Read The Legend of Old Befana by Tomie dePaola Online

the-legend-of-old-befana

This is a delightful reading of the favorite Italian Christmas story about an eccentric old woman and her never-ending search for the Baby King....

Title : The Legend of Old Befana
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780152438173
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 32 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Legend of Old Befana Reviews

  • Monika
    2018-10-08 11:27

    With Epiphany coming up on January 6, we've already read The Legend of Old Befana by Tomie DePaola several times in our home. In Italian folklore, La Befana is an old woman (in some regions, a friendly "witch") who visits children on the night before Epiphany, leaving candy and/or small gifts. Befana represents all people who are seeking Jesus.The stories about La Befana vary greatly from region to region, but Tomie DePaola's version comes closest to the one I learned as a child.La Befana is a poor, old woman who is a bit of a hermit and always, always sweeping her house. As the Three Kings make their way to Bethlehem, they pass through her village. She is invited to join them, to make the journey to see the Christ Child, but she refuses. She is too busy; she needs to sweep. She soon regrets her decision and changes her mind. She stays up all night baking. She gathers these homemade cookies and cakes as gifts, and brings along her broom so she can sweep for the new mother. However, she learns she is too late; the Kings' procession has already moved on. She tried her best to catch up, but never did. It is said that even today, she is still searching for the baby Jesus. Each Epiphany Eve she sets off on her journey, leaving gifts to all children along her way, in the hopes that one of them will be the Christ Child.My 3-year-old is enthralled with DePaola's book, as am I. The illustrations are soft on the eyes, but full of color and interest. The text is easy to understand without being dumbed down. The story is worded beautifully, making it just as wonderful a experience for the adult reading the story aloud as it is for the child listening. One can practically hear the procession of the Three Kings approaching her town, the bells tinkling through a light wind. Readers are quickly pulled in to Befana's world; her tendency to be a bit misanthropic and always too busy to put her household duties aside (can't many of us relate?); her realization that she'd made a poor decision; her regret; her determination and perseverance when she changes her mind; her kindness while preparing gifts for the baby; her thoughtfulness in remembering the needs of a new mother.This is a lovely story, albeit somewhat bittersweet, filled with hope and symbolism. There aren't many English-language books telling Befana's story, but thankfully, DePaola's The Legend of Old Befana is a treasure.For a Special Treat: Try this recipe for traditional Epiphany cookies, befanini (La Befana's Stars). The knowledgeable ladies on NoiMamme tell me rum is actually more traditional than anisette, so feel free to use whichever flavor you prefer!

  • Miriam
    2018-09-30 12:30

    The sin of acedia conveyed in concepts comprehensible to a preschooler. Impressive.

  • Rosa Elena
    2018-10-14 04:14

    “Old Befana” is a folktale that is very meaningful, and it contains a lot of Christmas empowerment. It takes place in a city, and it comes from Italy. Old Befana was a very mean woman that had a big heart; she used to say things like, “I have no time for visiting.” Her neighbors always were saying, "Crazy Old Befana." She found the three kings that were looking for Bethlehem. She did not know how to answer where Bethlehem was. She is curious because a very bright star was shining above Old Befana’s house, making it look bright, like if she was inside a very white room. “Who can that be?” Old Befana asked.She wanted to find the Baby King of Bethlehem, but she didn’t because no one knew who the Baby King was.Old Befana saw the angels singing to the Baby King. She was curious because she wanted to know who the Baby King was. Today, some people say that still Old Befana goes every January the sixth to children’s homes to give them cookies and cakes while they are sleeping. Although Old Befana never found the Baby King, she was happy giving sweets to children. “Old Befana" is a folktale because it fulfilled the 4 requires of a folktale. The first one would be that it has supernatural powers. Evidence can be when in the text, it says: “Old Befana is running in the sky!” It states that Old Befana is flying. Secondly, a folktale comes from one specific culture. “Old Befana” comes from Italy, which makes it originally from one culture. Thirdly, a folktale does not have an a specific author and it has been told through generations. In "Old Befana" we can tell it is a folktale because it does not specify an author. Finally, the fourth element of a folktale is that it teaches a lesson. The lesson in “Old Befana” is that when you want something, you don’t always get it, but you get something better. “I will never find the Baby King,” Old Befana said, but she gets to give children sweets every January the sixth. I recommend this folktale to the kind of people that love Christmas (like my family and me).

