Here is my PPBF selection for today. Last week and last Tuesday I blogged on my new writer’s platform for Rachael Harries Writer’s Fourth Platform Campaign, Yet my comments showed all my friends from PPBF read and stopped by. I was so impressed by all of you. You are sticking by me even though I have strayed from the norm to strengthen my platform with new readers. I am so amazed and delighted that I didn’t loose all of you as readers in the process. What a wonderful group you are. All of you are so special. I’ve made a special breakfast of pancakes and maple syrup to go with your hot chocolate this morning. I’m not sure what the official breakfast food is now but eat up while it’s hot. Now you’re ready to read this.
Written and illustrated by: Tomie dePaola
Published by: Harcourt Brace & Company, – fiction
Themes: Magic, how deception doesn’t work, lying, village life, Italian Culture, consequences, truth telling,
For elementary school age kids
In http://www.kupferbergcenter.org/revelations/teacher_guides/strega_nona_tg.pdf there are activities for the K thru 1 and for the grades 1 thru 3 keeping them busy for days. I learned that the name Strega Nona was a concert which was performed by a children’s musical theatre. “This lively musical, Strega Nona, was originally developed as a touring production for the renowned Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis by Thomas Olson and Roberta Carlson, with music by Aron Accurso, award-winning member of the famed BMI Lenhman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop.” And that Tomie dePaola wrote lot of other Strega Nona books. I have read other Tomie dePaola books and put them on PPBF not knowing all this. It’s amazing what a little digging will bring. Lol.
On http://www.scfta.org/home/Media/education_bus_ins/Strega_Nona_Teacher_Guide.pdf there are pre and post concert lessons ranging from Math, Music, Visual Arts and Science giving a table of contents on how best to use the teacher guide. There is a sheet about how Strega Nona came about and a map of Italy. There is even an Italian flag with fun facts of Italy. I almost got lost in these guides looking and browsing for hours. There was no stopping the fun! Would you like to cook some Pasta? It’s on those sheets. They are a teachers saviour for a day when she needs lesson plans about an author or book. I hope the testing hasn’t done away with all the author and book lessons. Does anyone know??
Strega Nona. Aladdin, 1979.
Strega Nona’s Magic Lesson, Sandpiper, 1984.
Strega Nona Meets Her Match. Putnam, 1996.
Strega Nona, Her Story. Putnam, 2000.
Brava, Strega Nona. Putnam, 2008.
Strega Nona Takes a Vacation. Putnam 2003.
Big Anthony and the Magic Ring. Sandpiper, 1979.
Big Anthony, His Story. Putnam, 2001.
Merry Christmas, Strega Nona. Sandpiper, 1991.
From the Jacket: Strega Nona (Grandma Witch), her helper, poor bumbling Big Anthony, and Bambolona, the baker’s daughter, are back again to charm readers in this new picture book by Caldecott-Honor artist Tomie dePaola. Bambolona is the only employee in the bakery—and an overworked one at that! When she complains to her father, he just tells her to get up earlier. Running to Strega Nona for help, Bambolona receives a fascinating offer. “Why not stay with me and I will teach you my magic?”
Big Anthony overhears and wants to learn too, but Strega Nona refuses. Taking over Bambolona’s job at the bakery, Big Anthony creates havoc and gets fired the very first day. He then crashes Strega Nona’s magic lessons wearing a clever disguise with even more disastrous results. Once again Tomie dePaola has given us a story lavishly illustrated in full color that is filled with humor and presented with consummate skill.
First two sentences: Bambolona, the baker’s daughter, was angry. Every day, summer, fall, winter, and spring, she had to get up before the sun to bake the bread.
Why I love it: Several times the funny bone was hit and I had to laugh out loud. This hilariously funny tale about how Big Anthony tries to help at the bakers and then learn magic in his buffoonery way is just too funny for words. But Tomie writes them and then illustrates them. I think the Italian words sprinkled throughout the story make it richer. Just think of the name Strega Nona meaning Grandma Witch. To his readers of little kids this surely makes for more mystery. The story is pure genius teaching that deception is not an answer to a problem while putting entertainment at center stage.
For more books with resources please visit Perfect Picture Books at Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog. And if you’d like to be whisked away through cyber space to the resource page and the list of more marvelous recommended perfect picture books just click on the perfect picture book badge on the right.