Merry Christmas, Strega Nona

by Tomie DePaola

Paperback, 1991



Call number

Child > Picture Books


HMH Books for Young Readers (1991), Edition: First, 32 pages


Big Anthony plans a surprise Christmas party for Strega Nona.

User reviews

LibraryThing member auntieknickers
Big Anthony learns how to make Christmas magic without using magic at all.
LibraryThing member kefoley
It's Christmas time and Strega Nona is busy preparing for the annual Christmas feast she has every year. Anthony is helping her out by running errands for all the things she needs. One day Anthony forgets to run the errands and soak the codfish and everything is ruined and there will be no
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Christmas feast this year. Strega Nona is very sad but when she comes to her home and opens the door she gets a Christmas gift of her own, A Christmas feast from Anthony and all the townspeople.
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LibraryThing member AbigailAdams26
That grandmotherly witch Strega Nona, who lives in a small town in Calabria with her bumbling assistant, Big Anthony, returns in this fourth picture-book devoted to her adventures. As Christmas approaches, Strega Nona works hard to get her house in order, and to prepare for the big Christmas Eve
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feast that she throws for the entire town each year. She keeps Big Anthony busy as usual, and must constantly tell him that Christmas has a magic of its own. When he once again fails in his tasks, it seems as if Strega Nona's Christmas has been ruined. Or has it...?

I read and enjoyed the original Strega Nona, which won author/illustrator Tomie dePaola a Caldecott Honor in 1976, countless times as a girl, but somehow never discovered until I was an adult that there were multiple sequels. Now in the process of tracking down and reading those sequels, I have discovered them to be as magical and as entertaining as the first story. Having said that, Merry Christmas, Strega Nona is the first of them that really pulled at my heartstrings. I loved the idea of Christmas having a magic of its own, and I loved the fact that, for once, Big Anthony doesn't bumble things. I felt myself tearing up at the conclusion of the story here, as Strega Nona discovers that the townsfolk have thrown a party for her, all organized by Big Anthony. This felt so satisfying and right! Recommended to fans of Strega Nona, and to anyone looking for picture-books about the magic of Christmas.
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Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

32 p.; 8.5 inches


015253184X / 9780152531843
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