Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Strega Nona by Tomi De Paola

 I usually buy books in paperback, only getting the hardcover when I am absolutely sure it is worth it.
Every now and again (quite often), I get it wrong and buy a hardcover beauty that is just not worth it, or a paperback that I know will be with us forever but it seem daft to have double copies so cannot buy it again. Strega Nona is one of those.

Strega Nona is a witch. A lovely witch who helps the people of the town in Calabria, where she lives.

 She made special potions for the girls who wanted husbands.
And she was very good at getting rid of warts.
But she isn't getting any younger and decides she needs a little help around the house. Enter the unobservant Big Anthony.

He notices that Strega Nona has a pasta pot that produces pasta when she says a certain spell and sees his chance to become the popular guy in town. She heads off to see Strega Amelia, and he announces all over town that he will be providing dinner that day. And they come in their droves with their spoons and bowls.
So he says the magic spell and the pot starts producing the pasta.

That peacock and rabbit appear all the time. They are really beautiful. Anyways back to the story. Because Big Anthony didn't watch Strega Nona carefully enough, he didn't see that to stop the pot producing pasta, she blew three kisses. And so, the pasta keeps on coming, and coming.
Aaagggghh! Its taking over the town!. But here she comes, and sorts it all out. Oh dear, the townspeople have had a fright, and are not feeling forgiving. "String him up!" they say. But Strega Nona knows what to do and hands Big Anthony a fork saying firmly, "Start eating."
Which is why he feels a little bloated in the end.
Its a funny original story but I think what makes it great are the illustrations. Definitely worth the hardcover price.

1 comment:

  1. I love the Strega Nona books so much! A new one came out at the end of last year, and I keep eyeing it at the bookstore, but we don't own any of the others. They have been happily enjoyed from the library. :)