A Time of Feasting: Strega Nona's Gift

A heartwarming holiday tale told as only dePaola can.

Tomie dePaola is one of today's most beloved creators of children's literature (more than 15 million books in print!) - and New Hampshire has the privilege of claiming him as one of our own.

It is in a studio in New London that the award-winning author/illustrator conjures up the stories that children love and families treasure.

His latest book, "Strega Nona's Gift" [Penquin Group, $17.99], finds his familiar characters - Strega and Big Anthony - celebrating the time between December 6 and January 6, when their Italian village comes together for eight feasts, each with its own traditions and treats. It is an enjoyable - and informative - read for children and adults alike.

This is the latest in a series of Strega Nona books; the first was published in 1975, winning the Caldecott award the following year. This year he won the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for his substantial and lasting contribution to children's literature. And along the way there was a Newbery, too.

In 1999 the state declared dePaolo a "living treasure." Indeed.

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