Usually, I kind of lovingly make fun of some the children’s books my daughter has. But I really like Strega Nona (by Tomie de Paola). And by sitting a writing this review, I learned something new myself. Turns out, this book was written in 1975. I’m not sure why it struck me as a newer book.
The illustrations are refreshingly different for a children’s book. At least compared to some of the other books she has. While some of the animals might be out of proportion in some of the panels, I am willing to forgive the book because it is also kind of fun to read.
Of course, it contains a bit of song or poem that Strega Nona (Grandma Witch) sings, which, like all good children’s books, you will find yourself reciting to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.
And how can you go wrong with a book that has the line, “We must protect our town from the pasta” ??
Plus, the book is responsible for my daughter yelling, “string him up!” to bad drivers in traffic.
I don’t want to get in to too much more, so I’ll just summarize with: witch, big dumb guy, magic pasta pot, “the punishment must fit the crime”. The book should take you about 5 minutes or so to get through.