Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Happy Flowers

Rebecca is the artist. She is in Mrs. James's first grade class at The Villages Charter School in The Villages, Florida. Rebecca and her classmates sent letters and drawings.

The More Birthday Cards, the Better

Molly is the artist. She is in Mrs. Jacobson's second grade class at Clay Lamberton School in Berlin, Wisconsin. Molly and her classmates sent birthday cards.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Go, Bobcats!

Linda Bernhard and her bilingual third grade class at Bagdad Elementary in Leander, Texas, wrote letters and sent along with the letters class photos, a Texas t-shirt and yummy Katy Sweet Creamy Original Pecans: [My students] are THE 24 MOST AWESOME, HIGH ACHIEVING, COOPERATIVE, AND WONDERFUL BOYS AND GIRLS.

Tomie: Thanks for the letters, photos and goodies. I ate a Katy Sweet Pecan even before I read your letters. Yum!

Nataniel: Our chear is porsut of exclents respectful responsuble and relaible, bobcats prr whith praide.

Tomie: Go, Bobcats!

Karen: We really want to meet you inmeatealy. Texas is a safe place to be. Theres Bluebonnets everywhere. Kids beheve in Texas. Theres great jobs for illostrators like you. The food in Texas is juicy and delicious and more better than the food of New Hamshire. There's good barbeque in Texas. In Texas everyone will respect you. We want to tell you that we have a increadable school.

Tomie: Thank you for the fantastic invitation to visit your school, but I won't be able to accept. And, hey! The food's pretty good in New Hampshire, too. I'm glad that you have an incredible school.


Bradi is in Resa Wiltse's second grade class at Meadow Lane Elementary in Lincoln, Nebraska: You are my favorite author! Seriously, I am not joking.

Tomie: Thanks. Seriously.

Those Days Way Way Way Back Then

Camille is in Ann Gelehrter's class at Laurel School in Shaker Heights, Ohio: Did you really bring chicken feet to school? Did they have nail polish in those days?

Tomie: Yes, I took chicken feet to school. Yes, there was nail polish in those days? Shocking, huh?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Dignified Future Teachers

Dr. Marie Johnson is Assistant Professor in the School of Education at Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, Tennessee: I teach the Children's Literature course here at Freed-Hardeman University that all students preparing to be elementary teachers are required to take. Every semester the students do author studies and my students are always excited when they learn more about you and your works. Today in class we decided to do more than learn about you. We decided to write you and thank you for all your books.

Tomie: Thank you for the great photographs and letters. It appears, from this photo, as if your future students will have a lot of fun learning with you.

Click on the photo to get a better look.

The Joe and Shirl Scholarship

The Joseph and Shirley Krosoczka Memorial Youth Scholarship Fund at the Worcester (Massachusetts) Art Museum goes live tomorrow, Monday, November 29, 2010. Bid on several valuable items INCLUDING a chance to be in a LUNCH LADY book, by Jarrett Krosoczka.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Tomie dePaola, Romance Writer

Laurie Baronfeld and Arwen Kuttner's second grade classes at Yeshivat Noam in Paramus, New Jersey, wrote letters.

Allie: My favorite of your books is THE BABY SISTER because when I was a littil girl I wanted a baby sister and insted my mom had twin boys but its better than nothing.

Eliana: I love BIG ANTHONY AND THE MAGIC RING. I like it because I love romantic stories and rings and magic.

Tomie: Thanks to all of the second graders at Yeshivat Noam for their great letters.

Thirty Books Per Year

Amanda is the artist. She is in Mrs. DiIanni's third grade class at Hazel Avenue School in West Orange, New Jersey.

Justin: I know you're Italian and Irish. I know you have more than one kitchen. I know you went to The White House and met the Clintons. It probably took 7-8 years to make 240 books.

Tomie: I've met Hillary Clinton twice, but I've never met President Clinton. As to the number of years it's taken to create all of my books, I've been working on books for nearly 50 years.

Big Anthony with Punk Hair?

Mrs. Toczylowski (Mrs. T.) and Mrs. Lake's second grade classes at St. Norbert School in Florissant, Missouri, wrote.

Nailah: My favorite color is red. Because red is the color of my heart. I just got a bunkbed and this morning I almost fell of the ladder. My life is good.

Mia and several other students: Why does Pancakes for Breakfast have no words?

