Thursday, October 23, 2014

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 187

Picture Book: Strega Nona

Author & Illustrator: Tomie dePaola

Summary: Everyone goes to Strega Nona for cures and magic. She is getting old enough to need some help to keep her house and yard so she hires Big Anthony and warns him to never touch her magic pasta pot. He overhears her spell song that gets the pot producing pasta, but he doesn’t notice the 3 kisses necessary to stop the pot. When Strega Nona is away, Big Anthony can’t resist the temptation and sings the pasta pot spell. He invites the townspeople to come join him for pasta. They do, and when all have eaten, Big Anthony tries to stop the pot to no avail. Just as the town is about to drown in pasta, Strega Nona comes back. She blows the 3 kisses, the pot stops making pasta, and punishes Big Anthony by telling him to start eating.  

Hanna’s Comments: “Strega Nona” means Grandma Witch, but this witch isn’t a bit evil. In fact, she’s pretty merciful to Big Anthony and gives him a punishment that fits the crime. This is a funny tale all about temptation and gluttony which is a wonderful book to read to children in faith communities where good behavior is important.

Publisher & Date of Publication: Simon & Schuster, 1975

Age & Grade Appropriateness: 3 and up, Pre and up

# of Pages: 40

Available in Spanish? Yes and there is a video of this version in the collection below

Formats other than Book: Tablet, Audio CD, Videos, both the English and Spanish versions, are in the collection: Strega Nona & More Stories about Magic.

PBT Category: Award Winner, Classic

PBT Topics this Book Connects with: consequences/punishment, disaster, deception/dishonesty/lies, disobedience/obedience, evil, feasting/food/hunger/nutrition, greed/selfishness, listening, mistakes, rescue, resisting evil, saving/savior, secrets, self-control, sin, temptations, trust

Scripture Connections: Be not among gluttonous eaters (Proverbs 23: 20-21); watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation (Matthew 26:41); their god is their belly and they glory in their shame (Philippians 3:19); the testing of your faith produces steadfastness (James 1:3)

Idea(s) for Application: Read this book to children when talking about the difficulties of temptation and/or gluttony.

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