Strega Nona : an old tale

by Tomie DePaola

Paper Book, 1975

Status

Available

Call number

398.2

Collection

Publication

New York : Scholastic Book Services, 1975.

Description

When Strega Nona leaves him alone with her magic pasta pot, Big Anthony is determined to show the townspeople how it works.

User reviews

LibraryThing member t1bclasslibrary
Strega Nona has a wonderful pasta pot that will make all the pasta she wants, but when she hires Big Anthony to help her, he starts making pasta and can’t stop. She comes back and saves the day, and Big Anthony has to eat the leftovers as punishment.
LibraryThing member norabelle414
Strega Nona has a magic pot which will make as much spaghetti as she wants. One day, when Strega Nona is out of town, Big Anthony sneaks into her house and makes the pot start cooking spaghetti. But he doesn’t know how to make it stop!

One of my favorites when I was a kid. I watched it as a
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YouTube video that showed all of the illustrations and Tomi di Paola reads the book himself. Highly recommended!
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LibraryThing member IAmChrysanthemum
Basically the source of my lifelong love of pasta.
LibraryThing member ReneePesheck
Strega Nona is a story by Tomie de Paola about a magic pasta pot and what happens when Big Anthony does not follow Strega Nona's directions. Great book, with wonderful illustrations. Good to use in character analysis discussions.
LibraryThing member EricaD
A little hint of supernaturalness but overall a very well written and wonderful book.
LibraryThing member the_hag
Ah...the memories. I remember reading this at story time when I was in grade school (kindergarten or first grade...not sure which) and I just had to share it with my own kids. Strega Nona (Grandmother Witch) is a classic and with good reason. It's got the old grandma witch who helps people with her
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magic (potions, cures, and sometimes just plain ol' good advice)...but she's getting on and she advertises in town for someone to help her out. Big Anthony (who apparently doesn't listen so well) fits the bill nicely and moves into Strega Nona's place (room and board included for all his work).

I grew up with Strega Nona's tale and love the simplicity and straightforwardness of the tale, I think what keeps it relevant and still readable after all this time is that it's got an old world feel to it (the artwork, while somewhat flat, the muted colors give it a feel of age and old world charm). The story itself while a moral tale about what happens when you don't do as you're told, is told with humor and pasta...who doesn't love pasta (well, maybe not Big Anthony after Strega Nona is done with him...he, he)!

This is a classic that keeps on going with good reason! I give it an A+, even after all these years!
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LibraryThing member LindseyStolp
Strega Nona is a book with the age-old moral to mind your elders and do what your told. Strega Nona takes in a young boy, Big Anthony, to help her around the house. Strega Nona leaves for a few days and tells Big Anthony to keep watch of the house. When Big Anthony uses her magic pot to cook
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noodles, Strega Nona comes home a a very messy surprise!

I love the illistrations in this book because they are very warm and friendly. The words in the book are very descriptive and give a good sense of what is going on in the book. The children I read this book to interacted with the book telling me what was going to happen next.

Some extension ideas would be to bring noodles into the class and let the children paste them to paper making their own designs. Another would be to bring a professional cook into the classroom and let the children ask them questions about their job.
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LibraryThing member champlin
Picture Book. Strega Nona is a witch in Italy who cures the town of all their ailments. She grows older and needs to take on an assistant, Anthony. Anthony rarely pays attention. He sees Strega Nona making pasta in a big magic pot. He uses this pot to make pasta for the whole town but he does not
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know the words to say to make it stop making pasta. For his punishment he must eat all the pasta that is left over. This is a tale that is fun and emphasizes the importance of paying attention.
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LibraryThing member conuly
This one is a classic!

This is a very basic morality story - Big Anthony (who never listens) was told Not To Touch The Pasta Pot, but when he had a chance he went right for it! Alas, he hadn't paid attention and so neglected to properly learn how to turn the pasta pot *off* - with predictable
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results.

