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."