  • MarianaReyes
    2018-10-19 05:39

    "Old Befana" is a folktale about an old woman that gives food or gifts to children while they are sleeping. This folktale started with Old Befana that hated people to look or talk at her. She always cleaned her house and steps with her broom. One night, a big and shiny star was in the sky and didn´t led Old Befana sleep. The next day, three kings approached her and asked her if she knew the way to Bethlehem. They also told her that a baby king would be born when a big and bright star appeared in the sky. She just knew that was the star that kept her awake all night, but she didn´t go with the kings to look for the baby king. Old Befana thought that idea, about the baby king, was ridiculus. Later, when sweeping, she thought about the baby king, and if he really existed, she must give him a gift! The problem was that she didn´t know what to give him! Later on, she started to bake for the baby king as a gift. When she was done, Old Befana started to rush so that she could get to the baby king on time. There was another problem, Old Befana didn´t know where to go! So she started running towards the direction of the star. On her way to Bethlehem, she was so tired and her breathing was starting to get heavy. She started to cry, because she wouldn´t be able to catch up with the three kings or see the baby king born. Old Befana, again, started to run, and each time she ran, Old Befana began to feel lighter. Suddenly, she started to fly! Old Befana never got to catch up with the three kings or watch the baby king be born. Since that day, Old Befana gives away gifts (food) to children while they sleep on January the sixth. Old Befana is a folktale because it has the four elements a folktale needs to be a folktale. Old Befana does´t have a specific author: "There are many stories about Old Befana..." (page 1a, lines 7-8). Old Befana is based on the beliefs of people in Italy every January the sixth: "Every year... Old Befana visits all the children in Italy and leaves them candies" (page 1a, lines 1-5). Old Befana includes a supernatural power when she starts flying: "She was running in the sky!" (page28, line153). Old Befana also teaches a lesson: Don´t judge a person until you know him/her better: "Cranky old lady" (page1, line 10); "Leaves them gifts from her basket" (page 31, line162).

  • Maria Laura
    2018-10-20 10:24

    The book of Old Befana treats the story of an old lady who focuses one cleaning her house and keeping her area clean on top on anything. She is very grumpy but has a great heart. Her neighbors don't notice this, an have the worst image of her. She, one day, encounters a marching group who is on their way to Bethlehem because they are taking gifts to the child king, baby king. She then feels feels like she wants to go and bakes some bread and cookies for him. After she is done she sweeps a little more, and looses track if the marching group. She goes after them and gets tired, she regrets sweeping and cries for help. The angels help her, as she runs in the sky and she tries to find her way to Bethlehem. At last she doesn't find the baby king, but she leaves presents for every child, as she doesn't know who is or might be the baby king.In my personal opinion Old Befana is one of the only folktales able to grab my attention and never let it go. It is a great story full of little things that makes it page-turner! Most folktales are long boring stories with a moral… But Old Befana has a great balance between dialogue and text, which makes it interesting and unique. I highly recommend this folktale to everyone who enjoys art and reading. Always remember, please, be open to opportunities, books and people.Old Befana is a folktale because it fulfills the 4 requirements of a folktale. The first one is that it includes supernatural powers. Evidence can be when in the text, it mentions that Old Befana was running in the sky. It shows that Old Befana is flying. Secondly, a folktale comes from one specific culture. Old Befana comes from Italy, which makes it originally from the Italian culture. Also, a folktale does not have a specific author instead it has been passed form generation to generations. In Old Befana we can tell there is no specific author because it does not specify an author. Lastly, the fourth element of a folktale is that it teaches a lesson or moral, or why something happens. The lesson in Old Befana is that you must treat everyone equally, even if you don’t like the, if you don’t know them well etc. Like Old Befana: she didn’t know who was the king of Bethlehem so she treated all kids like the king. Also the folktale explains why children get presents the 6th of January.

