Friday, December 25, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Fans Who Read AND Bake

Tommy, his sister and his mother, in West Hartford, Connecticut, make millions and thousands of cookies each Christmas. They sent me a box of cookies and a fruitcake. YUM!

Tommy likes the "26 Fairmount Avenue" chapter books. He is now reading CHRISTMAS REMEMBERED. I've had the good fortune of meeting Tommy and his mother at the Book Fair at the University of Connecticut, and at the Carle Museum.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Lovely Snow

It's wonderful watching snow fall... on TV. Not a flake has fallen in New London, New Hampshire. "It's a good thing."

Ugly Sweaters-palooza

The ugly sweater business is booming, according to a story just seen on "Sunday Morning" on CBS-TV.

Up in Flames

Last night when I went into Tomie's house to help him with evening foot care, I encountered a rather frazzled Tomie.

Back Story: Tomie loves candles. Correction - Tomie LOVES candles. Every night he'll have dozens of candles burning until he heads for bed. He uses tealights to make his favorite candles last longer. He does this by burning a new candle enough so that a well forms. He then places a tealight in the well and lights the tealight.

He usually has bags and bags of plastic cup tealights in stock, but his supply was getting frighteningly low. Yet, when he placed a new order for tealights, the tealights were backordered until the new year.


I found 200 aluminum cup tealights at the hardware store, and Tomie relaxed.

However, last night while Tomie was preparing his dinner, he began to smell an odd smell. He discovered that the aluminum cups of the aluminum cup tealights that he had placed in candles were heating up and falling out of the sides of the candles onto counters, and tablecloths. Nothing was burning, but that may have been pure luck/divine intervention/good fortune.

Lesson learned. Plastic cup tealights can be inserted into large candles. Aluminum cup tealights can be inserted into glass candle holders.

Tomie promised that he would be less flame-boyant.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

"Julie" Is Annoying

Tomie is watching "Julie and Julia" in the barn, and I am several feet away from him working on his Christmas cards. I cannot see the TV screen, but I can clearly hear the dialogue and action. I suggested to Tomie that he mute the sound every time the "Julie story" was happening, and restore the sound when the "Julia story" was on the screen. The "Julie story," in my opinion, is in a word ANNOYING. Tomie wished the movie could be remade using just the "Julia story." I still like the mute/restore idea.

Mother and Child

Tomie has wanted to create artwork after his second carpal tunnel surgery in two-and-a-half years. The tips of his fingers on his right hand are still numb, and several normal tasks are difficult, such as, writing, and holding a paint brush. Yet, he recently was able to paint "Mother and Child." The painting is five feet high by four feet wide. It's hanging in the "new" living room.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Breathing Bows

Anne Taylor Davis and Tomie have had several "committee meetings" regarding Anne's visit for Christmas.

Since Anne decided not to drive from NYC to NH, and will train and bus to NH, she sent gifts in boxes via the U.S. Postal Service. I asked her if she wanted me to open the boxes, or if she wanted me to leave the boxes sealed until her arrival in NH.

She wanted me to open the boxes so that the "bows could breathe."

Anne is the same person who once said, "Christmas dinner is all about the brussels sprouts."

Tree of Wax (2)

Tree of Wax

Tomie designed heart, star and dove wax ornaments for Marklin Candle Design. One of Tomie's trees is decorated solely with these ornaments. Marklin Candle Design 1-877-627-5546

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Free at Last!

The medical director of the Wound Healing Center at Concord (NH) Hospital, Dr. Joseph Snow, set Tomie free yesterday. Tomie's foot wound has almost completely healed. Another month or so of healing is needed.

Dr. Snow told Tomie that he didn't need to go back to the Center unless Tomie was concerned about the wound. After dozens of appointments, it sort of felt as if the Wound Center didn't want Tomie to return. I asked Tomie, "What did you say to offend them?"

Of course, it's terrific news to know that the six-month "ordeal" is nearly over.

We'll actually miss Dr. Snow and the nurses at the Center.

