The Legend of Old Befana Book
The Legend of Old Befana Book
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The Legend of Old Befana

Written and illustrated by Tomie dePaola

Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers


Publisher's Summary

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.

Topics in The Legend of Old Befana


  • Age Range: 4-8
  • Pages: 32
  • Book Type: picture
  • Publication Date: November 7, 2017
  • ISBN: 1481477633
  • ISBN 13: 978-1481477635
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The Book Snob Mom

Mom, Avid Reader, Austen Fangirl

This gorgeously rendered telling of a legend in Tomie dePaola's signature style is a refreshingly different perspective of the night of baby Jesus' birth. The illustrations are amazing, and the story sweet.


B is for Bookworm

Human Development Degree, Book-loving aunt

I love the illustrations by this well-known author/illustrator! This story explaining the Italian legend of Old Befana seems like it would be particularly fun for those with Italian heritage that are familiar with this holiday legend.

author & illustrator

Tomie dePaola

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.

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Tomie dePaola

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