because there is still a valuable lesson that can be learned in this book. And the characters (though not diverse) are not blatantly stereotyping a culture or race. I found this lesson plan from Scholastic that includes using this book to help children understand cause and effect, and an understanding of texts.
Whatever additional notes you’d like to add about this book and why you liked or didn’t like it – The illustrations are done in subtle colors that I feel helps keep this book light and funny.