Thursday, June 3, 2010

Fairy Tale Fridays: Strega Nona

Special Thanks to my Personal Faery Friend for the Button Art: Ye Olde Faery Shoppe

This week for Fairy Tale Fridays, we are taking a bit of a spin on our choices and exploring an old tale that a favorite children's author was recognized with the elite Caldecott Honor Award for . . . Strega Nona by Tomie de Paola.  I actually reviewed this book in detail almost a year ago, so I would like to invite you to visit that review by clicking on the link above.  However, I am going to add a few thoughts here as well in honor of our weekly feature!

Strega Nona (aka "Grandma Witch") is talked about all over town . . . well, whispered about really . . . but, they all relied on her for her magic touch.  Despite the fact of her special gift, she still needed some help around the house because she simply was getting old.  This is where Big Anthony comes into the picture.  Strega Nona hires Big Anthony to help out around the house, but she swears him off from her magic pasta pot.  When he sneaks a peak and discovers the secret of that pot, he has to try it on his own and soon gets his chance to do a little magic himself.  Unfortunately, he was careless and the town is soon taken over by pasta . . . lots and lots of it!

Our little family loves this story!  It is simply fun, imagining the noodles taking over the city, carrying Big Anthony along with it, and sending the townspeople running and the convent sisters praying!  It is perfect to be paired with a BIG spaghetti dinner!  However, as a parent, the thing that I like the most about this story is that it is not violent and it sends a message that I love to children who read or hear it . . . Your actions have consequences and they are typically not drastic as often told in the fairy tales that we have visited thus far.  Instead, in Strega Nona's words . . . "The punishment must fit the crime."

I still do not have my own copy of this tale, but I will someday!  It's worth every little word and every illustration to have in a personal library!

What did you think of this week's tale?  Are you feeling like noodles tonight?!?

Friday, June 11th:  The Boy Who Cried Wolf by Aesop
Friday, June 18th:  Peach Boy or Momotaro (A Japanese Folktale)  
Friday, June 25th:  The Mother of the Jungle (Traditional Latin American Tale)
Friday, July 2nd:  Rainbow-walker or Johnny Appleseed (An American Tall Tale)

SPECIAL NOTE:  I've decided to take a different turn in my selections of our future tales!  I've visited my local library and picked up some great books featuring tales from other countries to explore how they compare to the traditional tales!  As I do so, I know that some of these may be more difficult to find; therefore, I encourage you to explore two options . . . (1) Support your local library and determine if you can find the story if it is not available online.  If I can find a copy of the tale online, I will begin linking to it in next week's selection.  OR (2) If you are unable to find the specific story mentioned, then I encourage you to find a tale that is still from this country or culture.  These can often by found easily with a google search, but I will also try to post links for alternatives as well.


  1. I remember seeing this book here and there, but never picked it up to read. Sounds adorable! And I love that it has a good message for kids. Great pick!

  2. Going off the beaten path a little, huh? Should be fun. It didn't like my first comment for some reason, so I hope I'm not posting this twice.

  3. Strega Nona is so much fun. I'll have to hunt down my copy of Aesop's Fables from somewhere.

  4. You totally have me here. I've not read Strega Nona by Tomie de Paola. My poor daughter is named Nona...don't think she doesn't get teased.

  5. I love Strega Nona and the noodle pot...just having crazy week getting done with school year. Strega Nona's Harvest is excellent.

  6. Alexia561 . . . The first time I picked this up was as an audio to listen to with my son! We have loved re-visiting it ever since!

    carolsnotebook . . . I only see one comment from you, so it looks like it didn't like your first one! I'm hoping the next few weeks will be fun! We'll see next week!

    Ticia . . . Isn't it? Here's to hoping you found your Aesop's! :)

    J. Kaye . . . Oh no!!! You've got me curious now though . . . was it a family name or just something that you really liked?

    Peaceful Reader . . . I'm hoping life slows down for you soon! I haven't read Strega Nona's Harvest. I will check it out!


Thank you in advance for your comments! I love to hear reader's thoughts and respond to each one within the comment section. Please feel free to subscribe to the comment feed to ensure you can fully participate in the conversations.

Comments on posts older than 14 days are first approved through comment moderation. Word verification should not be turned on, so please notify me if it randomly appears.