The Legend of Old Befana: An Italian Christmas Story

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Harcourt Brace Jovanich, 1980 - Juvenile Fiction - 32 pages
9 Reviews
The celebration of Befana, who flies across the sky on Twelfth Night, leaving cakes and cookies for children as they sleep, is a beloved story in Europe. It is timeworn only by its many versions, and Tomie dePaola's retelling is unique in its resplendent settings and carefully researched detail. His story also broadens the character of the eccentric old recluse of the small Italian village, who is always sweeping. While Befana is sometimes called a witch, Tomie dePaola gives his readers a chance to make their own decisions, imbuing Old Befana with more humanity than most have offered the lonely old woman in her endless search for the Christ Child.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - cporte8 - LibraryThing

Before I read this story, I never even heard of the tale of Old Befana. I liked this story because it sounds like the type of story that you could read to your children at night over the holidays. I ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - AbigailAdams26 - LibraryThing

Old Befana liked to keep busy - sweeping and re-sweeping her home, her doorstep, and her walkway, and baking sweet-smelling treats - and didn't appreciate being interrupted. When a marvelous ... Read full review

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About the author (1980)

Tomie dePaola is the author and/or illustrator of more than 250 books for children. He receive a Caldecott Honor for Strega Nona and a Newbery Honor for 26 Fairmont Avenue. He is also the recipient of the American Library Association's Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for his substantial and lasting contributions to children's literature. He lives in New London, New Hampshire. Visit his website at www.tomie.com.

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