Another Mauli-made Wreath

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It's a Boy!

The headline and the story don't match, but "It's a boy" is a more eye-catching headline than "Trees put up in record time."

Yesterday, Stephanie, who cleans for Tomie, Tomie and I moved furniture to make room for the indoor Christmas trees.

Today, Barbara, who does odd outside jobs for Tomie, Stephanie and I put up and decorated a twelve-foot tree and a six-foot tree... by noon. We've never started and finished the trees in four hours.

The six-foot tree is not completely decorated. We're waiting on Skip Marklin to give us wax heart ornaments for the tree. The tree is decorated right now with wax dove ornaments (from Marklin Candle Design).

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ev'rywhere You Go

The creche ring, based on Tomie's design, was produced by Midwest of Cannon Falls many years ago. Mauli McDonald used it to create a beautiful wreath for the front door. Mauli's shop, Art of Nature, is probably the most interesting shop in New London. (Click to get a more detailed look.)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

So far, six small wreathes, one large wreath, eight kissing balls, three outdoor trees...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Storytelling at the Marketplace

Tomie read stories this afternoon in the Marketplace at Marklin Candle Design in Contoocook, New Hampshire. The Marketplace is full of candles (including candle designs by Tomie), books, ornaments, clothes, Simon Pearce glassware, and extraordinary gifts (fair trade items to crafts by local artisans). Tomie wasn't able to sign books because of his carpal tunnel surgery, but he wanted to read at the Marketplace for his good friends, Christine and Martin Marklin and their children. (You can always double-click on the photo to get a better look.)

The Marketplace at Marklin Candle Design
28 Riverside Drive
Contoocook, NH 03229

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Church of Tomie dePaola

A semi-trailer truck stopped at the end of the driveway today. The driver went to the mailbox to look at the number on the mailbox to make certain he had stopped at the correct address. He needed to deliver 12 boxes of six-day devotional candles (i.e. 144 devotional candles). He assumed he was delivering to a church, and he found the name of the church on the delivery slip, "Tomie dePaola," to be an unusual name for a church. He had only delivered large quantities of candles to churches in the past.

I almost told the driver, "Well, we all worship Tomie."

Truth is that Tomie likes and uses a lot of candles... A LOT of candles.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

You Can Never Have Too Many Rice Cookers

The UPS man delivered today a new rice cooker for Tomie. I believe this is Tomie's fifth rice cooker. He now has a total of four rice cookers. (One of the five was sold at the last yard sale.)

Tomie disagrees with the article "20 Most Worthless Pieces of Junk: #20 - The Rice Cooker."

I Remember the Days...

Arsema is a student at Rippon Middle School in Woodbridge, Virginia: Your books send great messages to children in a magical fairy tale way. The way you like to send positive messages in your poems that is easy for kids to understand is very unique. Every time I read STREGA NONA I remember the days in first grade when my teacher would read it to the whole class. My teacher would always have to turn the pages a little bit slower when we were reading one of your books because we would always want to admire your illustrations.

Tomie: Thanks for taking the time out of your busy middle school life to write such a kind note.

A New Carickter

Damion is in Class D at the Nashua Children's Home in Nashua, New Hampshire.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Artwork From the '60s

Isabella goes to St. Paul School in Hingham, Massachusetts. She wrote to me when she was in the fifth grade. I told her that she might want to visit the Glastonbury Abbey, also in Hingham, to see some of my artwork created in the '60s.

I designed a crucifix for the chapel, and painted the side not in relief. I painted a mural of St. Benedict for the chapel, and Stations of the Cross for the chapel.

I also created three murals for the refectory.

You can get a visual sense of the artwork by going to the Glastonbury Abbey website.
Click "Gallery."
Photo #4 shows a bit of the crucifix.
Photos #6, 7 and 9 show some of the Stations of the Cross.
Photos #11 and 26 give a sense of the murals in the refectory.

Jennie and Her Boys

Jennie in Clarence Center, New York, is the mother of six-year-old Jake and younger son Tom. During a weekend in October, the three of them went to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art to see the exhibition of Tomie's artwork.