Tomie: PANCAKES FOR BREAKFAST is a wordless picture book. You make up the story based on what you see in the illustrations.

Brandon: Can you make Big Anthony smaller?

Tomie: If he were smaller, he wouldn't be BIG Anthony.

Kourtney: Your books inspired me a lot. Do they inspire you Tomie? That would mean a lot to me.

Tomie: My books inspire me, too.

Nathan: Can you make Big Anthony smarter?

Tomie: Big Anthony's greatest problem is that he doesn't pay attention. He isn't dumb.

Osariemen: Can you give Big Anthony a new hair do?

Natalie: Please give Big Anthony a new haircut.

Tomie: What do you suggest?
A Pompadour?
A Mohawk?
Punk Hair?
A Faux Hawk?
A Shag Haircut?
The Burr?
The Caesar Cut?
A Bowl Cut?
The Fade?
An Ivy League?
High and Tight?
A Crew Cut?
A Flat Top?
A Layered Cut?

Separated at Birth

Natavia is the artist. She wrote, "My favorite character is Big Anthony because my dad is messy too. He is tall like him too." She captioned the drawing, "Dad and Big Anthony looks alike."

Natavia is in Abbey Meltzer (student teacher) and Phillis Dunbar's second grade class at Nettelhorst Elementary in Chicago.

The Incredible Shrinking Man

Blake is in Jennifer Hart's first grade class at Baird Elementary in Green Bay, Wisconsin: How tall or you?

Tomie: I was 5'9". I'm now 5'8". I'm noticing a trend, and I don't like it.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Knock, Knock

Daniela is the artist, and jokester. She is in Ms. Feldsher's third grade class at Peter Kirk Elementary in Kirkland, Washington.

Chase: Do you live in the city or the country?

Tomie: I live in a small town of about 4500 residents.

Tomie: My assistant Bob wears the Peter Kirk Elementary sweatshirt that Ms. Feldsher's class gave me several years ago. He wears it almost every day. People ask him, "Where is Peter Kirk Elementary?" Your school is famous!

Click on the drawing to get a closer look.

Spelling Dousint Count

Mrs. Clifford's second grade class at Warren School in Ashland, Massachusetts, wrote letters and ideas for Big Anthony stories.

Anna: Have you ever ben to Russia?

Tomie: No, I haven't.

Mary: You have amasing word choice in your wonderful books. And I love how you use capitals!! And I love your perids!!

Travis: Do you want to have a writeing contest? Who can write the neatist? (PS spelling dousint count.) Olso can you come to my school? I'll be your servent for the rest of your life.

Tomie: Travis, your penmanship is neater than mine. You win! Also, I can't visit your school, but thanks for inviting me.

Emma's idea for a Big Anthony story...
Pleas write a book cold Big Anthony go to coeg. it shod be adout him tring to stude how to be a magic man and he kepes messing up. So he got kicked out of colig. and then serches and serches for schools. one day a 2nd grate teacher came over to him. She could not see so she sed you should not be over thier. Go on the play groud.

Tomie: That's quite an idea, Emma. I think you should write more. You've already imagined a lot of the story.

Another Chapter Book?

Parker, Christopher and Lauren (left to right) are in Ginny Vale's class at Clyde Hill Elementary in Bellevue, Washington.

"Parker's favorite book in the series was HERE WE ALL ARE because you had a little baby sister and you didn't have to worry about the war yet.

"Christopher liked all The War Years books best because he liked reading about the war. He thought it was interesting to learn about how entire cities had drills, since now only schools and families have drills.

"Lauren's favorite was 26 FAIRMOUNT AVENUE because she liked reading about the hurricane. She thought that it was great to hear about the hurricane in your story. It felt like the hurricane was happening right where we were.

"Are you planning to write another book in this series, because we REALLY hope you are?"

Tomie: I probably will write one more book in the series. I haven't started writing it, but I've been thinking about it.

Bronte's Name

Mr. Perry's third grade class at Sunnymede Elementary in Fort Smith, Arkansas, wondered why I named my dog Bronte.

