Endearing Stories Kids and Parents Will Love

Posted on May 30, 2018

by cindy vanderbrink

Strega Nona: An Original Tale by Tomie dePaola

Strega Nona : an original tale / written and illustrated by Tomie de Paola

I’m not much of a pasta eater, but every time I read “Strega Nona,” Tomie dePaola’s endearing tale about a “grandma witch” who heals physical ailments, offers potions for emotional support and has a “magic” pot that makes endless amounts of pasta, I want spaghetti! “Strega Nona,” published in 1975, features dePaola’s signature folksy illustrations. The characters’ enduring popularity is evident as over a dozen more “Strega Nona” stories have been published since.

“Strega Nona” is one of Tomie dePaola’s best-known works and just one of the great books featured on our 101 Picture Book Challenge.

Borrow it from the Library:


Ages 4-8 | Grades Preschool-3

A page from Strega Nona Harvest by Tomie dePaola

TLCPL’s Huebner Collection, a collection of original art from illustrated books, is lucky enough to have four pieces of art from dePaola, including one from “Strega Nona: Her Story” and one from “Strega Nona’s Harvest.”

More Books by Tomie dePaola

As of October 2018, Tomie dePaola has written and/or illustrated a total of 270 books, here are a few other favorites:

The Art lesson / written and illustrated by Tomie dePaola

The Art Lesson

Having learned to be creative in drawing pictures at home, young Tommy is dismayed when he goes to school and finds the art lesson there much more regimented.

Ages 2-5

Bill and Pete go down the Nile / written and ilustrated by Tomie DePaola

Bill and Pete Go Down the Nile

Little William Everett Crocodile and his friend Pete, a toothbrush, take a class trip to a Cairo museum where they encounter a jewel thief.

Ages 4-8

Charlie needs a cloak - story and pictures by Tomie De Paola

Charlie Needs a Cloak

A shepherd shears his sheep, cards and spins the wool, weaves and dyes the cloth, and sews a beautiful new red cloak.

Also available in DVD and eAudio.

Ages 6-9

Jamie O'Rourke and the big potato : an Irish folktale / retold and illustrated by Tomie dePaola

Jamie O’Rourke and the Big Potato

The laziest man in all of Ireland catches a leprechaun, who offers a potato seed instead of a pot of gold for his freedom.

Ages 4-8

26 Fairmount Avenue / written and illustrated by Tomie dePaola

26 Fairmount Avenue

Children’s author-illustrator Tomie De Paola describes his experiences at home and in school when he was a boy.

Also available in eBook and eAudio.

Ages 7-10

What is the 101 Picture Book Challenge?

The 101 Picture Book Challenge is for anyone at any age. Librarians hand picked the titles on the list which includes classics, new titles and everything in between.

101 Picture Book Challenge - Toledo Lucas County Public Library

To get started, register online. You can track your progress online or if you prefer a paper log booklet, pick one up at your neighborhood Library. The books are organized into categories but you can read the books in any order and at your own pace. When you read all 101 titles, you earn a free picture book (while supplies last).

This is the latest in a series of blog posts exploring some of the things we love about these books.

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