Jennie: We went specifically to see your exhibit, and we were certainly not disappointed. Jake has been a fan of yours for the last few years, and he was beside himself when we turned the corner of the gallery and came face to face with the photograph of you and your dog in the convertible. "Look, Mom! There he is!" he nearly shouted... To spend this weekend with my boys in an art museum and talking about books was one of the best experiences I've ever had with them. This is just to say thanks for being such a bright and wonderful part of the world.

Tomie: I'm glad I could be a small part of Mom-time with your boys.

Goose Creek AIMS!

A continuous banner of nearly 300 Happy Birthday greetings was sent by the Howe Hall Arts Infused Magnet School (AIMS) in Goose Creek, South Carolina.

Tomie: Thanks HHAIMS!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Love Pasta

Double-click to get a better look at the poster.
Mrs. Green's second grade class at Britton Elementary in Hilliard, Ohio, sent a birthday poster, a wooden folk art heart and a plush bone toy (for Bronte).

Strega Nona is singing:
Bubble, bubble, pasta pot,
It's Tomie dePaola's birthday so make him lots.
He's special and it's time to share.
Boil enough love to show him we care.

Tomie: Very sweet.

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree! Thy Branches Are So Purple?!

Kathleen, of Oak Park, Illinois, drew the purple Christmas tree, hearts and ice cream cone when she was four years old. I think my friend Barney would like the tree.

The Mysterious Zeek

Alyssa (the artist) and her third grade classmates in Mrs. Berg's class at Claywell Elementary in Tampa, Florida, sent birthday cards.

Many of the students mentioned "Zeek" in their notes. Natalie: I bet that Zeek is in your house right now finger painting on your walls.

Tomie: If he is, Zeek is in a heap of trouble. Who IS Zeek?

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Power of a Crocodile and His Toothbrush

Cristina and Lisa live in Greater Dublin or Greater Columbus, Ohio. When Christina was in second grade (in the '90s), Tomie visited her school, and her classroom read BILL AND PETE GO DOWN THE NILE.

A couple of months ago (in 2009) Cristina left Ohio to pursue a Masters of Philosophy in Egyptology at Oxford University in the United Kingdom.

Lisa (Cristina's mother): I send this as a thanks for introducing her to the rich heritage of Egyptian history and exposing children of the world to things otherwise unknown, for without your book, it's doubtless she would have the love of all things Egyptian that she has today.

Tomie: I'm speechless. Thank you for your note.

Son of Fuffy

Fuffy's son, Thomas Abbe, has a website, too.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Fuffy Has a Website

My twin cousin Fuffy (from the books) has a website. Her formal name is Kathryn Abbe.

Bambolona Needs a Makeover

Quinn is in Mrs. Toczylowski's second grade class at St. Sabina School in Florissant, Missouri: Will you please give Bambolona a new hairdo?

Tomie: What do you suggest? Extensions? A dye job? Bob? Pixie? Beehive? Bouffant? The Farrah-do? A perm? The Rachel? The Mrs. Toczylowski?

Illustration from STREGA NONA'S HARVEST, published by G. P. Putnam's Sons, Copyright 2009 by Tomie dePaola.

Friday, November 27, 2009

HUGE Birthday Greetings

Mrs. Rice and Ms. Lantai and their second grade class sent a HUGE birthday card. They are teachers and students at Peter Kirk Elementary in Kirkland, Washington. (As always, you can double-click the photo to get a close-up view.)

A Cat, a Fish and Two Boys

Liz Feldsher's third grade class at Peter Kirk Elementary in Kirkland, Washington, sent letters and drawings. Max drew the top panel, and Oliver drew the bottom panel.

Clowning Around

Hannah is 4 1/2 years old. She lives in Jefferson City, Missouri. One of her favorite books is THE CLOWN OF GOD. She drew this picture for her father's birthday.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Why, Why, Why?

