In this beloved classic picture book, Tomie dePaola retells and illustrates an Italian Christmas folk tale, breathing warmth and humanity into the character of the lonely Old Befana and her endless search for the Christ Child.
Every morning and every afternoon, Old Befana sweeps with her broom. “Cranky old lady,” the children say. “She is always sweeping!” Sweep, sweep, sweep.
But when a brilliant star glows in the eastern sky one night, and Old Befana encounters the glorious procession of three kings on their way to Bethlehem, her little world will never be the same.
Tomie dePaola is one of the most popular children’s book authors and illustrators of our time and the winner of the 2011 Children’s Literature Legacy Award for “significant and lasting contribution to children’s literature,” among other lifetime achievement awards. A Newbery Honor winner, he has written and illustrated a number of books, including Caldecott Honor book Strega Nona and its companions, as well as Oliver Button Is a Sissy; The Legend of Old Befana; The Clown of God; Michael Bird-Boy; Andy, That’s My Name; and Quiet. A native of Connecticut, Mr. dePaola studied at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and now lives in New London, New Hampshire. Visit him online at Tomie.com and TomiesBlog.Blogspot.com.
"In a tale based on Italian legend, first published in 1980 and here reissued, Old Befana spends her days baking and sweeping her house and front steps. When a splendid procession led by the three Wise Men passes by, a boy invites her to come along to Bethlehem to meet the Baby King.... DePaola’s ink and watercolor illustrations use flowing lines and glowing colors to propel the story and attract the eye; rustic details help define the Italian-village setting."