Posted by: Lizzie Ross | July 12, 2010

Tomie dePaola

Strega Nona Meets Her Match (1993), Putnam’s, 30 pp.

This sequel to dePaola’s award-winning Strega Nona introduces Strega Amelia as a modernized witch who sets up in competition with Strega Nona.

Strega Amelia’s new-fangled wart cures, hair growing creams, match-making machine, and method for curing headaches all appeal to the villagers, and Strega Nona soon finds herself with no customers.

What are an old-fashioned witch and her two assistants to do?

As usual, dePaola sprinkles the dialog with Italian phrases, and his stylized watercolors are like carnival posters — wide swatches of brilliant colors set off by white aprons and caps and pastel-washed skies.

Red roof tiles on Italianate buildings, distant hills, crowds waiting at the town gate — the flavor of a Renaissance village comes through in dePaola’s illustrations, perfectly matching the old-country tone of his language and story.

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