The Legend of Old Befana: An Italian Christmas Story

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Harcourt Brace Jovanich, 1980 - Juvenile Fiction - 32 pages
3 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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Old Befana

User Review  - T.M. S. -

Wonderful telling of an old Italian Christmas tale of faith Read full review

Review: The Legend of Old Befana (Legends)

User Review  - Jeffrey Hite - Goodreads

I was not familiar with this legend before I read this story to the kids a few weeks ago, so I have no idea if this is a good retelling of the myth or not. With that out of the way, I really enjoyed ... Read full review

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About the author (1980)

Tomie dePaola was born in Meriden, Connecticut on September 15, 1934. He received a B.F.A. from Pratt Institute in 1956, a M.F.A. from California College of Arts and Crafts in 1969, and a doctoral equivalency from Lone Mountain College in 1970. He has written and/or illustrated more than 200 books including 26 Fairmount Avenue, Strega Nona, and Meet the Barkers. He has received numerous awards for his work including the Caldecott Honor Award, the Newbery Honor Award and the New Hampshire Governor's Arts Award of Living Treasure. His murals and paintings can be seen in many churches and monasteries throughout New England. He has designed greeting cards, magazine and record album covers, and theater sets. His work is shown in galleries and museums.

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