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Big Anthony and the Magic Ring (1979)

by Tomie DePaola

Series: Strega Nona (2)

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4881239,009 (3.86)3
When Big Anthony borrows Strega Nona's magic ring to turn himself into a handsome man, he gets more trouble than fun.

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» See also 3 mentions

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Big Anthony is at it again when he sees Strega Nona transformed into a beautiful young lady with the magic from her golden ring, he decides that he'll try it too. The ring transforms him into a handsome young man but when he is overrun by the young ladies in the village he cannot get the ring off to change back. He reaches Strega Nonna and vows to stay away from her magic.

So cute! I love these stories! ( )
  cyderry | May 2, 2021 |
  lcslibrarian | Aug 13, 2020 |
Spring has come, and Big Anthony is feeling a bit fuzzy-headed in this sequel to the Caldecott Honor-winning Strega Nona. Advised by his employer to go into town and enjoy some night life, Big Anthony doesn't feel particularly motivated. Then he witnesses Strega Nona using her magic ring to transform herself into a beauty, trotting off to enjoy the tarantella. No sooner has Strega Nona gone off, than Big Anthony takes her ring and tries the same thing. Now a desperately handsome man, he finds that all that attention can have its downside. Will Strega Nona arrive in time to save him from his folly...?

It's another delightful adventure with Big Anthony and Strega Nona, as the witch's servant once again attempts to use her magic, only to find that he hasn't the skill or knowledge to do so properly. As someone who read and enjoyed Strega Nona countless times as a girl, but who never knew about the many sequels, I was happy to finally pick up Big Anthony and the Magic Ring, which is every bit as entertaining as its predecessor! I enjoyed both story and artwork here, and finished the book with a desire to continue on with the series about these characters. Recommended to anyone who loved Strega Nona, or who enjoys magical stories with a humorous bent.

Note: Subsequent to reading Big Anthony and the Magic Ring, which was first published in 1979, I discovered that it had been rereleased in 2018, as Strega Nona's Magic Ring. I'm not sure why the title change was necessary - perhaps to 'brand' this as a Strega Nona book? - but readers should be aware of this fact. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Jul 26, 2020 |
In Big Anthony and the Magic Ring, Anthony sees a witch turn into a beautiful woman after using a magic ring. Anthony decides he wants to be handsome so he uses the ring, but when he tries to change back, the ring gets stuck and he has to ask the witch for help. This is a good book to teach about not taking things that belong to others. ( )
  mwinningkoff | Mar 25, 2016 |
I liked this story because the plot evolves in a humorous way and the characters are believable and well-developed. The illustrations are captivating and vividly describe the details going on throughout the story.

Big Anthony, a main character in the story, always seems to get himself into trouble. The problem in this book is that Big Anthony has a magical ring stuck on his finger that will not come off. Strega Nona, the other main character in the book, tells Big Anthony not to mess with the ring while she is gone. The spell the ring casts will not undo itself until the ring comes off so he continues to be attacked by all the women in the night life scene he goes to. The plot is funny because Big Anthony goes into the night life with good intentions but ends up running away because it was too much for him to handle. For example, Big Anthony says, " “Mamma mia,” he cried “What am I going to do?” The illustrations show the main town square where the night life is occurring. It also shows his different facial expressions from looking content and full of himself as he is dancing with all the women to overwhelmed and horrified as he is being chased by all the women. Strega Nona seems calm when she sees the trouble Big Anthony got himself into and saves him from his troubles. They complement each other well and it is demonstrated through the text and illustrations. She is forgiving and he is resentful for what he did. “Oh, Anthony, said Strega Nona. ‘You will never learn!’ […] Never again will I touch your magic! [says Big Anthony]”

The main message in this book is to always listen to instructions others give to you. It will help avoid any trouble and miscommunication that might occur. Sometimes what you are trying to do will end up doing more harm than good. ( )
  XiomaraGonzalez | Oct 26, 2015 |
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who introduced me
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Wintertime was very quiet in the little town in Calabria where Strega Nona (Grandma Witch) and her helper Big Anthony lived.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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When Big Anthony borrows Strega Nona's magic ring to turn himself into a handsome man, he gets more trouble than fun.

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When Big Anthony borrows Strega Nona's magic ring to turn himself into a handsome man, he gets more trouble than fun.

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