Students in Merrill Brown's library class at Cleveland Court Elementary in Lakeland, Florida, have questions about "CHARLIE NEEDS A CLOAK."

Jacob: Why doesn't Charlie have a dog to help with the sheep?
Tomie: Charlie doesn't own a dog because he doesn't have much money.

Alexis: Why is the mouse taking stuff?
Tomie: The mouse is mischievous, and very strong.

Peyton: Why does the story begin before the title page?
Tomie: I thought it was a clever way to organize the book.

Popcorn, Shirley Temple and Grammy

The second grade classes at the Geneva School in Winter Park, Florida, did lots of activities related to my books, including "a movie star day." The students ate my favorite food, popcorn, while they watched a Shirley Temple movie.

Tomie: I love Shirley Temple! I love popcorn! You attend a GREAT school! Did you know you can download my single, "On the Good Ship Lollipop," from iTunes? (Search "tomie depaola." The song is on the album, "Stranger Than Fiction.") I should have won a Grammy for it!

Happy Leaning Tower of Pisa!

Mrs. Farrell's first grade class at Ringwood School Primary Center in Ringwood, Illinois, made birthday cards for me. Several of the cards feature what appears to be the Leaning Tower of Pisa (shown here are cards by Michael B., left, and Hailey, right). I don't doubt that this makes sense.

Motherly Visit

Mother Olivia-Frances (left) and Mother Augusta (right) visited Tomie on Monday, November 9. It was the first time that someone from Tomie's beloved Abbey of Regina Laudis visited Tomie at his home. Tomie is hoping for additional visits from the Community.

Happy Thanksgiving!

From the book, MY FIRST THANKSGIVING, first published by G. P. Putnam's Sons. Copyright 1992 by Tomie dePaola.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Book Connections

Virginia Osborne's second grade class at Russell Elementary in Smyrna, Georgia, made personal connections to my books.

George: My favorite book is BIG ANTHONY, HIS STORY. That's my favorite book because it shows you that one little word can make you mess up. This reminds me of the time when my mom left me home with my sister. She said don't answer the phone, and all I heard was answer the phone.

Morgan: I can relate to Big Anthony. When my mom said not to go outside but I wasn't listening so I went. My mom said didn't I tell you not to go outside. I do not know. Go back inside. So I went back inside.

Brandon: I can make a connection to THE ART LESSON. It's when I colored on my mom's bed sheet with a Sharpie marker.

Katie: My favorite book is STREGA NONA, HER STORY. Because the goat got on top of her house I can relate to your story because one time my brother got on top of my house.

Kyle: My favorite book is STREGA NONA. I am helpful just like Strega Nona and I like spaghetti. If my mom and dad had a magic pasta pot my mom wouldn't have to make food for us and my dad wouldn't have to burn our food. So that would be great.

Writers at Work

Lily is in Mrs. Larsen's class at Faithful Savior Community School in Portland, Oregon. She captioned the drawing: Me and Tomie dePaola are writing a book.

Halloween Fashion Designer

Kenna is in Tina Baggio's second grade library class at Erin School in Hartford, Wisconsin: My favorite holiday is Halloween. I'm going to be the Wicked Witch of the West for Halloween.

Tomie: Are you going to be a fashion designer? This drawing looked like the costume you wanted to wear on Halloween.


A proof of the Japanese edition of BRAVA, STREGA NONA! was received today for Tomie's approval. Tomie approved!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Rurl? Urden? Suberbin?

Juliette is a second grader in Mrs. Yeager's class at Stone Ranch Elementary in San Diego: Do you live in Rurl, Urden or Suberbin? If you don't have a pet will you get one? You probly need a pal.

Tomie: I live in a small town of about 5000 people, so you might say I live in Rural/Urban. I do have a pal, an Airedale terrier, whose name is Bronte.

Jacklinh, the Character

Jacklinh in Miss Walter's class at St. John the Baptist School in Harrison, Ohio: My favorite book is STREGA NONA MEETS HER MATCH. I like it because we learn more about Strega Nona and we meet new people. I like most of your stories. I like the adventure in the stories. It is like I am one of the characters in the story.