  • Axel Nunez
    2018-10-01 10:14

    "The Legend of Old Befana" is a short Italian folktale about an old, poor woman who was disliked by her neighbors in the small village she lived in. She spent her time sweeping and baking. One day, Old Befana woke up during the night, and noticed that her room was filled with light. Then, she opened the windows and observed "the most glorious procession she had ever seen". After speaking with three royal-looking men, Old Befana spoke with a boy who lead a camel by. The little boy told Old Befana that she should go with them since thy were in the search of the Christ Child. Old Befana went back to her house to bake something for the Child. She also took her broom with her to sweep the baby's room. Before she left, Old Befana decided to sweep her house. Once she was done, Old Befana started running as fast as she could so she could catch up with the procession. She ran and ran, but couldn't catch up. At last, Old Befana was not able to catch up, and the Christ Child was born. This is the reason why, every year, during the Feast of the Three Kings, January the sixth, Old Befana visits children from all around the world to deliver gifts, cookies, and candies to them. "The Legend of Old Befana" meets all the requirements a folktale needs. First of all, the book does not have a specific author. Evidence on this can be found on the first page, where the author says that “there are many stories about how Old Befana searched for the Christ Child and this is one of them". The second requirement of a folktale this book meets is that it is based on Italian culture. On page 1, the author states that The Legend of Old Befana is an Italian folktale. Another characteristic of a folktale this book meets is that it includes characters with supernatural powers. This is stated when Old Befana starts flying above the ground during her search of the Christ Child. The last element this book includes is that it has one or more themes which are: don’t judge a book by its cover and treat everyone equally since we are all the same.

  • Maria Garcia
    2018-10-21 06:40

    “The Legend of Old Befana" is a folktale, which tacked place in a small village in Italy. The problem of this story is that Old Befana wasn't very friendly. Old Befana will always wake up and start to sweep. She would spend the whole day sweeping. One day three royal kings came to ask Old Befana the way to Bethlehem because they were looking for the Baby King. Befana told them that she didn't know the way to Bethlehem. After talking for a while with her, a child that was leaning in a camel told her that this baby king was coming for the poor, for the world. At the end Old Befana became way more friendly and nice; now on January the sixth she visits all the children and leaves them gifts. Old Befana is still in the search of the Baby King of Bethlehem.In the book, there is proof of “The Legend of Old Befana" is a folktale because it has all four elements of a folktale: passed from generation to generation, has to come from a specific culture, has to have supernatural power, and explains how something happened or has a lesson. There is proof in this story of being passed from generation to generation because Old Befana is still searching of the Baby King of Bethlehem, which means that the kids that received the gifts on the January the sixth told their children, and the children told their own children. This story comes from the culture of Italy. The proof of super power things is when Old Befana was running in the sky. In this story, there is not really a lesson, but it explains why the kids receive the gifts on January the sixth and how gives them those gifts.

  • Enrique Hernandez
    2018-09-25 09:15

    The story "The Legend of Old Befana" is about a grumpy old woman who sings lullabies at night and cooks awesomely, her name is Old Befana. In this story Old Befana starts to hear a lot about this Christ Child in Bethlehem and people are beginning to ask her for directions to Bethlehem but she doesn't know anything about and she does not care at the beginning. A long time ago Old Befana had lost a child of her own so she reflected and suddenly she began to think about going to see the Christ Child. So one day Old Befana stuffed a bag with gifts and decided to go and find the Christ Child, so she took flight and looks for him. Even now, Old Befana is still looking for the Christ Child and at night she leaves candy to children all over the world."The Legend of Old Befana" is a folktale because a, what old Befana can do is supernatural which is take flight which means she can fly. B, " The Legend of Old Befana" has no author we only know that it comes from Italy and has been passed on from generation to generation. C, it has an specific culture because the story is from Italy. At last D, it has a message which is you don't always get what you want but that doesn't mean you can't get something that is good for exchange.

  • Kym
    2018-10-10 07:26

    The legend of Old Befana is such a special book in our family. It is one of our most cherished Christmas Books. When the three kings come to ask Befana to join them following the star she, in her grumpiness declines because she has too much housework. However, Befana comes around and true to the Italian spirit she gathers food to bring to the Baby Jesus. Unfortunately Befana doesn't find the Baby Jesus but she does find His spirit. Befana ends up leaving her gifts to children who havae the spirit of Jesus within them. Tomie dePaola is one of my most favorite authors. I so dearly love him and all of his books. Old Befana is and will always be a family favorite tradition in our home. Because this book is religious I think the only way I might be able to use it in the classroom is if I have other books depicting other religions, for example, Kwanzaa or Chanukkah - even then I am not sure though.

  • Juan Diego
    2018-10-02 07:30

    SUMMARY:The story “Old Befana” is a folktale from Italy. It is about a old lady named Befana that lived in a little village. She was kind of grumpy and had mo visitors to her because she rejected them. The only thing she did was bake for no one and sweep. She would sweep her entire house clean. Until one day, a bright star appeared in the sky that illuminated everything at night! The next day, a crowd of strangers were marching towards the star, and they convinced her to come along and meet the Christ child. She went to look for him, but never found him… Legend says she is still searching.Reasons for folktale:The folktale “Old Befana” is a folktale because of the following: The story was passed down through generations because the story takes place in the time of Jesus. Old Befana can fly. Ex: As she is running to catch up to the travelers, she begins to fly. Teaches a lesson which is to treat everyone the same. Comes from Italian Culture. (first page).

