Strega Nona
PERFORMER Bill Barretta
DEBUT 2001

Strega Nona is a children's book written and illustrated by Tomie dePaola. The title character is an elderly lady witch who aids the village with her cures for headaches and warts, as well as her matchmaking skills. When the witch is away, she puts Big Anthony to work, reminding him not to touch her enchanted pasta pot. Not heeding her advice, Anthony serves the villagers pasta. He is unable to stop the pot from producing more, flooding the town with noodles.

First published in 1979, the book received the Caldecott Honor. Its characters, including Big Anthony and Strega Nona herself, were adapted as Muppets for the series Telling Stories with Tomie dePaola.

dePaola went on to create many other books featuring the characters first introduced in Strega Nona, including Big Anthony and the Magic Ring and Strega Nona Meets Her Match. The original book was also adapted into a musical by the Children's Theatre Company, which went on to develop and produce Bert & Ernie, Goodnight!.

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