Tomie: Bronte is an Airedale terrier. The Airedale terrier is named after a valley in the Yorkshire in England. The Bronte family (children: Charlotte, Emily, Anne, Bramwell) lived in Yorkshire, England. There seems to be a possibility that the Bronte family had an Airedale terrier. That's why I named my dog Bronte. Cool name, huh?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Copyright 2002 by Tomie dePaola. From the book, WHAT A YEAR, published by G. P. Putnam's Sons.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Favorite Book in the Solar System

Marlen is in Ms. Kihm's second grade class at Greenwood Elementary in Denver: My favorite book of yours is Now One Foot, Now the Other. It's my favorit book in the solor system.

Tomie: There should be an award for that honor: Favorite Book in the Solar System.

Stan Offers Design Advice

Aaron Sungrov is a student in Mrs. Vietri's second grade class at A. P. Terhune School in Wayne, New Jersey. Tomie is holding Aaron's Flat Stanley.

Flat accompanied Tomie to Mauli McDonald's store Art of Nature in New London, New Hampshire, to discuss making a wreath using a wreath ring designed by Tomie. Flat had a lot of suggestions.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fancy That!

Ariel is in Mrs. Narsete's third grade class at Briarmeadow Charter School in Houston: I truly fancy your books. The characteristics are superior. A message has been spoken that you had a birthday. I hope you had a delightful birthday.

Tomie: Thank you for the eloquent letter. My birthday was indeed delightful.

I Am a Scholar

Katie Foley's class wrote:
We studied your books this week at school. We learned that you are a scholar because you practice, you are curious, and you never stop trying. We also learned that you are a tap dancer, singer, writer and artist.

We are the kindergarteners and first graders at The Academy School in San Diego, California. We love to go to the beach, we love to have food, and we love to ride our bikes.

Tomie: I rather like it that you think I'm a scholar.

Greetings From Thailand

Mrs. Jaime's third grade class at International Community School in Bangkok, Thailand, wrote: We have been reading your books. Our class enjoyed your books so much that we didn't want to stop reading them. Witch character is your favorite character to draw?

Tomie: Strega Nona is very easy to draw. I have been drawing her for such a long time. I might be able to draw her with my eyes closed!

Monday, November 22, 2010

"At Least It's Not Pasta!"

Miss Green's second grade class at Fisher Elementary in Frisco, Texas, wrote: We laughed when Big Anthony said, "At least it's not pasta," and we have even started saying it when things go wrong!

Copyright 2000 by Tomie dePaola. From the book, STREGA NONA TAKES A VACATION, published by G. P. Putnam's Sons.

A Strega Nona Celebration

Erin is the artist. She is in Miss B's second grade class at St. Mary Academy - Bay View in East Providence, Rhode Island.

Miss B's class read the "Strega Nona" books. They celebrated with a feast, and made hats and posters.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Molly Visits Tomie with Lauren and Roger

Lauren Nadler, Roger Burrows and Molly visited Tomie today. Lauren took Tomie's classes when he taught at New England College in Henniker, New Hampshire.

Lauren wrote, "He was the only redeeming part of my college academics. I wish I had gone to art school but I wouldn't have traded the two years I had with Tomie for any art school in the country."


Saturday, November 20, 2010


Ms. Ruby is a second grade teacher at St. Mary School in Griffith, Indiana: We just finished reading your book STREGA NONA'S HARVEST, and loved it! We thought it would be fun to write an ending to your story, and even more fun to share them with you!

Morgan is the artist. Click on the drawing to get a better look.

Karina's ending to STREGA NONA'S HARVEST:
Later that night Big Anthony put out more vegetables from his garden. In the morning Strega Nona went out to the village. When she walked out the front door, she found more vegetables at her door. She thought and thought, "How did the vegetables get there?" Then she walked in their back yard for a quick second and found a fence. She found the way through the fence door and she found Big Anthony in his garden. She was surprised to see Big Anthony in his garden picking vegetabels. Strega Nona went to the village and when it was time to go home, she called Big Anthony for dinner. After dinner she called Big Anthony to her room. She said, "I found your garden Big Anthony I am not mad. I knew you were just trying to show Bambolona because she said that she can make a beter garden than you. I am proud of you. Next time just tell me." When it was time to go to go to sleep she said, "Good night Big Anthony." That night Strega Nona saw Big Anthony put more vegetables at the front door.

Three Cheers for Classroom Put Ups!