  • Felipe
    2018-10-07 04:27

    Old Befana is an Italian folktale that takes place in a small town in Italy. In the story the grumpy old lady named Old Befana hated everyone. One day Old Befana saw a bright star at night, later three kings came to Old Befana. They asked her where Bethalem was? Old Befana said she didn’t know. The three kings left and continued their way to find the baby king in Bethalem. After, Old Befana ran and tried to reach them, but she got tired. She sat down and couldn’t keep on. Now every 6 of January Old Befana runs across the sky gifting all the babies trying to find the baby king.Old Befana is a folktale, because it has all the four elements of a folktale . It has no author. It is based on Italian beliefs. It has supernatural powers, “she was running in the sky” (page 28). Last, but not least, it teaches a lesson wich is, don’t judge a book by it’s cover

  • Carmen Nibali
    2018-10-20 11:31

    “The Ledgend of Old Befana” is a book we read a lot in my home. My mother is Italian. This book is about an Italian Christmas story of an old women and her never ending search for the baby king. In the story three man show up at her door following a star and looking for a baby. They want Befana to come with them, but she is too busy with her house work. She then decides to go and as she is growing tired of looking for the child she starts leaving her gifts for other children. She does this because she realize the spirit of the special child in them. I recommend this book for children three and up. My son who is five has been loving this book since he was three and often reads it year around. I consider this book a folklore.

  • Skylar Burris
    2018-10-12 10:36

    Old Befana, like the Martha of Scripture, is busy with many things, and so she never does quite catch up with the Christ child...thus the legendary origin of the leaving of gifts on the Feast of the Three Kings on Janaury 6th. My daughter and I enjoy these Tomie dePaola children's versions of various cultural legends, and I am glad to have a story about Epiphany to share with her since that was not something we observed in our lower church days, but we do now.

  • Christianna Woodling
    2018-10-23 09:16

    Title: The Legend of Old Befana Author: Tomie DePaola Genre: LegendThemes: Christianity, reputations, faith, Christmas, Opening Line: "In a small house, on the outskirts of a small village in Italy, lived Old Befana."Summary: Old Befana was a grumpy old lady who no one in the town liked. One day the Three Kings come through town searching for the child King who was born in Bethlehem. Befana was not interested at first, but then one day decides she is going to find the Christ Child. She bakes a basket full of goodies and begins running until the angels give her the power to run through the sky. She never found the Christ child, but every year on January sixth she visits the children of Italy and brings them treats while she is still searching for the Christ Child. Professional Review 1: Kirkus Reviews https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-re..."De Paola doesn't give Befana the sentimental history that set the tone for Rockwell's 1974 version of the legend, but his larger, blandly decorated pastel pages don't give the story much life either."Professional Review 2: Kaitlyn Torres-Kindergarten Teacher "This book is an easy read for elementary students. The illustrations are easy to follow and the text is broken up nicely for comprehension. Overall the book is average, but I think it lacks historical importance."Response to Reviews: Clearly this legend is very sentimental to those of Italian nationality and descent and I agree with both reviews that DePaola doesn't do this cultural importance justice. The symbol of the star is extremely important to the birth of Jesus and I feel this symbol along with others were just brushed. The book in itself is ok, but I deduct stars as it's cultural relevance is lacking. Evaluation of Literary Elements: The text itself is broken up nicely with only a few sentences on each page at the bottom. The layout of the book is nice with the pictures always on top withe the short blurbs of text directly below the pictures. This makes it nice for young readers to follow throughout the book. The illustrations are average. As the Kirkus review describes them as having "the look and flavor of sugar-frosted store cookies." I would agree to this especially because the illustrations are exactly the same as DePaola's other Strega Nona books. There is no visual difference between the character of Old Befana and Strega Nona. Strega Nona was published first in 1975 followed by Old Befana in 1980. It is like he just copied his first set of illustrations over into this book. Not to mention there is no variation of facial expressions in this story. Befana has the same emotionless face through the entire book whether she is angry, annoyed, sleepy, or happy. Instructional Application: Although I wouldn't applaud this story on it's literary elements it is a good story to use to teach children about different cultural celebrations. The story is very easy for children to comprehend the story of Old Befana and it's relevance to Italian culture. During the holiday season I would have lessons each day about different holiday traditions from different cultures. I read this book along with other cultural books to teach students about different traditions. I then would have them select one and create a compare and contrast chart about their holiday traditions vs someone of a different culture.