The image of Big Anthony eating his debt to the village is priceless :)
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LibraryThing member sagrundman
Strega Nona is the story of a woman called Grandma Witch who helps out everyone in her town. She hires Big Anthony to help her because she is old. Big Anthony promises Strega Nona that he will not touch her magic pot, but breaks that promise as soon as she is gone. Big Anthony learns his lesson
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when he overruns the town with pasta and has to eat it all to clean the town. While Big Anthony isn't bad, he is naughty, which many children can be at times. He disobeys and must pay the consequences afterwards. The theme is that if you do something bad, you will get in trouble and have to pay the consquences. It is a theme that smaller children can understand. The illustrations help move the story along. dePaola uses panels and other methods to convey the movement of the pasta, which actually looks really neat! There aren't alot of words, so the book is very good for a story time. The story lends itself to being read outloud with excitement as the pasta takes over the town. I would say this is a must have in an elementary or children's library.
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LibraryThing member drdonovan
The first of many Strega Nona books, this is the introduction to the "grandmother witch" and her gardner Big Anthony. Big Anthony gets into trouble when he tries out some of Strega Nona's magic. My daughter loved these books when she was three and we read this book and the others repeatedly.
LibraryThing member YasminAlder
This story is about a woman called Strega Nona, which means Grandma Witch. She is getting old and needs someone to help her around her home. She hires a boy named Big Anthony to help her, and she tells him to never touch her big pot. Big Anthony soon discovers that the pot is magical and if you say
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the right words it makes pasta. Strega Nona has to go on a trip to visit a friend and once she leaves, Bit Anthony makes the pot start making pasta. But Big Anthony didn't know that to make it stop you have to blow three kisses to it. The pot doesn't stop making pasta and soon the whole town is covered in it. Strega Nona comes back just in time to stop it and as punishment for touching her pot she makes Big Anthony eat all of the pasta.
I have heard different variations of this story, but I really liked this one. It teaches good values to children that you really shouldn't mess with other peoples' things if they tell you not to. Granted, no one is really going to have a magical pot that makes pasta, but the idea is the same with anything. Like a gun. If your parents tell you to never touch their gun, and you do, you might hurt someone.
After reading this story to a class, I might ask them to think about something they own, or wished they owned, that they would never want anyone else to touch. Then they could write a story about what would happen if someone did mess with it.
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LibraryThing member kwangme81
A witch grandma has a magic pasta pot. She hires Anthony to help her around the house and specifically tells him to not touch the pot. He sees grandma make pasta by just singing and he tells the village people. They don't believe him so one day when the grandma goes to see her sister, Anthony takes
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the pasta pot and shows the villagers how the pot makes pasta by just singing to it. But after everyone has eaten, he doesn't know how to make it stop and the entire village starts to get covered with pasta. The grandma returns and stops the pot. As punishment, Anthony has to eat all the pasta.
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LibraryThing member mirandamae18
For my students, this book motivates reading because it is funny. I love to use this story as an afternoon read aloud. My class always loves seeing the pasta coming out of the house and eventually going all over the streets. My first graders also love Strega Nona’s little chants and songs and
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have fun saying them along with me as I read. The pictures are fun and beautiful at the same time and the story line always pulls my students in and has them laughing till the end. For this age group, just enjoying a story is so important and the fact that they are smiling and listening intently, while learning a life lesson at the same time, makes the book worthwhile to me.
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LibraryThing member chron002
Teaches children what happens when you do not follow directions. Shows consequences of actions. Very cute book. I remember reading this as a kid. Great for 1st graders.
LibraryThing member JDHensley
Strega Nona meant "Grandma Witch" but she did good magic. She also had a magic pasta pot that magically made her pasta to eat. Her helper, Big Anthony was told to never touch the magic pasta pot. When Strega Nona left one day he decided to use the pot. He said the magic words and the pasta poured
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out of the pot and wouldn't stop. It filled the house and started to fill the town. Stega Nona came back in time and stopped the pot. She made Big Anthony eat all the pasta since he had caused the mess. This story teaches children that you should not decide to use something that doesn't belong to you without asking permission.
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LibraryThing member Orpgirl1
Strega Nona is the semi-biographical tale of one of famous author/illustrator Tomie dePaola's family members. The book itself focuses on the growth of Nona from a small child to a local healer. Nona is taught these skills by her loving grandmother Concetta, who passes down not only her magic spells
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but also all that she has to her granddaughter. Filled with Italian phrases and terms, the story is funny in ways that I wonder if kids would understand. dePaola's drawings are simple and somewhat bland, but do serve a valid purpose in filling in the details that his text leaves out. The importance of family, traditions, and even friendships is emphasized throughout, although friendships are seen as shifting, changing, and less important than family. I enjoyed dePaola's other books more than this one, as the story seemed to have an anticlimatic unending that was abrupt and ill-fitting with the rest of the story. It seems like dePaola desired to convey the truth behind his family history more than entertain us, a change from his earlier works that didn't suit my palate as well.
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LibraryThing member aflanig1
Great story about how your actions have consequences.
LibraryThing member mixona
This book is about a lady called Strega Nona which means Grandmother Witch. Everyone in Strega Nona's village is afraid of her, but they go to her for help everytime they have a headache or need a love potion or a wart removed. One day Strega Nona post a notice in the village for a gardner. Big
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Anthony answers her post and begins to work for her. Strega Nona only has one rule, "don't ever touch the pasta pot". One day Anthony's curiousity gets to him and he gets himself into BIG trouble. He uses the magic pasta pot, but he can't get it to stop making pasta. Strega Nona saves the day, but not before Anthony learns his lesson. Anthony has to eat all the pasta the pot has made.

