DePaola, Tomie, Strega Nona: An Original Version of an Old Tale. 1st Little Simon board book ed. New York: Little Simon, 1997. Cotsen Collection, Moveables 37931
That charming, wafter-tiled cottage overflowing with pasta was a huge part of my childhood landscape, and millions of others’ landscapes as well. Today, we say goodbye to the legendary Tomie dePaola. May his distinct drawings, rich characters, and delightful animals (the peacocks and rabbits were always my favorites) live on in his books, and in the imaginations of future readers.
We’d also love to share a Strega Nona post on Cotsen’s Curatorial blog. It was penned by Dr. Franny Zawadzki during Banned Book Week 2019. Three kisses may have ended the spell for the village of Calabria, but for us, the magic will always continue.
As many of you know, this spring, the fifth and final Penderwicks book was released. When the books began, Batty was a mere 4 years-old. Now she’s in college and the Penderwick family has expanded quite a bit!
I first discovered these books in 2010, when I interviewed Jeanne Birdsall for my webcast. I loved the series from the very beginning, and have really and truly enjoyed growing alongside the characters. So today, I offer my humble tribute to the first book, a summer snapshot of four sisters, a very interesting boy, and perhaps the most lovable literary dog of all time, Hound.
Jeannie, your books are beautiful, amazing, and full of love and light. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. Or, as Mr. Penderwick would say, gratias tibi.