  • Hanna
    2018-10-23 05:20

    Star Rating: 5 out of 5 starsGenre: Traditional Literature One Unique Feature: The very first page of this story starts by giving a short snippet of the Feast of the Three Kings and that there are many stories of Old Befana but this is just one. I think that this helps students/readers know that there are many versions of this story, and that this is just one of them. There are little pictures between the words on each page and they always relate to the words/what is happening in the story which I think is a unique feature. Some of them also foreshadow to the next page. Grade(s): 1st - 5thDate Completed: 2/19/18

  • Catherine
    2018-10-14 12:38

    A lovely version of the Italian character who misses her opportunity to travel with the Magi and see the Christ Child. DePaola's illustrations do not disappoint.

  • Kristi Killian chaidez
    2018-09-29 05:17

    This legend reminds children to show kindness to others and to not let a wonderful opportunity to pass you by.

  • Kelly
    2018-10-22 10:16

    I've not read many dePaola books, if any. But this book was truly mesmerizing. He paints such a beautiful picture of this tale. Very nice.

  • Valerie
    2018-09-28 04:15

    Sweet old story, with lovely artwork!

  • Brittany Williams
    2018-09-29 04:34

    No Awards Appropriate Grade Levels: 2-3 "Old Befana" is a folktale about an old woman who was disliked in the small village she lived in. Old Befana is on a search to find the Christ Child. The story is the reason why during the Feast of the Three Kings, Old Befana visits children from all around the world to deliver gifts and cookies to all of them. I really enjoyed this book. I have liked this book since I was in Elementary school and I can't wait to read it to my future students. I like the message and I like that this book is different than what most students would probably decide to read. You could use this in your classroom to talk about different stories and how there may be different versions of a story. You could also use this book to show the similarities from this story, and something the students might be more familiar with like Christmas. (or another celebration)

  • Victoria
    2018-10-24 09:29

    Picture Book.A simple story that gives the background to an Italian Christmas tradition. Beautiful art.

  • Diego
    2018-09-30 09:26

    "Old Befana" is a book which is classified as a folktale. It's about a grumpy old woman who doesn't like other people. she's always sweeping and when kids talked to her, she always says,"Go away, get out of here!" One day, she found three magic kings going to newborn child who was said to be the king of the world. Old Befana didn't care, so she continued sweeping. However, later she decided to bake some cookies and take them to the newborn king. Old Befana ran, ran and ran until she got tired. Then she saw a star and followed the star as fast as she could. The star guided her to the child and she was able to give her presents to the newborn king. Now days, Old Befana gives presents to Children every January 6th."Old Befana" is a folktale for many reasons, especially because it has been passed from generation to generation. Also it has no author because it was created based on a tradition the Italians celebrate every January 6th! "Old Befana" is a folktale because it has supernatural events, for example, the guiding star for Old Befana to the newborn king. The folktale's theme is that "by helping other people, you can also help yourself".

  • QNPoohBear
    2018-10-16 04:31

    This is kind of a weird story to like but it's part of my family's tradition growing up, so I rate it 5 stars. The story of Befana is an Italian folk legend about a cranky old woman who loves to clean. One night she's woken by a bright star in the sky. She then meets a group of travelers following the star in search of the newborn baby King. She rejects their offer of traveling with them at first, but then after cleaning and baking, she sets off with her broom and baked goods in search of this baby King. The illustrations are a bit harsher than Tomie dePaola's usual style. They reflect Italian art rather than the charming cartoon style he is known for. The images of the star have special meaning. As kids, we were captivated by this story and on January 6th, Befana would always bring us treats (her baked goods curiously resembled Hostess cakes)! I recommend this book to Italian-American families who feel strongly connected to their heritage. Our paperback copy is worn out but we have a hardcover copy to share with my nieces and nephews.

