Author/Illustrator: Tomie de Paola
Publication Year: 1975
Brief Summary: When Strega Nona, the “grandmother witch”, hires Big Anthony to work around her house, chaos ensues when the boy tries his hand at magic.
Awards, Honors and Prizes:
- Randolph Caldecott Medal, 1976 Honor Book United States
- ALA Notable Children’s Book – 1975
- Kirkus Choice – 1975
- Horn Book’s Honor List – 1975
- Children’s Catalog, Eighteenth Edition, 2001 ; H.W. Wilson
- Children’s Catalog, Nineteenth Edition, 2006 ; H.W. Wilson
- Keep Smiling!, 2001 ; Bank Street College of Education
- Recommended Literature: Kindergarten through Grade Twelve, 2002 ; California Department of Education
Ideas for using this book in classroom or library:
- Talk about folktales
- Talk about setting in the book — where is this story set? (Calabria, Italy) Where is Italy on the world map? What do kids know about Italy? Talk about the language, the food, the flag, etc.
- Why do you think Big Anthony want to try the magic pasta pot? (Townspeople were making fun of him, maybe?) How do you think you’d feel if you were being teased? Write or draw about a time when this happens and how you felt.
- Fun with pasta — pasta necklaces, making a picture with different pasta shapes, pattern sorting, etc.
Brief notes on curriculum connections/content learning standards/Common Core/etc.
- Social studies: Italy, maps, Italian culture
- Math: pasta patterns, counting using pasta
Special features included (if applicable) — index; timeline; author’s notes; further reading; etc.: Book trailer below…
Accessed at: Thrasher Elementary Library