Friday, May 29, 2009

"The hills are alive with the sound of music..."

This just in!

Tomie just called from New York City and BookExpo America where booksellers are meeting. Tomie was one of four featured speakers at the Children's Book and Author Breakfast this morning hosted by Julie Andrews Edwards.

A little background first...
Judy Collins was the Pratt Institute commencement speaker on May 18, 2009 at Radio City Music Hall. When Judy Collins got to the podium, she said she preferred to get "this" out of the way first. She sang one of her best known songs. (Judy Collins sang several more songs during her speech. We were treated to a mini-Judy Collins concert at Radio City Music Hall!)

So, this morning, after reaching the podium at the Breakfast, Tomie told the story about Judy Collins at the Pratt commencement, and then he said something similar about wanting to get "this" out of the way right now. He next started singing "The hills are alive with the sound of music..." Apparently the audience loved it, as did Julie Andrews Edwards.

He said he concluded his talk by singing "So long, farewell..."

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day

(From the front cover of FOR THE DURATION: THE WAR YEARS. Eighth book in the autobiographical chapter book series that began with 26 FAIRMOUNT AVENUE. On sale date of FOR THE DURATION is July 30, 2009.)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Big Nose and Big Fat Fanny = Strega Nona

The artist is Samantha in Ruth Coscia's second grade class at PS 30 in Staten Island, New York.

Tomie (Hearts) Tree Peonies

Team Tomie with Tomie

The quality of the photo isn't the best, but here is Tomie with some Penguin Young Readers Group friends Wednesday night in New York City in a "place of spirits."

Left to Right:
Tim Travaglini (Editorial), Susan Kochan (Editorial), Shauna Fay (Editorial), Tomie (Artist/Author), Farah Gehy (Subsidiary Rights)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

In Honor of Lillie and Patrick

Earlier today, Tomie attended a Bridal Shower Brunch in honor of Lillie Green and Patrick Collopy. Tomie met Lillie when she was the personal assistant to Dr. Susan Lynch, the great first lady of New Hampshire. Tomie became very fond of Lillie, and was delighted to celebrate with Lillie and Patrick and some of their friends.
Top Photo: Lillie and Patrick
Middle Photo: Dr. Susan Lynch
Bottom Photo: Julia Lynch and her father, John Lynch, the great governor of New Hampshire

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Ever Ready to Perform

Tomie is "in the lights" backstage at Radio City Music Hall after receiving an honorary degree at the Pratt Institute commencement.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Mr. Potato Head and Tomie

Click on the drawing by Cintya to get a closer look.

"Tomie's Blog" Blogger will be away from his blogging chair for several days. This will give you time to ponder the wisdom of Cintya.


Dalton, age 14, Niles, Ohio: I am a big fan! I love your book NANA UPSTAIRS & NANA DOWNSTAIRS. A few years ago, my grandparents were cleaning out the boxes in their basement and found a whole box of books. They gave me your book and I loved it immediately. But, in October 2006, my grandma passed away. Every single day after that happened for about three months, I read NANA UPSTAIRS & NANA DOWNSTAIRS. If I forgot to one day, I would read it twice the next day. It really is a great book. Thanks so much for writing it!

Tomie: Thanks so much for writing to me!

Congratulations, ILP!

Here are two photos of participants in the family literacy program called the Intergenerational Literacy Project (ILP) in Chelsea, Massachusetts. ILP partners with the Chelsea Public Schools and Boston University. ILP is in its twentieth year and works with immigrant families. ILP offers classes for parents to help them learn how to read and write in English and how to support their children's literacy development.

Barbara Krol-Sinclair, Director: We've read many of your books over the years, and they have been big hits with our learners.

Tomie: Congratulations on twenty years of such a valuable program, and all of your hard work, including the work of the families, teachers and tutors!

Grammar Queens Visit

Several months ago, and I mean "several months ago," Grammar Queens, Elizabeth (left) and Cynthia (right), had dinner with Tomie at Rockwell's at the (New London) Inn. "EARLY retired" schoolteacher Elizabeth wanted books autographed before she went to Italy to volunteer in an English/Italian program at an elementary school. STREGA NONA was a big hit with her Italian students.

Friday, May 15, 2009

You, Too, Can Have Beautiful Tulips

Several folks have asked from where we purchased the tulips that line the barn greenhouse.

Tall Sherbert Tulip Mixture (#5990 in the Fall 2008 catalog)

John Scheepers
Bantam, Connecticut

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Wildebeest Get-together

Tomie's gnu hanging with his gnu buds.

The Big Day Is Coming!

Yesterday Tomie received the 50-page script for his beloved Pratt Institute's 120th Annual Commencement at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on May 18, 2009. He couldn't be more excited.

Tomie, or shall I say Dr. Tomie, will be conferred an honorary degree of Doctor of Fine Arts. This will be Tomie's eighth honorary degree.

Singer Judy Collins will also receive an honorary degree, and give the commencement address. Tomie will be seated next to Judy Collins on the platform.

Sculptor Richard Serra will also receive an honorary degree.

Congratulations, Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr. dePaola! (the eighth to be added on Monday)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Summer Is Coming!

Logan is the artist. He is in Mrs. Sorenson's third grade class at Delano Elementary in Delano, Minnesota.

Who Knew?

Shane in Mary Marianetti's second grade class at Brookview School in Rochester, New York: For the past two weeks I've been reading thousands of your books, you know what I mean. One reason I'm awesomely happy that you're an author is you use describing words, also known as adjectives.

Celal: Another reason that I like your books is that you write million dollar words. In BONJOUR, MR. SATIE you wrote a million dollar word. It is fabulous french dinner.

Igor: I like your books because they have onomatopoeias.

