After dreaming about her childhood by the seashore with her beloved grandmother, Strega Nona is distracted, wondering what it could mean. But when she starts giving the villagers the wrong remedies for their stomachaches and headaches, she realizes the answer: it's time for a vacation. Placing her helpers, Bambolona and Big Anthony, in charge of the chores and daily remedies, Strega Nona sets off, with just one warning: "Don't touch the pasta pot!" (Everyone remembers when Big Anthony flooded the village with pasta.) All goes smoothly on Strega Nona's long-awaited holiday--until she sends some gifts home to her children. What harm can it do, Bambolona wonders, if she switches Big Anthony's candy for her own bubble bath. The whole village will soon find out!
Award-winning author and illustrator Tomie dePaola brings back his most beloved character in this charming tale of bumbling innocents and happy memories revisited. As in Strega Nona: Her Story, Strega Nona Meets Her Match, and Big Anthony: His Story, this venerable folk healer and her friends, in their idyllic Mediterranean setting, appeal to readers of all ages. (Ages 4 to 7) --Emilie Coulter
From Publishers Weekly
There's no rest for a talented strega. At least that's what dePaola's (26 Fairmont Avenue) beloved Italian witch, Strega Nona, concludes in her latest romp. Strega Nona has been dreaming of childhood vacations spent at the seashore with her Grandma Concetta, and in her waking hours, she's distracted, wondering what her dream means. After she nearly confuses several remedies, the villagers recognize the problem: "It looks like Strega Nona needs a vacation." Strega Nona gets the message after Grandma Concetta again visits in a dream, and soon she packs her bags and heads for Concetta's old seaside cottage, leaving her assistantsDsweet, bumbling Big Anthony and practical BambolonaDin charge. She enjoys fishing, swimming and watching sunsets, and sends gifts, candy for Big Anthony and bubble bath for Bambolona. But when Bambolona takes charge of the parcel, she takes the candy for herself and hands the bubble bath to Big Anthony. The resultsDtroublesome and very sudsyDare conveyed almost entirely visually, in warm panel art. The breezy text, peppered with Italian words, hums along as dePaola's sunny, airy acrylics demonstrate his fondness for these favorite characters and the old-world setting. Strega Nona, happily, proves as magical as ever. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)
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