Title: Strega Nona

Author: Tomie dePaola

Publication Date: 1975

Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers

Price: $18.99 (Hardcover)

Number of Pages: 32

Awards: Caldecott Honor

Genre/Subgenre: Fairy Tale


Popularity: 5/5

Quality: 5/5

Reader’s Annotation: 

Big Anthony gets more than he expected when he borrows Strega Nona’s magic pasta pot.


Strega Nona wants someone to help her around the house, so she hires Big Anthony to do chores for her. One day Big Anthony sees her using her magic pasta pot, which provides as much pasta as a person wants with the correct spell. Anthony decides to take the pasta pot to show it off in the village, but he gets the spell wrong and floods the entire village with pasta. Strega Nona comes home to save the day, and for his punishment Big Anthony has to eat all the flooded pasta.


I think this book is really funny and that young readers would like it a lot. The illustrations are really lovely and bring the story to life. I think that young readers will like the idea of a magic pasta pot – I certainly did!

Why I Chose the Book:

I remembered reading and enjoying Tomie dePaolo books when I was a child and Strega Nona sounded like an interesting character.


Strega Nona’s Magic Lessons by Tomie dePaola

Strega Nona: Her Story by Tomie dePaola

Strega Nona’s Gift by Tomie dePaola

Book Talk Ideas

Have students or patrons create a diorama of Strega Nona’s house flooded with pasta using edible ingredients. Let them eat the houses afterwards.

Discussion Questions

1. Why does Big Anthony take the pasta pot? Do you think his punishment is fair?


Amazon (2014). Strega Nona: An Old Tale Retold: Tomie dePaola. Retrieved from:


DePaola, T (1975). Strega Nona [Kindle Edition]. New York: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers

Goodreads (2014). Strega Nona by Tomie DePaola. Retrieved from: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/859091.Strega_Nona