Thursday, January 22, 2009

If I Told You WHY They Were Here, I'd Have to Kill You

Jarrett Krosoczka and Jeanne Birdsall were just here to work with Tomie on Jarrett's "top secret project." What a drag! This means there are three things I can't yet reveal: Jarrett's project, and two unrelated tidbits of news and information. I'm going to burst!

There are three links for Jarrett in the right column: Jarrett J. Krosoczka, Jarrett "Tchaikovsky" Krosoczka Blog and Mr. Gina.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A New Day!

We hope President Obama will be wise.

(Illustration from THE SONG OF FRANCIS.)

Strega Nona Throughout the World!

This came in today's mail: STREGA NONA in Hebrew. Published by Clasikaletet in Israel.

Monday, January 19, 2009


We just received a copy of the new board book edition of JAMIE O'ROURKE AND THE BIG POTATO: AN IRISH FOLKTALE. This new edition has a 3-D cover and an abridged text (shorter than the original picture book edition). Adorable! Hats off to Grosset & Dunlap for repackaging some of Tomie's books! On Sale on Thursday, January 22, 2009.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Fireside Chats

Each day around 5:00 p.m., Tomie sits in his living room and plays with his dog while looking out into the yard. But, as 2008 neared the end, and his pneumonia became worse, he quit walking to the living room because it was becoming too exhausting to walk that far.

So, he began to sit in the old living room, now called the anteroom. He would sit in a red leather chair by the fireplace. But, the anteroom is a bit drafty during the winter because it's adjacent to the house greenhouse.

Tomie asked me to come with him to the house to play with his dog, and make a fire for him in the fireplace to cut the chill. The other day I referred to these daily moments as our "fireside chats." (The historical reference would be Franklin Roosevelt's Fireside Chats.)

White on White on White on White

Putnam Editorial sent Tomie some lilies last week. This is one vase of the lilies. The lilies have just begun to open, and they're beautiful.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Doctor Is In

The verdict: Mycoplasma Pneumonia. So, that's why Tomie still has a dry, nagging cough and is exhausted all of the time.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A Cookie a Day Medicine

Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart and their pop-up studio sent Tomie these Get Well sugar cookies from Eleni's in New York City. Tomie is improving by baby steps, and hopes to see his doctor again this week. Pneumonia has really knocked him out.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Treasured Photographs Be Gone! Elvis Is in the House!

Valerie Tarbell is a schoolteacher in Manchester, New Hampshire. She attended an autographing at Marklin Candle's new gift shop in Contoocook, New Hampshire, on a very snowy day on December 21st. Valerie wanted her photograph taken with Tomie. But, Valerie's camera was full and there wasn't any room for another photograph. Valerie is especially memorable because she said, "I'll delete anything!" That is, treasured photographs of family, friends and pets were toast. Valerie wanted a photograph with Tomie!

Thanks, Grandma!

Cecilia and Marikka from the art department at G. P. Putnam's Sons and Philomel sent Tomie chicken soup to help him recover from pneumonia. As he slurped it for lunch, Tomie said, "It tastes homemade."

Monday, January 5, 2009

Brita of Sweden

Brita, who lives in Sweden, is the mother of a friend who lives in town. She brought this pillow, as a gift for Tomie, to Tomie's Christmas party. She had embroidered it.

Brita has a blog in which she tells her life story through her embroidery. (She's a great gal as is her daughter, Anne Marie.)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Don't Try This at Home!

Many months ago, we saw Paula Deen prepare a burger in an unusual way. Although Tomie had shared the recipe with others, we wondered if we really had seen, or simply imagined, this episode. But yesterday, we saw the program again.

Burger meat, cheese and bacon in between two glazed donuts (serving as the bun).

She took a bite of the burger, including the glazed donuts, and seemed to enjoy it.

Pop Quiz #1

1. Who is Strega Nona's BIG bumbling helper?
2. What was the name of the little girl in THE LEGEND OF THE BLUEBONNET?
3. When Tomie was five, his family moved into a new home. What was the address of the new house?
4. Morgan has a twin sister. What is her name?
5. Tomie has an Airedale terrier named Bronte. But, he once had four dogs of the same breed: Madison, Morgan, Moffat and Markus. What was the breed?
6. What state does Tomie dePaola now live in?
7. What did Tommy see in the sky after his great-grandmother died?
8. What was the name of the 100th book that Tomie illustrated?
9. Tomie has two sisters. Name one of them.
10. Who is Bill the crocodile's best friend?
11. Why is the Bad Guy famous?
12. What is the name of Jamie O'Rourke's wife?
13. What name did Little Grunt choose for the baby dinosaur?

1. Big Anthony
2. She-Who-Is-Alone
3. 26 Fairmount Avenue
4. Moffat
5. Welsh terrier
6. New Hampshire
7. A falling star
9. Maureen or Judie
10. Pete, the "toothbrush" bird
11. He runs outside without wearing clothes.
12. Eileen
13. George

Are you as smart as retired (EARLY retired) schoolteacher Elizabeth Masucci who correctly answered all of the questions?

Thursday, January 1, 2009 Is New, Too!

The above illustration is the new Home Page for It was created, with permission, by website designers Porter and Marikka using elements from THE SONG OF FRANCIS.

The January Splash Page has been posted. Although I don't agree with the sentiment, "Let It Snow," it's an appropriate January Splash Page. The drawing was created by 8-year-old Marlo. Marlo's third grade teacher is Erin Keller. Thanks, Marlo and Erin!

The January calendar has also been posted at This calendar has a new calendar feature: Questions and Answers about Tomie's books. Will all of Tomie's self-proclaimed "biggest" fans be able to answer the questions?

(As I'm writing this post, Tomie is sort of watching - mostly sleeping - "Secrets of a Restaurant Chef," with host Anne Burrell, on the Food Network. So, in the background, I'm listening to Anne Burrell make odd grunting sounds and equally odd statements. It's very strange.)

Happy New Year!

May the birds sing in YOUR life in 2009!

Patient update: Tomie learned yesterday that his bronchical infection is actually pneumonia. Today, he takes the last of the antibiotics, so the doctor thinks he should begin to feel better. New Year's Eve was a very quiet evening for him.

Illustration from THE SONG OF FRANCIS. On Sale from G. P. Putnam's Sons on February 5, 2009.