Sunday, December 28, 2008

Lilies, Lilies, Lilies

Because Tomie hasn't been feeling well (a bronchial infection that is being treated with antibiotics), the house was decorated less ambitiously for Christmas this year. Yet, the house was still spectacular.

There were at least ten vases of three kinds of lilies from his favorite source for lilies: Maplecrest Lilies in Maine. Here's a photo of one vase in one of the living rooms.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

We Have a Winner!

The Fruitcake Australian Judges awarded Jennette's fruitcake a 20. That means - drum roll - Stephanie is the 2008 Best of the Dueling Canadian Fruitcakes Winner! Congratulations, Stephanie!

Better luck next year, J!

The judges are now en route to Kennedy Airport in New York. This evening, they'll fly to Barcelona, later to Paris, back to New York City, and then Fraser and Jenny will return to Australia. Tony will remain in the USA for scheduled speaking engagements (that's right, HE'S the popular educational speaker Tony Stead).

I don't know if the judges will judge fruitcakes in Barcelona and Paris.

I imagine the Vancouver, British Columbia, gals - Jennette and Stephanie - will be spending 2009 perfecting their recipes. Game on!

Analysis: The young judge liked Jennette's fruitcake best, but the old judges prevailed as they preferred Stephanie's fruitcake.

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Fruitcake Judges Judge!

Tomie with the Fruitcake Australian Judges (left to right: Tony Stead, Fraser, Jennifer Smith).

Stephanie's fruitcake was awarded a 21. Suspense is building for whom will be awarded the prestigious honor of Best of the Dueling Canadian Fruitcakes!

(Of course, the Canadian loser can always exclaim, "What do Australians know about fruitcake?!")

Canadian Fruitcake Challenge: Jennette v. Stephanie

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Quack, Quack, Quack!

Here's Bronte with his new duck squeaky toy. The duck makes a soft, but annoying (to Tomie) quacking sound.

Mission accomplished (for the giftgiver - no names mentioned)!

Bronte is positioned in such a way so that he can see and hear Tomie in the kitchen.

Tomie with an Aussie

Jennifer Smith, Australian, and Tomie are having coffee and panettone on Christmas morning in Tomie's kitchen.

Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Eve

This is the "primary" Christmas tree. This one is decorated with roses made from colored tissue paper.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

New Home Page

Here's Sherry Litwack with Tomie. Sherry handles Tomie's artwork sales. The "Buy Children's Book Artwork" link is under "Favorite Websites" in the righthand column. The new link from the Home Page is "Artwork."

The Home Page has a new fresh look. Check it out.

Tomie's cold might be getting better. The doctor put him on an antibiotic yesterday.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Having a WHITE Christmas Is Overrated

Here's the big wreath. Or, here's snow and something that once resembled a big wreath.

We went to the last two autographings of 2008 this weekend. The drive yesterday to and from Nashua, New Hampshire, wasn't very pleasant because the windshield washer system on the two-month-old Saab wasn't functioning.

Today, the drive to and from Contoocook, New Hampshire, wasn't very pleasant because it was snowing. Our speed maxed at 50 mph, and was often 35-40 mph in a four-wheel-drive, two-day-old truck.

Tomie has a wicked cold and cough. The Aussies are coming Tuesday. The Christmas party is Boxing Day.

Christmastime is coming together exactly as planned, or not.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008

Tomie Here, There, and Everywhere!

Friday, December 19, 2008
"New Hampshire Chronicle"
7:30 p.m.
Manchester, New Hampshire

Saturday, December 20, 2008
2:00 - 3:30 p.m.
235 Daniel Webster Highway
Nashua, NH 03060

Sunday, December 21, 2008
2:00 - 3:00 p.m.
28 Riverside Drive
Contoocook, NH 03229

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Miss Ganley Visits Tomie dePaola

Kim Ganley and her mother, Dee, visited Tomie today. Dee trained Tomie's dog, Bronte.

Bronte had not seen Dee for several weeks, and couldn't stop jumping all over her. Great obedience training job, Dee!

Kim, aka Miss Ganley, recently taught in Miss Karloutsos' class at Manning Elementary in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. Here she is looking at the original artwork, in progress, for Tomie's Fall 2009 book, STREGA NONA'S HARVEST.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Marty Tree

"The Marty Tree" is up. (Martin) Marklin Candle made the wax white birds, based upon Tomie's drawings. As always, click on the photos to get supersized versions.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Counting Down the Days

All of the wreathes are now hung. The wreath ring, based on Tomie's work, was produced by Midwest of Cannon Falls many years ago. Tomie puts it on his front door every Christmastime.

Click on the photo to supersize it.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Power to the People!

Last night, electricity was restored to our area. I suppose it might go off again. There are plenty of branches and trees that could fall on the power lines, but for the moment, the electricity is back on.

After the 1998 storm, Tomie had a generator installed so there has been limited power in the house and the barn during the aftermath of this ice storm. The interior temperature of my home dipped to the upper 30s so I've slept in Tomie's barn for the last two nights.

