Title: Strega Nona

Reference: DePaola, T. (1975). Strega Nona. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.

Brief Annotation: Strega Nona, meaning grandma witch, is a lady who is able to cure people, and give them what she wants. Because she is old, she hires a helper, Big Anthony. She gives him many instructions of what to do, and the one thing not to do: touch the pasta pot, and he agrees. One night he sees her singing to the pot, and realizes it is magic, and he tells everyone in town. He uses the pot to feed all of the townspeople, but doesn’t know how to make the pasta stop cooking. Strega Nona sees the town flooding, and comes to the rescue, but punishes Big Anthony by making him eat all of the pasta he had created.

Genre: Fiction

Grade Level: 2-4

Readers who might like this: Children who enjoy silly stories, or folktales would enjoy this book. Children who enjoy books about magic, or witches would love this book. Children who are learning about consequences of their actions, and following rules would enjoy this book.

Rating/Response: I give this book a 4 out of 4. It is well written, and has a good moral/lesson. The illustrations are visually appealing, and detailed but still simple. The book is funny, and interesting. This is a very well written book, that is good for all ages, even adults can enjoy this book.

Text Dependent Question: What did Big Anthony forget to do to make the noodles stop?


Book Talks Page 15  

Tompkins, G. E. (2013). 50 literacy strategies: step by step. Boston: Pearson.

This strategy can be used to review the book, and its meaning. It can introduce the book to the children who may not initially be drawn to it. The teacher reads the book aloud: showing enthusiasm and excitement for it. This sparks the students’ interest in a book they may not have chosen. Once the book has been read the teacher compares it to other books the students know and enjoy. This is good to use if the book is new to the classroom, or the students are not showing interest in it.