Great Border Art

The artist is Austin who is in Miss Widrowicz's third grade class at BGM Elementary in Brooklyn, Iowa. (Click the drawing to get a better look.)

We Are SO Much Alike!

The artist is Nicole in Ms. Davis' second grade class at Oakbrook School in Wood Dale, Illinois: You are the best person I know. I love coloring too and writing. You like reading too just like me.

Tomie (Hearts) Dandelions

Snickers, Molasses Sponge Candy, or Caramels with Fleur de Sel

Second grade students in Miss Johnson and Mrs. Well's class at Amerman Elementary in Northville, Michigan searched for, and couldn't find, answers to the following questions.

Q: When you write do you use a computer, a typewriter, a pen, or a pencil?
A: I use a roller ball pen or a pencil.

Q: What color is your toothbrush?
A: White with light blue bristles.

Q: What is your favorite candy?
A: Snickers, from a grocery store, or molasses sponge candy, from a fancy candy store, or caramels with fleur de sel (salt), imported from France.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Where in the World Is Tomie's Wildebeest?

Henry is in Charlene Carson's second grade class at the Northville School in New Milford, Connecticut. Henry's Flat Nesy, the reading cow, visited the future site of Tomie's gnu. Tomie's gnu will be in front of Morgan Hill Bookstore in New London, New Hampshire during the months of June, July, August and September. The bookstore will be holding a contest this summer to name Tomie's gnu. (Click on the photo to get a better look at Nesy.)

Flat, the Gardener

The first grade students in the classes of Mrs. Judware, Mrs. Darling and Mrs. Carino's classes at Barringer Road Elementary, in Ilion, New York, sent Flat Stanley for a visit. What good fortune! This time of year, we need a lot of help in the yard and gardens. We put Flat to work. Here he is helping Barbara trim the dead leaves from the nearly 30 large pots of agapanthus. Thanks, Flattie!

Gallery Della-Piana, the Last Week

Exhibition of Artwork at
152R Main Street
Wenham, MA 01984
Exhibition runs April 4 through May 16, 2009.

Tomie (Hearts) Tulips

A Drawing of Young Tomie

Lily in Mrs. Shea's second grade class at Falls-Lenox Primary School in Olmsted Falls, Ohio is the artist.

Harrison in Mrs. Shea's class had a question: Do you like beer?

Tomie: Not so much.

Art From West Africa

The artist is eight-year-old Eilidh at the Banjul American Embassy School in Serrekunda, The Gambia, West Africa.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

"Tomie's Blog" Blogger will be away from his blogging post for several days. So, here's an early posting for "Happy Mother's Day!"

Monday, May 4, 2009

Stylish, and a Little Bit Fashion Forward

I'm not sure, but I think this may be me, according to Grace in Mrs. Lanoue's kindergarten class at Jefferson Primary School in Huntington, New York. It is a fashion statement to wear black lipstick when wearing black framed glasses.

Tomie (Hearts) Azaleas

Ladies Who Lunch, the last photograph

(Ladies, Left to Right:
Sandy Ketelhut DeGraff, Amy DeGraff, Billie Levy)

Last Tuesday, Tomie spoke to a group at the Town & County Club in West Hartford, Connecticut at the request of his friend Billie. Sandy, one of Tomie's classmates at Meriden High School, and Amy, Sandy's daughter-in-law, were among the Ladies Who Lunch. The audience was very receptive to Tomie's tales of childhood.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

A Home for Nanas

Kaitlynn in Mrs. Lanier's second grade class at Williams Township School in Whiteville, North Carolina drew Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs in their house.

Ladies Who Lunch, photograph #5

Johnny Papallo's daughters are Jan (left) and Carole (right). "Mr. Johnny Papallo" is featured in 26 FAIRMOUNT AVENUE as one of Tomie's father's friends who helped finish building the house at 26 Fairmount Avenue. Jan and Carole are members of the MidState Medical Center Auxiliary. Their sister was often a babysitter for the dePaola family.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Peaceful and Magical World of Books

Lisa in Mrs. Calkin's second grade class at Napavine Elementary in Napavine, Washington: When I write or read I feel like I just fall into a magical world where everything is peaceful. I could read forever. Books are so wonderful.

Tomie: I couldn't agree more.

Ladies Who Lunch, photograph #4

The Alphabet Garden of Cheshire, Connecticut handled the book sale at the MidState Medical Center Auxiliary Open Meeting in Meriden, Connecticut this past Monday. This is the second time the Alphabet Garden has helped us at an off-site (from their store) autographing. Thanks, Alphabet Garden!

A Second Grader Who Draws and Tells Jokes

Arizona is in Mrs. Brown's second grade class at North Elementary in Watertown, New York. She is both an artist and a comedian.

Arizona Q: Where do you leave your dog when you go shopping?
Arizona A: In a barking lot!

As to Arizona's drawing... the gal with the long hair at the top of the Earth... those long curls HAVE to be extensions!

Gallery Della-Piana, one more photograph from the exhibition

Exhibition of Artwork at
152R Main Street
Wenham, MA 01984
Exhibition runs April 4 through May 16, 2009.

Friday, May 1, 2009


The artist is Haley from Melissa Lopez's second grade class at Walker Butte Elementary in Queen Creek, Arizona.

Ladies Who Lunch, photograph #3

Kathie Matsil, Meriden (Connecticut) Public Library Children's Librarian, attended the MidState Medical Center Auxiliary Open Meeting this past Monday. We've known Kathie for years.

We Have a Winner!

Nancy Whitcher, a former art teacher in Tomie's hometown of Meriden, Connecticut, came to the studio today with her friend Mario Cavallo. Nancy brought with her Meriden high schools' seniors' portfolio submissions for the 2009 Tomie dePaola Art Scholarship so that Tomie could select the recipients.