Mrs. Lewis is a second grade teacher at Grapevine Elementary in Grapevine, Texas: OLIVER BUTTON IS A SISSY is so relevant with all the bullying that goes on these days. My class is working on using put ups, not put downs. That book led to a wonderful discussion on stereotypes and bullying.

Grant: Since Strega Nona and Big Anthony live in Calabria, I was wondering if Calabria is a real city in Italy.

Tomie: Calabria is a real REGION in Italy.

Ryan: My favorite book is TOM. I am so like Tommy - impatient, funny and scares everybody. I also like STREGA NONA. I'm like Big Anthony. Monkey business and drops the ball.

Tomie: You're like A LOT of the characters in my books.


Taylor is in Mrs. Schimke's third grade class at Arbury Hills School in Mokena, Illinois: Were do you get all your's I da's from. I get mine from every were I go.

Tomie: I gets ideas from most everywhere, too.

Max: Your illistrating is the best of the best. Your books are finaminal!

Tomie: Thank you!

Guillermo: Can you make a new story about robots? I will write some detals you can add if you write it. The planet is calld Cyberton. The main charicters are Jazz, Bumbullbee, Star Screm, and a king named Optimis Prime and fifty more. And one day aliens come and the king says "Go in to fire mode." And the aliens fire lasers and the robots fire humen missels. And the robots win and you should deticated to Guillermo. Now go ahead and write more detals if you are gona write it.

Tomie: You have such an active imagination that I think YOU should write the story. But, thanks for your faith in me.

Vikings v. Packers

Nolan is in Mrs. Vredeveld's second grade class at Randolph Elementary in Randolph, Wisconsin: My favorite book is Strega Nona. You were a genius on that one. My favorite football team is the Vikings.

Tomie: I didn't know you could live in Wisconsin and root for a team other than the Green Bay Packers.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Chapter Books?

Many of the second grade students in Pat Krapfl's class at Ed-Co Elementary in Colesburg, Iowa, asked if I wrote chapter books.

Tomie: The answer is YES!
The "26 Fairmount Avenue" books are:

Who IS Gertie Belle Rogers?

Mrs. Ewing's third grade class at Gertie Belle Rogers Elementary in Mitchell, South Dakota, wrote.

Tomie: I visited the Corn Palace in Mitchell many years ago.

Tomie: I'm curious. Who's Gertie Belle Rogers? What a GREAT name for a school!

You Are Special to Me

Karla Perez's second grade class at Fairmount Elementary in San Francisco sent cards and notes.

Evelin: Happy brethday i cante balive that you are that olde for a man.

Tomie: Believe!

Adriara: Tomie you are important for me because you are real and you do a lot of books for me and others.

Bella: You ar special to mi bicus you are ful ov Love.

Tomie: Thank you, Adriara and Bella, for your sweet words. You and your entire class are important to me!

Girlfriends and Freaky Books

Michele Boyum's second grade class at Fox Meadow Elementary in Scarsdale, New York, wrote.

Jordan: I love all of the books I've read. Bill and Pete Go Down the Nile is a little bit too freaky.

Tomie: Do you like freaky books?

Jonah: My favorite character is Sterga Nona. She never gets upset at Big Anthony whe he makes a mistake.

Tomie: Strega Nona is very patient. Is your mom or dad as patient as Strega Nona?

"Max your friend": How old were you when you knew that you would be an artist?

Tomie: Four years old.

Emily: 26 formea avanoo. I like the book becos when he was at the moovy theyter he yelld. I osoa like it becos the hill was geding so taoll his huwas got hiyer. Did he have a gerll frend, if he had one what was here name.

Tomie: He/I had a girlfriend in first and second grades. Her name was Jeannie Minor. By the time we were in third grade, we had drifted apart.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Order of Strega Nona

Nicholas drew Strega Nona. He is in Christine Kunsch's class at Clayton Huey Elementary in Center Moriches, New York.

Jackson: Can you tell me what order the Strea Nona books are in if you write back?

Tomie: Certainly.
BRAVA, STREGA NONA! pop-up book
STREGA NONA'S GIFT (coming Fall 2011)

Indiana Is in Pennsylvania?

Ryan is the artist. His favorite character is Big Anthony. He is in Mrs. Geary's first grade class at Ben Franklin Elementary in Indiana, Pennsylvania.

Mrs. Geary will be retiring at the end of this school year after 35 years of teaching first grade.

