Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tomie with Meg Cabot, Julie Andrews and Amy Krouse Rosenthal at BookExpo America, New York City, May 29, 2009

Meg Cabot, Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tomie were the Children's Book & Breakfast speakers. Julie Andrews was the host/hostess/moderator.


The artist is in Andrea Ladd's kindergarten Library and Technology class at Bridgewater-Hebron Village School in Bridgewater, New Hampshire.

Shout Out to Benjamin James Watson!

Shout out to Benjamin James Watson of the famous Watson children's books creating family! Benjamin just became an official "follower" of the blog.


Monday, June 29, 2009

Tomie (Hearts) Tiarellas

Emily, Tomie and the Pasta Pot

Emily is the artist. She's six years old and lives in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Flat at Work

Mrs. Cooper's second grade class at Buttonwillow School in Buttonwillow, California, sent Andrea's Flat Stanley for a visit. Tomie asked Flat to review the first proofs of MY MOTHER IS SO SMART (publication on March 18, 2010) that were received this afternoon. Flat gave the proofs a "thumbs up." Tomie said, "Thanks, Flat!"

Tomie (Hearts) Catmint

What Kind of Cake?

Mrs. Reynolds and Mr. Wall's second grade class at Grant Elementary in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, are persuasive.

Jose: You must come to our school. My teacher is a huge fan of yours and now so am I.

Leonardo: If you come, I will make you a cake.

Nathaniel: I'll let you stay at my house.

Romeo: We will pay for your plane ticket if you come.

Salvador: I will give you a lot of my drawings.

Diana (pronounced dee-ana): I will give you a car.

Mariana: I'll buy you a suit.

Sendy: I'll give you paper to draw for us.

Selena: I'll pay for you to stay at a hotel.

Katelyn: I'll buy you a paint set.

Tomie: Well, I DO need a new suit, and I would like a cake. But, I no longer visit schools as I once did. Although I'm only 39 years old, I feel as if I'm 74 years old, and school visits take more energy than I have. Thanks for asking, and offering such great rewards!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Origins of STREGA NONA

Mrs. Pevoteaux and her second grade class at Trailblazer Elementary in Colorado Springs, Colorado: In the video "A Visit with Tomie dePaola" you said that Strega Nona was an original character. We then found these two different book covers, one stating that STREGA NONA is an original tale and one stating that it is an old tale. Could you please clarify the origins of STREGA NONA for us?

Tomie: Gladly. Check out the posting at Tomie.com. (I asked the publisher to change the subtitle from "old" tale to "original" tale. People had misunderstood my use of "old" in the first editions of the book.)


Tomie (Hearts) Lady's Mantle

The Famous Scene From BILL AND PETE

Isaiah wrote, "Bill and Pete scared the bad guy." Isaiah is the artist, and is in Kathleen Morrison's first grade class at St. James School in Falls Church, Virginia.

Monday, June 22, 2009

"Mir. depowla" and Rainbow Girl

Kyra (top drawing) and Abigail (bottom drawing) are in Gail Ansheles's second grade computer and library classes at St. Maria Goretti School in Madison, Wisconsin.

Tomie (Hearts) Intensia Phlox and Butterfly Argyranthemum

Flipping Nuggets!

Miss Elmendorf's second grade class at Overlook Primary in Poughkeepsie, New York, were inspired to create their own Strega Nona story. STREGA NONA AND THE MAGIC CHEESE POT is set in Colmerica (the countries of Colombia and America mixed together). A new character was introduced: Bob the cowboy (see above). "Howdy, y'all!"

Strega Nona caused the problems in this story. She used Bob's magic cheese pot to make macaroni and cheese, but she wanted to take a nap, and forgot to blow the three kisses to make the magic cheese pot stop before lying down and falling asleep.

"Flipping nuggets!" the townspeople said as the macaroni and cheese filled the town.

