from the Strega Nona series by the wonderful Tomie daPaola...................
"Bubble, bubble pasta pot,
Boil me some pasta to fill me up.
I'm hungry and it's time to sup
So boil me some pasta to fill me up."
"The punishment must fit the crime."
I never considered doing a character from a picture book until my mom mentioned that my sister Mary had been hoping I'd do Strega Nona. And then I thought, of course!
Strega Nona means "Grandma Witch" in Italian. She cures people's ailments and solves their problems. She's the go-to lady in her little town in Calabria. When her assistant decides he can do magic too with her enchanted pasta pot, he gets the entire town into trouble. But Strega Nona is on hand to save the village and make sure the punishment fits the crime. (Don't you love how I'm trying to not give spoilers on a picture book? But it's such a wonderful one.)
Strega Nona throughout the books is wise, magical, adorable, and Italian. That was something I really loved as a kid - this was our book. Sure, other stories had beautiful princesses that were exotic and beautiful. We had an Italian grandma who was a peaceful force for goodness and still kicked butt.