Tomie: Happy Retirement, Mrs. Geary!

Tomie: Indiana is in Pennsylvania?!


TOMIE DEPAOLA'S BOOK OF BIBLE STORIES is now available in a 20th Anniversary edition from G. P. Putnam's Sons.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Another Tomie!

Mrs. Foy's second grade class at Richboro Elementary in Richboro, Pennsylvania, wrote letters.

Tomie O'K.: My name is Tomie. I am 8 years old.

Tomie deP.: My name is Tomie. I am 76 years old.

Arnold Lobel

Many students in Angela Dagati's second grade class at Sequoyah Elementary in Macomb, Michigan, asked if I was still friends with Arnold Lobel.

Tomie: Arnold Lobel died many years ago. I do stay in touch with his former wife, Anita Lobel. Anita is wonderful!

Trial of the Century

Mary Lou Beverly is the Media Specialist at South Woods Elementary in Elkton, Florida: I teach a class of gifted students in grade 1 - 3. All of my students love your Strega Nona stories and recently, when studying the judicial system, we decided to create a courtroom trial and take Big Anthony to court for destruction of property in Calabria. We have studied the Calabria region of Italy and are very excited about our approaching trial.

Tomie: Poor Big Anthony. I hope he gets adequate representation. What a clever teaching idea!

Staying in a Book

Keury is in Susan Eichler's second grade class at Davis Elementary in Tampa, Florida: I am so proid for you because you chose to be a aother and a Iillastraer and that was a profect thing to do.

Gabriel: My favorite book is 26 Fare amont afano. I was reading it and reading until... I fell a sleep and I woke up and I read some more and I fellt like I was in the book and I got excited that I stayd in the book for a little bit more it was cool.

Tomie: Thank you, Keury and Gabriel, for the kind remarks.

The Bestest!

Torivio is in Ms. Bownds's second grade class at Folsom Elementary in Prosper, Texas: My fovorite book was Meet the barkers be cause I learned two lessends. To make freinds and not shout out.

Reese: Iv ben reding your books! How many years did you be a artis. Asam! You ben reding over 40 yers. Asam! You made 200 books. I love your titels they are asam!

Tomie: I've been an artist ALL of my life. Asam!

Riley is in Mrs. Bartlett's second grade class at Folsom Elementary: Will you write more books for us? Because you are the bestest writer ever. You are the bestest author too.

Tomie: No, no, YOU'RE the bestest! Asam!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Slightly Happy

Andrew is in Becky Reilly's second grade class at Wellington School in Belmont, Massachusetts: I like how you did your illustrations. You probly put a lot of effort into it. Also do you like cheese?

Tomie: I do like cheese. My favorite is Maytag Blue Cheese.

Katelyn: I villy!!! villy!!! villy!!! love your books.

Tomie: I villy love it that you villy love my books.

Dylan: Your books made me slightly happy.

Tomie: I would like my books to make you VERY happy.

A World Record!

Cevie is in Jana Ellingsworth's third grade class at Fifth Consolidated School in Dyersburg, Tennessee: I can't belive you wrote over 200 books! It's a world record.

Tomie: Really? A world record? Am I in the GUINNESS BOOK OF WORLD RECORDS?

From Reluctant to Excited Readers

Jana Ellingsworth is a third grade teacher at Fifth Consolidated School in Dyersburg, Tennessee: I conducted a reading survey among the students and found that several of my students were not interested in reading whatsoever. The most prevalent reason for this was because they believed reading was boring. That next week I made it my goal to try my best to instill in them a love of reading (or at least a strong like). I found topics the class as a whole was interested in and developed lessons around them. I also began an Author Study on Tomie dePaola. We spent two weeks studying your books and the students absolutely loved it! They would come in the door every day wanting to know which book we were going to read that day.

I am so proud of the attitude change towards reading that has transpired. All of my students now volunteer to read aloud in the classroom!

Tomie: Thanks for telling me. I'm delighted!

The Names Have Been Changed...

Caroline - not her real name - was puzzled by the title of the blog post for November 9, 2010: M.Z.S.G.C.A.F.M.S. I told Caroline - not her real name - to look at the second sentence of the post for clues.

She was also puzzled by Y.B.F.I.T.W. later in the post. I explained that readers of the "26 Fairmount Avenue" chapter books knew that Tomie signed his diary entries in the chapter books "Y.B.F.I.T.W., Tomie." Your Best Friend In The World, Tomie.

