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I believe this is the third in de Paola's Strega Nona series, and this time the clueless Big Anthony is joined by the much smarter Bambolona as Strega Nona's pupil - he's masquerading as a girl, in a sulk.
This is a lovely story, mostly done in pinks, yellows and mauves, set in an arcaded southern Italian town. The ills are statuesque but full of energy, and they get better and better as the story winds on thru piles of yeast and an unexpected toad. Big Anthony is a hulking dunce, but nice.
Une nouvelle aventure de Strega Nona et surtout du Grand Anthony qui, cette fois, décide de se déguiser pour apprendre la magie avant que l'expérience ne se retourne contre lui, comme d'habitude. Dans la même veine que les autres: joli texte, belles illustrations, petite morale sur "Ne pas brûler les étapes": une formule qui réussit bien aux Strega Nona. Mon fils de 5 ans adore et moi aussi (attention: livre en anglais)
My son (and I!) really enjoy the Strega Nona series. I think this one is my favorite. When friendly, wise-woman Strega Nona (grandma witch) gently refuses to teach bumbling Big Anthony how to do magic, he comes up with a not-so-clever plot to trick Strega Nona into instructing him. My son enjoys Anthony's antics ("he never listens!") but also that you can't pull one over on Strega Nona.
Our son LOVES the Strega Nona books, he begs for them each night - which is fantastic. Anything to encourage him to encourage us to read to him, and to encourage him to read himself - is straight from heaven in my book. Add in the interesting bits of Italian language which lead to discussions about English words that are "like" or similar to the Italian ones, and it's practically a cultural revelation. Tomie dePaola scores with this fantastic series.
This is a great entry in the Strega Nona series by dePaula. There is drama, conflict, danger, comedy and a happy ending, as Strega Nona saves the day, again! The entire series presents a compelling narrative of life in small town Italy of a few years ago, but evokes a picture of modern Italians as well. I am buying the series for my niece but these books are also suitable for an adult who wants to relieve the memories of a childhood with an Italian mother, grandmother or aunt. And they are perfect for passing down to the next generation.
My 2nd grade students love this book! I read the original Strega Nona to them aloud in class, and ever since, they love any book in this series. They love the characters Strega Nona and Big Anthony. They laugh at Big Anthony's antics, and they love Tomie dePaola's art and writing style. Any time I add a Strega Nona or Big Anthony book to our class library, they race to read it!