Tomie: Thanks, Jacklinh!

Corey, Tomie and a UFO

Corey likes UFOs, and is a second grader in Linda Dowden's class at Power Ranch Elementary in Gilbert, Arizona.

Brotherly Love... Not!

Teddy in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin (artist of the barnyard drawing): Why was Buddy mean to you?

Tomie: My brother Buddy didn't like me.

Monday, November 23, 2009


We just got back from the Wound Healing Center at Concord (NH) Hospital. We have been going three times each week for the past month.

(In late June, there was a tophaceous eruption, caused by a gout flare-up, on the top of Tomie's left foot, and a large crater-like wound developed. After months of weekly, and then twice-weekly, visits to the foot doctor at Concord Hospital, Tomie was referred to the Wound Center in September for more intensive treatment.)

As of this morning, the wound has healed well enough that the doctor "paroled," to use the doctor's word, Tomie. That is, going forward Tomie needs to have his wound examined on a weekly basis, and the dressing no longer needs to be changed twice each day, but instead the dressing can be changed once every other day.

It does seems as if our lives no longer need to revolve around the wound.

Just in the nick of time as they now will revolve around "Tomie's Christmas."

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Illustration from FOUR SCARY STORIES, by Tony Johnston, illustrated by Tomie dePaola. Copyright 1978, published by G. P. Putnam's Sons.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Happy Bithday!

Students in Mrs. Mondul's second grade class at Cypress Springs Elementary in Orlando, Florida sent birthday cards. Here is Joey's card. The note inside read:
"You are a great author and a great illistrater. I have read a lot of your books in class. Your pictures are great like I said. When I grow up I might want to be an author like you! You are awesome!"

Tomie: Thanks for the terrific bithday card. It's really terrific like I said.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Instructions on How to Turn 26!

The second grade students in Mrs. May-Stein's library class at Community Day School in Pittsburgh wrote magic spells in the spirit of Strega Nona's.

Here is Dylan's magic spell "To Make People Turn 26."

Ingredients: Bananas, Popcorn and Girl Scouts.

You say,
"Fat guy, old guy, fancy drum, too,
Ice cream cake,
Turn me 26 years old."


Tomie: I've got bananas and popcorn. But, I need to find some Girl Scouts. Then, I'll say the spell, and "Poof," I will no longer be 75. I'll be 26!

Mr. February

The 2010 Family Reading Partnership calendar came in today's mail. The illustration from THE BABY SISTER in which Tomie is imagining Aunt Nell reading to him is "February" in the calendar. The illustrations are also used as banners. The banners are placed on buildings in Ithaca, New York.

Good friend Jesse Joshua Watson has an illustration in the calendar, in addition to Aliki, Elisa Kleven and others.

(Jesse created a wonderful portrait of me for the site...
(Click "Programs," Click "Read to Me Banners and Calendars.")

Not One of My Best Years

Luke M. is a student at St. Jude the Apostle Catholic School in Atlanta, and he likes 26 FAIRMOUNT AVENUE: I also agree with you about kindergarten. It was not one of my best years. I didn't like it when we had to take a nap because I found it to be a waste of time. One of my teachers was very strict and not very nice. This is not the school I go to now. But the other teacher was insanely nice and she loves children.

Tomie: I hope you're having better years.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

"Mr. Carle, I presume?"

Last Sunday, the Carle Museum held two "Pancakes for Breakfast" breakfasts in the cafe. Tomie mingled amongst the tables to greet everyone.

When he approached one table of two children, a woman and a man, the woman said to Tomie, "Mr. Carle, I presume?" Tomie explained that he was not Eric Carle, and that he was Tomie dePaola. I wanted the woman to pose with Tomie for a photograph, for this note, but she was too embarrassed by her mistake.

Later that morning, a little boy said to Tomie, "I know who you are. You're Eric Carle." Tomie said, "No, I'm not." The little boy said, "Yes, you are. I saw the movie when you draw a dog."

