Tomie dePaola’s clever retelling in Strega Nona, a Caldecott Honor book, is an Italian spin on the Grimm’s fairy tale “The Magic Porridge Pot.” But in Italy, it is a pasta pot, of course! Strega Nona, Italian for Grandmother Witch, is the town’s mysterious and magical old woman. Everyone comes to her when they have a problem. Big Anthony, Strega Nona’s helper, becomes the real problem in this story when he attempts to become a hero by using her magic pasta pot while she is away. Some of the activities in this unit are noodle drawing, herb exploration, and making pasta playdough.