Knowledge is a good thing. K.I.A.G.T.

Illustration Copyright 1989 by Carolyn Croll. From the cover of the book, THE LITTLE SNOWGIRL, written and illustrated by Carolyn Croll, published by G. P. Putnam's Sons.

Barnes & Noble's Online Storytime

This morning Tomie recorded STREGA NONA for Barnes & Noble's Online Storytime. The recording should be posted in January, 2011.


The pan-and-scan videos, and narrations, are not archived. So, check the site once a month for a new story. Jan Brett's THE MITTEN is featured in November.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010



"In this small-format book, dePaola masterfully pairs simple words and resonant images... DePaola's narrative bids specific creatures and forces of nature to give praise, before issuing a cumulative call-out: 'Let everything in heaven and on earth bless and praise God.' The very largeness of the loose, hand-lettered text, which appears in all caps, amplifies the message, while the joy that emanates from the cheerful spreads confirms its value."

G. P. Putnam's Sons, Publication Date January 20, 2011

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Anya is the artist. She is in Mrs. Zuckerman's second grade class at Fox Meadow School in Scarsdale, New York.

Yurami: My class have bin studying you for olmost half of the time weav bin in school.

Tomie: What have you been doing during the other half of the time you've been in school?

Ithaca: I have a M.F.T.D.B.I.T.P.B. That's short for My Favorite Tomie DePaola Book Is The Popcorn Book.

Tomie: Thanks for the explanation. I never would have guessed! Y.B.F.I.T.W., Tomie.

EVEN in Dubai

Bryan is in Mrs. Doto's second grade class at Fox Meadow School in Scarsdale, New York: I love your books especially strega nona. I like strega nona because you can never guess what will happen next. So that makes it exciting and thats why I like strega nona but my favorite strega nona is strega nona takes a vacation. Its my favorite because it is wierd and it is wierd because big Anthony did not get in trouble Bambalona gets in trouble. So thats why strega nona takes a vacation is my favorite.

Tomie: Your reasoning is very clear.

Adam: The very first book I read, maybe 2 years ago when I lived in Dubai was "The Baby Sister."

Monday, November 8, 2010

Skeptics in Warren, Ohio

The second grade students at Lincoln K-8 School in Warren, Ohio, wrote. Bethany is the artist. She is in Mary Moyer's class.

Tomie: Bethany, is the girl on the far right your teacher? She has lovely long and curly hair.

Joseph and many of his classmates in Mrs. Pishotti's class asked the same question: Did you really have a dog named Tootsie?

Tomie: Yes.

Lexi and many of her classmates in Julie Massucci's class asked a similar question: Dear Tom, Did you really think the chicke was going to grow a tree?

Tomie: Is that so unbelievable? Yes, I believed my grandfather.

(In the book TOM, "Once Tom gave Tommy a chicken head to take home... 'If you plant it in the garden and don't disturb it for three weeks, you'll have a chicken bush.'")

Click on the drawing to get a better look.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Cordial and Outgoing

Andrea is in Paige Black's third grade class at Overholser Elementary in Bethany, Oklahoma: I think you would like to meet me. You are realy cordial. You pictures ar enchanting. You are a really good writer. I love your books. I heard your voice before you seem outgoing.

Tomie: I suppose you could say I'm cordial and outgoing.

Come One, Come All to the Tomie dePaola Fair!

Jane Hover and Mary Rice and the 1A children at Poly Prep in Brooklyn, New York: We are so excited about you that we have decided to host a Tomie dePaola Fair for 1A families and the second grade at Poly Prep! In class, each child will choose a favorite character from one of your books. During writing workshop, each child will take on a character's persona. On the day of the fair, each child will come to school dressed as their character, and sit at their booth encouraging parents, faculty and children to participate.

Jake: I want to be big anthony for the day.

Adam: I want to be Big Anthony for the day. I like him bekeos he olwas gets intnubul.

Zach: I rally want to dress up as cookie.

Natalie: I want to dress up as cookie.

Duke: I want to be little grunt.

Tomie: May I say that the Tomie dePaola Fair must have been THE BEST FAIR EVER?! What a great idea! Could there be more than one Big Anthony? Did Zach and Natalie want to be Cookie the cat from COOKIE'S WEEK, or did they want to dress up as cookies, such as, chocolate chip cookies?