Tomie maintains that you need to grow a beard, and try to look like Eric Carle before the Carle Museum will show your artwork.

Now that I think of it, has anyone seen Tomie dePaola, Eric Carle, Santa Claus and Henri Matisse together in the same place at the same time?

Dr. Strega Nona

The second graders in Mrs. Bashaw's class at Britton Elementary in Hilliard, Ohio imagined what Strega Nona would say or do to to help Tomie recover from hand surgery.

Strega Nona's Advice for Recovering From Surgery:
Take some deep breaths.
Stay calm.
Lay down in bed and rest your hand.
Don't do anything to hurt yourself.
Mix herbs, like mint and rosemary, in water. Then, drink it.
Mix milk and water. Then take a drink.
Make three wishes and blow three kisses.
Blow out three candles and wish for a speedy recovery.
Strega Nona would make a special potion and rub it on your wrist.

Real or Imagined?

Mrs. Bower's second grade class at Schurz School in Watertown, Wisconsin wrote a big letter with a couple of questions.

Q: How many books have you written so far?
A: I've illustrated 242 books, and I've written the stories for 121 of those books. Do you have all of my books?

Q: We just read OLIVER BUTTON IS A SISSY. We were wondering if you wrote this story about something that happened to you when you were young?
A: The story is loosely based on incidents from my life.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Olden Times

Fourth graders in Susan Page and Susan Turi's class at Montgomery Elementary in Montgomery, New York wrote.

Kali: What was it like being a kid back then?
Tomie: We didn't have McDonald's, or Burger King, or Disney World, or cell phones, or iPods, or Miley Cyrus, or the Jonas Brothers. Can you imagine?!

Ethan: How many Strega Nona books did you make?
Tomie: STREGA NONA'S HARVEST is the newest and the tenth.

Tomie: No

Ethan: How many books have you sold?
Tomie: Over fifteen million.

Watch Out for Slick Sisters!

Evie Albert's third grade class at the Fox Chase Academics Plus School in Philadelphia wrote letters.

Camara: I heard that your favorite color is white and so is mine. You know I have a very slick sister who once put butter on the stairs and I slipped. The next night she put whipped cream on my face in my sleep and it was funny. Maybe we will meet sometime.

Tomie: Can you guarantee that your slick sister won't be with you?


Mrs. Skipper's class at Britton Elementary in Hilliard, Ohio like the Bill and Pete books. "We are wondering in the book, BILL AND PETE GO DOWN THE NILE, what does WC mean on the bathroom door?"

Tomie: Excellent question! WC stands for Water Closet. Water Closet was the original name for a room with a toilet. My house has four water closets although three of them could correctly be called bathrooms as three of them have toilets AND showers.

Going, Going... Almost Gone!

"Drawings From the Heart: Tomie dePaola Turns 75" closes November 1, 2009. Here's a photograph, from July, of Tomie and Barbara Elleman at the entrance to the show. Barbara curated the show (and wrote TOMIE DEPAOLA, HIS ART & HIS STORIES, published in 1999).

125 West Bay Road
Amherst, MA 01002

Wassup Up, Doc?

Yesterday was one doctor's visit after another. First, Tomie met with the hematologist. The doctor decided to increase the medication dosage to combat Tomie's anemia in an effort to avoid the need for another blood transfusion at some future time.

Next was a visit to the Wound Healing Center at Concord Hospital for the third ultrasound MIST treatment. Tomie will have more MIST treatments next week. I believe the goal is to prepare the wound for a skin graft of manufactured skin.

The last doctor's visit was a follow-up appointment with the hand surgeon. The doctor will check in again with Tomie in two months, but for now, the doctor is satisfied. He's cautioned Tomie to frequently rest his hand while working. If I, Tomie's blog blogger, had a vote, I would vote against future autographings as I would rather Tomie saved his hand for writing stories and creating artwork.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

"Red Carpet," 75th Birthday Party #3, Photo #1

Bern and Peter Collins have been friends for decades, literally. This third 75th birthday party was held at the Carle Museum on Friday, October 16, and hosted by Barbara and Don Elleman. Each partygoer was asked to tell a special "Tomie memory." Peter is a founding partner at the law firm in Burlington, Vermont that Tomie uses. Bern is one of Tomie's hat/cap makers. She made the cap Tomie is wearing.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Award for the "Educator Who Traveled the Farthest" Goes to...