We're certainly faring better than others. I hope it won't be too long before power is restored to all of the people.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Friday, December 12, 2008

Let the Cleanup Begin!

This ice storm doesn't compare, in our area, to the one in January, 1998, although it's still a mess around here. But, more people, throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire, have been affected by last night's storm than the one in 1998.

I hope that winter isn't going to be like this.

Ice Storm, December, 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Star Is Born!

Jen Crompton and Chris McDevitt were here this morning to film Tomie reading some of his stories for an upcoming "New Hampshire Chronicle" Christmas special, WMUR-TV (ABC). WMUR-TV has been kind enough to feature Tomie over the years. We're especially pleased when Jen and Chris are "assigned" to Tomie.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Tomie and the Nashua (NH) Symphony Orchestra

Tomie will narrate the "Nutcracker and the Mouse King" for the Nashua Symphony Orchestra during the symphony's Holiday Pops Cabaret on Sunday, December 14.

Tomie, Meet Tommy. Tommy, Meet Tomie.

Tommy from West Hartford, Connecticut, attended the Connecticut Children's Book Fair on November 9. Tommy loves to draw, and Tomie is Tommy's favorite author and illustrator. This was the first time Tommy met a real author. If these two hang out again, one of them is going to have to use a different name!

But They Forgot Their Dancing Shoes

Left to Right:
"Miss Leah," Tomie, Rhoda, Shaina

Tomie's childhood dancing school teacher, "Miss Leah," came to the Connecticut Children's Book Fair at the University of Connecticut on Sunday, November 9, with her sister Rhoda, her granddaughter Shaina, her daughter-in-law Suzan and son Steve. Tomie had requested the reunion, and he wasn't disappointed. The stories were "flying," and all of us in earshot were entertained.

Cally and "Who Is That Guy?"

Left to Right:
Front Row: Cally, Tomie
Back Row: Nancy, Paige, Rick

Second grader Cally and her family, from Marshfield, Massachusetts, met Tomie at Morgan Hill Bookstore on November 30. Or, was it Henri Matisse that they met? Or, maybe that guy with the red clothes and sleigh...

Saturday, December 6, 2008


BRAVA, STREGA NONA was one of ten children's books featured on today's "The Early Show" on CBS-TV. It was one of three pop-ups shown.

BRAVA was called "the most beautiful pop-up of them all." It was said, "You could live in the book."

The host (actress Kathy Kinney) said BRAVA, STREGA NONA was created "by a wonderful, wonderful man."

At, under The Early Show, there's "Mrs. P's Picks: Best Children's Books." BRAVA, STREGA NONA is "an absolutely gorgeous book about an Italian grandmother who had lived a life full of love and cooking!"

Brava, Strega Nona, and bravo, wonderful, wonderful man!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Which Books Would YOU Choose?

Tomie was asked for an abridged bibliography of thirty books. He handed the task to me. These are the books I chose. It was harder than I expected.

2008 Brava, Strega Nona!
2006 Christmas Remembered
2005 Stagestruck
2004 Guess Who's Coming to Santa's for Dinner?
2002 Adelita: A Mexican Cinderella Story
2001 Meet the Barkers
1999 26 Fairmount Avenue
1997 Days of the Blackbird
1995 Country Angel Christmas
1994 I Love You, Sun; I Love You, Moon, by Karen Pandell
1992 Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato
1989 The Art Lesson
1988 The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush
1987 An Early American Christmas
1985 Tomie dePaola's Mother Goose
1984 Mary Had a Little Lamb, by Sarah Josepha Hale
1983 Tattie's River Journey, by Shirley Rousseau Murphy
1983 The Legend of the Bluebonnet
1981 Now One Foot, Now the Other
1980 The Night Before Christmas, by Clement Moore
1979 Oliver Button Is a Sissy
1978 Pancakes for Breakfast
1978 The Popcorn Book
1978 The Clown of God
1978 Bill and Pete
1977 Helga's Dowry
1975 Strega Nona
1974 Watch Out for the Chicken Feet in Your Soup
1973 Nana Upstairs & Nana Downstairs
1973 Charlie Needs a Cloak

I presented the list to Tomie and he replaced I LOVE YOU, SUN; I LOVE YOU, MOON (1994) with THE HOLY TWINS, by Kathleen Norris (2001).

I would probably make different choices with explicit criteria.

Tomie on Houston Public Radio

Catherine Lu interviewed Tomie on November 21, 2008 for Houston Public Radio, KUHF-FM. Follow the link to the interview. Then, click LISTEN or DOWNLOAD "extended interview." When I clicked "Click here to listen" toward the top of the page, I got an interview different than Tomie's.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Artist Meets Artist

Well-known Splash Page artist Bryce from Kirkland, Washington, and little-known artist Tomie dePaola met at University Bookstore in Seattle on November 17. Bryce created the artwork for the Splash Page for the months of November and December. His newest work has just been posted. His third grade teacher is Liz Feldsher.