I liked this book a lot. This book sends the message that breaking rules can you get you in a lot of trouble. It also shows that breaking rules does not go without punishment.

In the classroom, I would use this book to introduce foreign languages. Strega Nona means Grandmother Witch in Italian and Big Anthony says "grazia" which means thank you. As a class, we could discuss the foreign words we know and learn a few others. We could also discuss what happens when you don't listen and/or break the rules. Students could write about a time when they got in trouble for breaking the rules and what happened to them. We could also maybe use this book as an introduction to magic or witches.
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LibraryThing member breemedcalf
Strega Nona is full of magic and even has a magic pasta pot. When Strega Nona must leave for a while she leaves Big Anthony in charge. She warns him not to touch the pasta pot. Big Anthony does not listen and disaster threatens the entire town.
What an interesting way to teach children about the
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consequences that come with their actions. This story is also folklore from Italy.
Have students write their own stories about what else could have came out of the pot and threatened a town. Use spaghetti noodles of different lengths to help teach measuring.
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LibraryThing member LanitaBostic
Strega Nona lived in a small town called Calabria. She was a good witch. People went to see her for all sorts of things (warts, love potions, and headaches). Strega Nona was getting old and needed help around the house so she hired a man by the name of Big Anthony. She gave him his chores but told
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him to never touch the pasta pot. He agreed until one day he saw Strega Nona work magic in the pot. She made pasta appear. Big Anthony was shocked and he knew what he was going to do. He ran into town and told all of the people about it. They laughed but Big Anthony was going to show them. He waited for his chance to prove them wrong. His chance came sooner than he expected. Strega Nona had to leave town for a few days. When she was gone, Big Anthony worked magic with the pot and invited people in the town to eat pasta. However, he did not know how to make the pot stop making pasta. The pasta was taking over the town. It kept growing bigger and bigger. The towns people were panicking. Strega Nona happened by and worked her magic to get the pot to stop. The towns people were ready to string up Big Anthony. Strega Nona made them stop. She said that the punishment had to fit the crime. Big Anthony had to eat all of the pasta until it was gone.
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LibraryThing member geoffman
Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola is an original tale about an old lady who summons potions from her magical pasta pot to cure and comfort the ails of her towns people. The secrets of her magical pasta pot are almost exposed When Strega Nona or “Grandma Witch”, seeks help with her daily chores from
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an ambitious local boy named Big Anthony.

I loved the simple yet quirky illustrations of the Calabria town and its people. Originally published in 1975, there is no doubt that this tale is a timeless classic fit for any children's story-time.

Awards: Caldacott Honor Book, ALA Notable Children's Book, Kirkus Choice, Horn Book Honor List, Nakamori Prize, Brooklyn Museum & Public Library Art Books for Children Citations (N.Y)
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LibraryThing member mrichter
I love Tomie dePaola. This book about a wise old woman with a bottomless pasta pot is very entertaining. dePaola also has a great website for children that could accompany the reading of this book in the classroom. This book is a great example of a punishment that fits the crime!
LibraryThing member sbigger
Strega Nona is the story of a woman called Grandma Witch who helps out everyone in her town. She hires Big Anthony to help her because she is old. Big Anthony promises Strega Nona that he will not touch her magic pot, but breaks that promise as soon as she is gone. Big Anthony learns his lesson
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when he overruns the town with pasta and has to eat it all to clean the town. While Big Anthony isn't bad, he is naughty, which many children can be at times. He disobeys and must pay the consequences afterwards. The theme is that if you do something bad, you will get in trouble and have to pay the consquences. It is a theme that smaller children can understand. The illustrations help move the story along. dePaola uses panels and other methods to convey the movement of the pasta, which actually looks really neat! There aren't alot of words, so the book is very good for a story time. The story lends itself to being read outloud with excitement as the pasta takes over the town. I would say this is a must have in an elementary or children's library.
Show Less
LibraryThing member lewaddell
Strega Nona which means Grandma Witch liked to help people in the town. She hired Big Anthony and gave him food and a bed in return for his help around the house. She had a magic pasta pot that she used to cook. Big Anthony was very curious about this pot but Strega Nona made it clear that he was
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not to touch it, One day Strega Nona left town and Big Anthony saw this day as his chance to test the pot for himself. He was able to make it cook enough pasta for the town but he was not able to make it stop. When Strega Nona came into town she knew exactly what had happened and made Big Anthony eat all the pasta out of her house so she could sleep in her own bed that night.
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Language

Original publication date

1975

Physical description

28 cm

ISBN

0590370383 / 9780590370387
Page: 0.466 seconds