Left to Right:
Jill Crutfield, Tomie, Barbara Elleman
Jill Crutfield is a K-5 art teacher at Wrens Elementary in Wrens, Georgia. Barbara Elleman wrote TOMIE DEPAOLA, HIS ART & HIS STORIES, and curated "Drawings From the Heart: Tomie dePaola Turns 75" at the Carle Museum.

Jill attended Educators' Night at the Museum on Thursday, October 15, during which Barbara and Tomie had a "conversation" about his artwork and books.

R. Michelson Galleries, Photo #1

Elizabeth Bird is a children's librarian at "Children's Center at 42nd Street" of the New York Public Library system. She also blogs for SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL. She can be read at: Click "Blogs" in the upper right, and then "A Fuse #8 Production." Elizabeth and Tomie were photographed at a birthday party for Tomie and reception for Tomie's show of artwork at the R. Michelson Galleries in Northampton, Massachusetts on Saturday evening, October 17.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Holy Best Sellers Lists, Strega Nona!

STREGA NONA'S HARVEST celebrated this past Sunday a month of Sundays on the NEW YORK TIMES best sellers list. To the gardens, Big Anthony!

75th Birthday Party #1, Photo #3

Margaret Frith was Tomie's editor for over forty years.

75th Birthday Party #2, Photo #9

Annie Ballin is the former children's librarian in New London, an artist, and the executive director of the New London Area Center for the Arts (

From the Penguin Publisher's Office: The Screening Room

Here is a Penguin Storytime Special in the "Screening Room" at the "Publisher's Office."

Spotlight on Tomie dePaola

We Are Better Than This

Several days ago four teenage boys allegedly burglarized a rural New Hampshire home, and allegedly killed the mother and severely injured the daughter who were at home asleep. Their weapons were a machete and a knife. Hours later the boys lived as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened in their lives.

Although this is just one horrific "crime" that occurs each day/hour/minute/second throughout the world, someone in New Hampshire was motivated by this New Hampshire crime to create a website...

It's a lovely site, and you might want to visit it to post a comment and "light a candle" for the husband/father, daughter... and our world.

We ARE better than this, aren't we?

Can He Really Be REPLACED?

Last year Tomie was asked to be the "expert" judge on a Food Network cake challenge. The challenge was to take place in Denver, and the cakes were to be based on nursery rhymes. Although it would have been great publicity for TOMIE DEPAOLA'S MOTHER GOOSE (he could have "worn" the book on a neck chain), we couldn't find a way to fit the event into Tomie's schedule.

But, we've always wondered who was chosen to be the REPLACEMENT "expert" judge. Tomie saw the episode last night, and the "expert" judge was Rosemary Wells.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Need a Gnu?

Are you missing just one more thing to complete your interior house design or your yard? That one item could be a gnu - Tomie's gnu (named Rita GnuBook)! The Gnu Gala Auction will be Sunday, October 11th. Bid Early and Often!

75th Birthday Party #1, Photo #2

Susan Petersen Kennedy is President of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

I've Been in the Business a Very Long Time

Here's a first proof of the front jacket of the 25th anniversary edition of TOMIE DEPAOLA'S MOTHER GOOSE. We just heard that Putnam is considering publishing a 20th anniversary edition of TOMIE DEPAOLA'S BOOK OF BIBLE STORIES. Both anniversary editions would be published Fall 2010.

Q & A with Tomie

Monday, October 5, 2009

In Today's Mail

(The sky is actually blue, and the color of THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS type is silver.) Oxford University Press, England, has issued a "refreshed" edition of their paperback of THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS. Every few years OUP redesigns the cover and some interior pages.