How Old Do You Think I Am?

Adaliz is in Mrs. Chan-Gong's second grade class at PS 213Q in Bayside, New York: I'm Adaliz. How old are you?

Tomie: I am 76 years, and almost two months, old.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Picing Up Worms

Zoe is in Mrs. Tommolino's second grade class at Watson School in Rockville Centre, New York: What is your favorite color? Mine is dark blue, light blue, highlighted red and green. Have you ever piced up a worm before?

Tomie: You have a lot of favorite colors. My favorite color is white. And yes, I have picked up a worm although I haven't recently picked one up.

Tongue Tricks

Marissa is in Mrs. DeShong's second grade class at Nut Swamp School in Middletown, New Jersey: My family isn't the same like yours because my brother wanted a brother but he has me and my little sister.

Tomie: Your brother is very fortunate.

Rawan: I am seven years old and I can do unique things with my tongue. Only 20% in the world can do this trick.

Tomie: I wish you had sent a video of the trick. Your family must be very proud.

Just What the Doctor Ordered

Olivia is in Mrs. Ashby's second grade class at South Side Christian Elementary in Holland, Michigan: I was sick last week and my mom read one of your books and it made me feel better.

Tomie: Dr. Tomie is delighted.

A Big Fat Fanny

Gabrille (or Gabrielle as spelled in her note) is the artist. She is in Mrs. Berg's third grade class at Claywell Elementary in Tampa, Florida.

Tomie: I often say that because Strega Nona eats so much pasta, she has a big fat fanny. I think Gabrille (or Gabrielle) understood, and perfectly drew Strega Nona.

Logan: Have you met Zeek our little purple alien from the planet Zeekazoid?

Tomie: No. Little purple aliens don't usually travel to New Hampshire. I think it's the cold weather.

Artistick Visson

Mac is in Mrs. Forbrich's second grade class at Lake Seneca Elementary in Germantown, Maryland: Your life is so intresting! Drawing under the sheet and wall and the crayons! You have such an artistick visson! You are right a true artist dose not copy he or she draws their own picturs.

Tomie: Thanks, Mac.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Dumb Peanuts

Sammy is the artist. She is in Miss MacKinnon's first grade class at Redbird Elementary in Mesa, Arizona.

Esmeralda: Your stories are good for me. They have space.

Melina: The best stories is Strega Nona because Big Anthony is a dumb as a sack of peanuts.

The Tomie dePaola Horse Farm?

April drew the cover of THE POPCORN BOOK. She is in Mrs. DeSherlia's second grade class at Brussels Grade School in Brussels, Illinois.

Dakota: I have a favre for you to do for me ok. Will you come to Meppen ILL to buy my horses because to make room for are pone sins I hered that you like anmles. I want to now if my horses are in good kare so will you please do please.

Tomie: I'm sorry that I can't buy your horses, but I hope you find a good home for them.

Watermelon Backdrop

Left to Right, Adults: Kathy Simpson, Daphne Confar, Tomie
Left to Right, Boys: Ben, Fred

Kathy, Daphne, Ben and Fred visited a couple of weeks ago on a beautiful fall day. While the boys ran around Tomie's yard, the adults sat in the "Mercer Room" and talked.

If I Told You...

Mrs. Albritton's second grade class at All Saints' Episcopal School in Fort Worth, Texas, asked some questions.

Q: Which of the "Strega Nona" series is your favorite?
A: I don't have a favorite. (FYI, STREGA NONA'S GIFT will be published a year from now.)

Q: What made you think of the Strega Nona character?
A: Check out the posting at Tomie.com...

Q: Are there really Stregas in Italy?
A: Yes.

Q: Have you ever met one?
A: I can't tell you.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thanks for Thelling Me

Jason is in Mrs. Johnson, Mr. Gray or Mrs. Schuck's reading class at Ritchie Park Elementary in Rockville, Maryland: Hope you have a super past b-day! My school told me to thell you my favinte book! I like many of your books but two I really like are Tom and the art leson. How many books did you write? I am really wanting to talk more about that. But I have to say a fact about you! I lerned you write many storys about tings that happened to you! Am I rite?

