Paperback. Pub the Date: September. 2000 Pages: 32 in Publisher: Penguin Group. (USA) Incorporated. Tomie dePaola serves as biographer to his delightful Italian sorceress. Strega Nona.. In the this beautifully drawn prequel of The tale begins with little Nona's birth on a dark and stormy night. and ends where the original Strega Nona picks up-with Strega Nona taking on the bumbling. knock-kneed Big Anthony as an apprentice. This winsome story is illustrated throughout with Tomie dePaola's warm and sunny watercolors! dePaola does a splendid job of working this sparkling tale into the Strega Nona canon.-Publishers Weekly When Strega Nona leaves him alone with her magic pasta pot. Big Anthony is determined to show the townspeople how it works.