  • Mariela
    2018-10-01 11:37

    Old Befana is a folktale about a old women who hated everything. One night a shiny star was in the sky and didn´t led Old Befana sleep. The next day 3 men who called themselves kings asked her if she knew the way to Bethlehem and also told her about the baby king. Later a boy approached her and told her that the baby king actually came for the poor. At first she did not believed what the boy told her but later she did. So as a gift she baked him some desserts, but now there was a problem she did not knew were the baby king was, as solution she decided to travel to the direction the big shiny star was. Still today Old Befana never found the baby king and every January 6 she leave desserts to the children of the world.Old Befana is folktale because it has no specific author. Second because it has magic powers, in the book it says that she flies. Old Befana passes from generation to generation and it may even be considered as a holiday for some countries. Last it shows a lesson: Don't judge a book by it's cover, don't judge Old Befana just because she looks like it.

  • Christabelle
    2018-10-15 05:19

    The consensus is that this book was that it is still sad, but not quite as sad as the other one. I felt there was a good take-away at the end. When Old Befana visits "all the little children while they sleep" to leave them gifts, she also sweeps their room because, as she says, "I never know which child might be the Baby King of Bethlehem." We are not waiting for the Christ Child - we know He has already come - but we are waiting for His return. Even as Old Befana chose to use her time and energy to bless the little ones, we know we have the same opportunities to bless Christ. Jesus said, "Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me." But we do this from a position of rest, knowing that He has already "given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness." I still can't help but wish that this old woman had the same assurance!

  • Julian Elias
    2018-10-20 12:32

    Old Befana is a folktale created in Italy. In the story of an old woman that didn’t like anyone, and she was always sweeping. One day she was going to sleep. She couldn’t get any sleep because a giant star appeared. It lighted up her room like if it was in the morning and the next day she encountered 3 kings. They were looking for the baby king (Jesus). They asked old Befana if she knew were was Bethlehem and she told them that she didn’t know. That night she went out to see the baby king, she ran and ran , but never got there and she was so tired she sat down, then angels told her that it is the night of miracles and she started to run again and then to fly. She never got to the baby king and she still searches to this day. Reason its folktaleHas no authorSupernatural Power: “She was running in the sky”Pg28Culture: “An Italian Christmas Story Retold…” Pg35Theme: “Cranky old lady” Pg6

  • Andrea1121
    2018-10-23 11:43

    Old Befana is a folktale that occurs in Italy. The conflict of this folktale is that because Old Befana is always cleaning, she is shunned or isolated from the town. One night a bright star grows with in her eyes and does not let her sleep. When she wakes up she realizes that there is a procession she saw elephants, camels, and people. Then she realizes that there is a child king and wants to go see him, but never does.Old Befana is a folktale because it follows all the requirements for a folktale. Old Befana was a story passed from generations until someone wrote it down. It is a story that reflects from the Italian traditions. It includes the supernatural qualities when they say that the procession started in one second and also when she flies in the air. Lastly the lesson is that “Do not judge a book by it’s cover,” or that “Change is good.”

  • Patricia
    2018-10-09 12:41

    Always sweeping, always baking, Befana reminded me of the story of Mary and Martha in the New Testament. Sweeping and baking are important, and wonderful gifts for others, but one mustn't lose sight of spending time with loved ones."Old Befana never caught up, alas. She never found the Child in Bethlehem. But she is searching still, to this day. Every year on the Feast of the Three Kings, January the sixth, Old Befana runs across the sky. She visits all children while they sleep and leaves them gifts from her basket. Then she takes her broom and sweeps the room all clean. "For, after all," says Old Befana, "I never know which child might be the Baby King of Bethlehem."" We never know whom we are serving. Or, rather, we do know. We serve Him. Each time.

  • Gordon Pennington
    2018-10-20 04:20

    This Italian folklore is about an old woman, who seems bitter. Old Befana is not friendly to passers-by. She is constantly sweeping and doing her household chores, so much so that she misses the child being born (the Baby King). She searches for days and days. Before this day, townspeople would stop by to say hello but Old Befana would sweep them away saying that she had no time for visiting. She learned to value the company of others and began leaving presents for children on her journey to find him. This would be a great picture book to teach students of the value of balance in their lives. This would be more of a book to have at reading centers for children to read at will during extra reading time. The illustrations are great, and I think students would enjoy.

  • Betsy
    2018-10-20 06:42

    Love this story. This woman is unfriendly and not open to others at first. She misses her opportunity but rather than turn and go home bitter she treats each house she happens on to as the house where the baby King could be living. This book captures my mothers childhood Christmas's. It shows how we can pay it forward even when we have only a little. And anyone who knows a new mother could certainly offer to sweep the floor...