Tomie dePaola is one of my favorite authors and one my favorite book's is Strega Nona. When I was paying my due's as a substitute teacher ,one of the teachers I subbed for was studying him. She had a little table next to a comfy rocking chair. On the table was a wicker basket with Tommie dePaola's books. It was SO teacher-y to me that I knew that when I had my own class I wanted something like that. Fast forward to 6 years later ( 1 year of subbing, 1 year of Title one, and 4 years of figuring out this crazy thing called being a 2nd grade teacher) and I was really ready to do author studies and do them well. ( I had done them a little bit in the past but was never really happy with how they turned out.)
I got this idea from a Scholastic book series called Teaching With Favorite (insert author's name here) books. Obviously, this is from the Tomie dePaola one. After reading through several Strega Nona books we drew pictures of the charecters on chart paper. (The Big Anthony and Bambalona ones really look alot like the charecters I thought!) Then around the drawing they wrote words and phrases to describe the charecters. For example, around Big Anthony is says lazy, not responsible and around Strega Nona it says clever. They were even featured in our schools weekly newsletter!