Author: Tomie de Paola

Plot Summary: Strega Nona (or Grandma Witch in Italian) imparts her knowledge of magic to Bambalona, the baker's daughter, so that Bambalona may use it to her advantage when dealing with her lazy and leisurely father. When Big Anthony hears that Bambalona is getting magic lessons, he asks Strega Nona if he can learn as well. She turns him away saying that a man cannot be a strega. Big Anthony decides he'll show her and dresses up like a woman, Antonia, to seek out Strega Nona's magic again. However, Strega Nona knows what Big Anthony is up to and plays a prank on him when he tries to cut corners with magic. Horrified that he may have turned Strega Nona into a toad, Big Anthony reveals his identity in a cry of apology and forgiveness and, poof, Strega Nona magically appears once again.

Posted In: Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy

Discussion Questions:

How could magic help Bambalona?
Is it possible to get what you want without hard work?
Why did Big Anthony want to learn magic? Why couldn’t he?
Was it fair for Strega Nona’s to trick Big Anthony?
Did Bambalona actually learn how to do magic? Did Big Anthony?
What is magic?

Contributed by Gobe Hirata