Big Anthony and Bob the cowboy sang the magic song, and blew the three kisses to stop the pot. Strega Nona and the townspeople ate all of the macaroni and cheese.

Strega Nona then woke up and realized it had all been a dream.

Friday, June 19, 2009

4 Birds on 4 Watermelons

My painting, "4 Birds on 4 Watermelons," is the top painting.

The artist of the bottom drawing is Jonathan in Mrs. Ebert's second grade class at Clara Barton Elementary in Corona, California: "4 Birds on 4 Watermelons" was the funniest because they were on four watermelons, and what happens if the birds fall off the watermelons and they ate the watermelons?

Alexis: We read THUNDER CAKE by Patricia Polacco. She is my favorite illustrator.

Tomie: Too much information.

Tomie (Hearts) Baptisias

Art Hurts

As Tomie recovered from pneumonia this past winter, he worked hard to finish the artwork for the next autobiographical chapter book, FOR THE DURATION. The harder he worked on the small black-and-white line drawings, the more his writing and drawing hand (right hand) began to hurt.

After completing FOR THE DURATION, he began to work hard on the artwork for MY MOTHER IS SO SMART. His right hand remained in pain, and the pain began to affect his sleep.

After completing MY MOTHER IS SO SMART, he worked through the pain and created artwork for a print/poster that will be packaged with the 25th Anniversary edition of TOMIE DEPAOLA'S MOTHER GOOSE (publication in 2010).

Yesterday, he met with the hand surgeon who had performed carpal tunnel surgery on Tomie's right hand several years ago. There is swelling in the hand, and the doctor is prescribing alternative treatments (instead of surgery) for now.

Such are the joys of an artist, and someone who autographs a lot of books.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tomie (Hearts) Climbing Hydrangeas

Brita of Sweden

Brita is from Sweden, and is visiting her daughter, Anne Marie, for a few weeks. Anne Marie lives on top of a "hill" and has an extraordinary view.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Tomie with Peter Yarrow ("Peter, Paul and Mary"), BookExpo America, New York City, May 29, 2009

Mrs. Twinkle

The artist is Isabella in Mrs. Brown's second/third grade class at Woodsboro Elementary in Anaheim Hills, California. This is her character named Mrs. Twinkle.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Artist at Work

The artist is first grader Caleb in Class 1-101 at the David D. Porter School, PS 94Q, in Little Neck, New York.

Tomie (Hearts) Alliums

Dinner in New York City

The photo quality is unfortunate. Yet, here are, left to right: Cecilia Yung (Art Director, G. P. Putnam's Sons and Philomel Books), Jesse Joshua Watson (artist/author), Connie Appel (co-owner, Morgan Hill Bookstore), Tomie, Peggy Holliday (co-owner, Morgan Hill Bookstore) and Brian Gerrity (artist/author).

They met for dinner at the Mercer Hotel in New York City on Saturday, May 30, during BookExpo America.


Love and First Graders at Lycee Francais de New York

The artist is first grader Emilie at the Lycee Francais de New York in New York City.

First grader Raphaelle: I am in love with you. I love you so much that I dream about you at night.

Tomie: That's a fan!


MY FIRST MOTHER GOOSE went on sale today. It's a board book edition of twelve rhymes from TOMIE DEPAOLA'S MOTHER GOOSE. A 3-D effect brings the cover artwork to life. We're loving Grosset & Dunlap's repackaging of some of Tomie's books.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tomie (Hearts) Fragrant Kiwi Vine

Blame It on the Jugglers!

Ron Herman's second grade class at Chestnut Ridge School in Rochester, New York, have ideas for more Strega Nona books.

Anthony: Big Anthony and Strega Nona go salsa dancing.

Tomie: Have you been watching "Dancing with the Stars?"

