The Definitive Guide to

The Legend of Old Befana

Written & illustrated by Tomie dePaola
5.25 / 7.0
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Goodreads Rating - 4.2 / 5.0
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used $11.10
Nov 7, 2017
Publication Date
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What's This Book About

Publisher 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.

What Kind of Book is The Legend of Old Befana

Quotes from This Book

  • “‘Old woman,’ called a boy who was leading a camel by. ‘You should come with us. This Child, this Baby King, has come to change the world. He comes for us. He comes for the poor. We are bringing him gifts.’”
  • “Then she filled a basket with all the cakes, cookies, and candies she had made. ‘I’ll take a few coals in a little pot to keep the cookies warm,’ she said…’And I’ll take along my broom to sweep the room clean, for the Baby King’s mother will be tired.”

Trusted Reviews & Ratings

B is for Bookworm
Book-loving mommy-to-be! Recently enjoyed The Hobbit, Becoming, and The Marvelous Magic of Miss Mabel.
4.5 / 7.0

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.

The Book Snob Mom
Mom of boys. Lover of Harry Potter, Jane Austen and believes one can never own too many children's books!
6.0 / 7.0

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.

Book Lists That Include The Legend of Old Befana

Book Topics › Christian
Christian Children's Children's Books
Book Topics › Christmas
Choice Christmas Children's Books
Book Topics › folklore
Children's Books About Folklore
Book Topics › fiction
Children's Books About Fiction
Kids Book Club
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Who Wrote The Legend of Old Befana

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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What Has Tomie dePaola Said About This Book

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Book Details

Publication Date:
November 7, 2017
Text Details:
The text for this book was set in ITC Cerigo Std.
Illustration Details:
The illustrations for this book were rendered in colored inks and watercolor on Cotman 140 lb. handmade watercolor paper.
Library of Congress Number (LCCN):
Lexile® Level:
ATOS® Book Level:
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