75th Birthday Party #1, Photo #1

Liz and David Shanks, and the Penguin Young Readers Group hosted a 75th birthday party for Tomie, and a launch party for STREGA NONA'S HARVEST at Valbella Restaurant in the Meatpacking District in New York City on September 10, 2009. Liz is a huge fan of Tomie and his work, and David is CEO of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

75th Birthday Party #2, Photo #8

Left to Right:
Susan Galligan, Shari Keenan, Jon Keenan/Tomie, Tom Galligan
Jon Keenan is a professor in the Fine and Performing Arts Department at Colby-Sawyer College in New London, NH. (Tomie is a collector of Jon's pottery.) Tom Galligan is the president of Colby-Sawyer College.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Out with the Old

SHH! WE'RE WRITING THE CONSTITUTION, written by Jean Fritz, illustrated by Tomie, was published in 1987. Puffin Books is publishing a new edition of the book with a cover redesign by David Small, and interior art by Tomie.

Should Tomie be offended?

David Small has created cover redesigns for several Jean Fritz books.

Many years ago, Tomie was asked to create a cover redesign for GEORGE WASHINGTON'S BREAKFAST, written by Jean Fritz, originally illustrated by Paul Galdone. The interior art is still Paul Galdone's, but the cover art is now Tomie's (that is, until David Small creates new cover art). I remember Tomie was uncomfortable making new art for the BREAKFAST cover.

Ah well, if it's good for sales...

Tomie (Hearts) Perennial Hibiscus Flowers

A Winning Tale

I just noticed these words about STREGA NONA'S HARVEST from PUBLISHERS WEEKLY: DePaola's bighearted witch returns in a winning tale about generosity and cooperation... Without an ounce of moralizing, dePaola demonstrates the benefits of sharing (not to mention eating locally).

Saturday, October 3, 2009


CHRISTMAS REMEMBERED is now in paperback from Puffin Books!

Publisher's note: In this enchanting Christmas memoir, critically acclaimed artist/author Tomie dePaola shares his love of the season in fifteen vivid memories spanning six decades...

There's a Bear on the Loose!

We haven't seen the bear, but we're rather certain that a bear has been visiting the corn field and Tomie's yard. The proof is in the form of "droppings," if you know what I mean. I was tempted to make this a visual post... I have spent a bit of time this week looking online at "droppings" and asking friends about "droppings." Scintillating conversation.

Those of us who work in and walk through Tomie's yard are now hyperaware of our surroundings, including the tops of trees.

Cast Off

The cast came off of the right hand/wrist/arm yesterday afternoon. The hand surgeon is confident that Tomie will fully recover from carpal tunnel surgery. He cautioned Tomie to rest his hand when he is drawing, painting and writing. I think the days of long autographings may necessarily be over. A follow-up appointment is scheduled for three weeks.

On Wednesday, Tomie's red blood cell count was checked, and it was satisfactory. The blood transfusion apparently made a difference. He'll meet with the hematologist later this month.

Later on Wednesday, Tomie had a physical and the doctor was content with the results.

A week ago from yesterday, Tomie met with nurses at the Wound Healing Center at Concord (NH) Hospital. They spent over an hour with him. It appears as if the change in dressing the foot wound, as suggested by the nurses, has helped. Tomie returns to the Wound Center on Monday.

The goal is to get Tomie healthy before winter begins. Last year he entered winter in a weakened condition, probably as the result of a grueling book tour, and got a serious form of pneumonia that lasted for months.

Although it was an awful choice to cancel the book tour, in retrospect, it was the best decision. I don't know how he could have survived the demands of book tour travel.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

75th Birthday Party #2, Photo #7

Stephanie and Rich Gross were at Tomie's September 15th party. Stephanie has cleaned (and painted, mended clothes, dog sat, housesat) for Tomie for decades. In fact, her vacuum is purring in the barn as I write.

ERANDI'S BRAIDS, Korean Translation