Abby: I have an idea for a new one. It's called STREGA NONA GOES TO A SLEEPOVER. Strega Nona goes to Strega Amelia's house for a sleepover. Bambolona gets the flu. Strega Nona tells Strega Amelia that Bambolona is sick. Strega Amelia goes to Strega Nona's house to take care of Bambolona. Strega Amelia tells Big Anthony to go into town to buy chicken noodle soup. But Big Anthony sees jugglers and gets distracted. He forgets and then buys vegetable soup.

Tomie: Oh no! NOT vegetable soup! Those darn jugglers!

Is Your Mother Smart?

Tomie shipped the completed artwork for MY MOTHER IS SO SMART (Putnam, March 18, 2010) to his publisher this past Monday. Today, he opened a packet of letters from Rita Lenes's second grade class at Carriage Crest Elementary in Renton, Washington, and many of the students wrote to explain why their mothers were smart, too.

Sydney: Yes, my mother is smart. She helps organize the furniture to where it is going.

Celeste: My mom is smart because she can add big numbers.

Alex: My mother is smart because she knows how to out smart me. Ideas for another book: My dad is smart.

Allison: My mom is smart because she brain storms a lot and she reads a lot of books, does math and that's how she got so smart.

Ben: My mom is smart because she doesn't buy food cans that are damaged.

Victor: My mom is smart because she helps me with my homework.

Jolie: My mother is smart because I have hard fraction problems in homework and she makes it easy to do.

Sabica: My mom is smart because she always cooks and helps me with other stuff.

Kenan: My mom is smart because she knows when people are hurt.

Randy: Mr. Tomie, my mother is smart because she buys food that I want. I don't have to tell her.

Irene: My mother is smart because she knows what happens next. AMAZING I say!

Connor: My mom is special because she has me and three other kids.

Alexandra: My mother is very smart. She is beautiful, too.

Ahron: My mom is smart because she is a teacher.

Chloe: My mom is smart because she can help me with all my homework.

Colin: My mom is smart because she knows when the bus is gone.

Taylor: My mother is smart because she knows all the countries she's teaching me.

Kierra: My mother is smart. Very, very smart. She can help my fourth grade brother on fifth grade math and she knows most things about cooking. Well, she... let's put it this way: She knows a lot about cooking. She is a great cook! She also helps me make stuff in the shop and she helps me make stuff out of fabric.

Tomie (Hearts) Shasta Daisies

The Old Maid

Kayla in Raquel Cadena-Munoz's second grade class at Mint Canyon Community School in Canyon Country, California: Does your helper Bob sleep at your house?

Tomie: No. Bob sleeps at his house.

Eslie: An old maid burned me.

Tomie: I imagine you're talking about a piece of popcorn that didn't pop.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Umbrella Flying

Students in Sara Rosenthal's second grade class at Hillel Day School of Metropolitan Detroit in Farmington Hills, Michigan, had similar questions about 26 FAIRMOUNT AVENUE.

Thea: Was that little boy flying with an umbrella?

Yael: Was the boy really flying with the umbrella?

Jonah: Did the kid that you saw really fly down the stairs?

Tomie: Really. Yes, yes, and YES.

Shoulder Pads Are Back!

The artist is Harper, a student in Mrs. Murphy's kindergarten at H. Olive Day School in Norfolk, Massachusetts.

Tomie (Hearts) Oriental Poppies

A Field Trip to New Hampshire

The brothers of Weston Priory visited Tomie at his home this past Thursday. Tomie and the brothers then formed a caravan, and drove to Contoocook, New Hampshire, to see Christine and Martin Marklin's "Marklin Candle Design" factory and shop, and to meet their four children. (Click on the photo to get a better view.)


Monday, June 1, 2009

Tomie with Julie Andrews Edwards in the "Green Room," BookExpo America, New York City, May 29, 2009

Favorites From Childhood

Tomie was asked what he liked to read as a child. Here is how he answered.

HOMER PRICE, by Robert McCloskey
Greek and Roman legends
Funny comic books, such as, "Little Lulu," "The Pie-face Prince of Pretzelburg," "Nancy" and "Fairy Tales on Parade."
"Tish" detective series