Top critical review
Our Friends Are All Here, But Something's Missing
Reviewed in the United States on September 25, 2009
Strega Nona has been a long time favorite for many children, and I was tickled to see a new volume arrive. As expected, the illustrations are charming. We see Big Anthony, Stega Nona, Bambalona, the villagers, the sisters and the priest in here, but the element of mischief is a little weak. In the other books in the series Big Anthony gets himself into major trouble and Strega Nona must bail him out. Perhaps the intention in this book was to show him having finally gained some wisdom, but his character feels a little different, and I wonder how the children will react to that. From a teaching standpoint, the book has potential. The differences in Big Anthony in the earlier books could actually lead to some good discussions, since he tricks Strega Nona in this story. There is also an open ending, which can lead to some predictions from the children.
It's definitely worth adding to the series for a fall story.