Tomie: Yes, I often write about things that happened to me when I was younger. As to the number of books I've written, I've written over 100 stories for books.

Pasta Pot Songs

When Strega Nona wants pasta, she stands over the pasta pot and sings a song. When she wants the pasta pot to stop making pasta, she sings another song.

Ms. Epstein's third grade class at Walden School in Louisville, Kentucky, wrote new pasta pot songs.

Boil, boil, pasta pot
until I say stop, stop, stop.

Pasta, pasta in the bowl,
come out, come out where you belong.

Bubble up bath tub,

Pasta pot, pasta pot, bake some more,
yum, yum, yum, I'll eat it up,
hot, hot, hot, pasta pot.

Pasta pot, pasta pot, make pasta hot.
Pasta pot, pasta pot, make some pasta a lot, a lot, a lot.
Make it really yummy and stop when I say stop.
Make it so yummy it changes flavor in your mouth.

Tomie: If Strega Nona gets tired singing the same ol' pasta pot song, she can choose one of your songs!

Hard at Work, by Daniel

Ms. Potter is a second grade teacher at Liberty Magnet School in Springfield, Massachusetts: I have one boy Daniel who was extremely inspired by your artistic ability and perseverance. He has great talent and is now assured he too will be an illustrator. I have included one drawing that he made just for you. It is you working hard in your art studio.

Tomie: Great job, Daniel!

Ms. Potter: My favorite book is OLIVER BUTTON IS A SISSY. At a time when bullying is at its worst here in Western Massachusetts there is no better media for young children than a book with such a strong simple message.

Tomie: Thank you for your note. It's sad that bullying is so common. I recently heard that bullying is now being seen in kindergarten classes.

Click on the drawing to get a closer look.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Has Anyone Seen Tomie and Bill Together at the Same Time?

Left to Right: Bill (crocodile), Pete (bird, aka Bill's "toothbrush")

Maurice is in Ms. Potter's second grade class at Liberty Magnet School in Springfield, Massachusetts: Were you suposed to be the crockodile in Bill and Pete?

Star: Is Bill you in Bill and Pete?

Yanet: Is Bill in Bill and Pete you with a nother name?

Tomie: This is the first time I've been asked if I am Bill. No, I am not Bill. And, I have an electric toothbrush.

Copyright 1978 by Tomie dePaola. From the book, BILL AND PETE, published by G. P. Putnam's Sons.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Bill and Pete and the other little crocodiles in Bill's class would often say "OOOOOOO" in reaction to things their teacher, Ms. Ibis, told them. The crocodiles say "OOOOOOO" in this illustration as the Nile Queen goes by during their class trip down the Nile.

Mrs. Nordland's first grade students at Westmoor Elementary in Northbrook, Illinois, sent thank-you cards, and many of the notes mentioned how much they loved it when the crocodiles said "OOOOOOO."

Mrs. Nordland: Thank you again, Tomie dePaola, for being such a creative, inspiring, and engaging author.
Tomie: Aww, shucks. "OOOOOOO."

Copyright 1987 by Tomie dePaola. From the book, BILL AND PETE GO DOWN THE NILE, published by G. P. Putnam's Sons.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The ABCs of Tomie dePaola

Jessica Kovacs is a student teacher in Mrs. Duffy's second grade class at Thomas Paine Elementary in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. At the end of Ms. Kovacs's author study, the class created a Tomie dePaola ABC Book.

Adelma is the artist for "D is for Tomie dePaola": I learned Tomie's last name does not begin with a capital letter. Only the P is capitalized because that's the way he likes to write it.

A is for Big Anthony
B is for Meet the Barkers
C is for The Cloud Book
D is for Tomie dePaola
E is for William Everett
F is for Four Friends in Autumn
G is for Little Grunt and the Big Egg
H is for Helga's Dowry
I is for Inga
J is for Joey
K is for The Knight and the Dragon
L is for The Legend of the Bluebonnet
M is for Moffie
N is for Strega Nona
O is for Oliver
P is for Pancakes for Breakfast
Q is for The Quilt Story
R is for T-Rex Is Missing
S is for Oliver Button Is a Sissy
T is for Tony's Bread
U is for Unusual
(Calvin: Strega Nona is an unusual tale because it is based on the folk tale "The Porridge Pot." The character Strega Nona was created and porridge was changed to pasta.)
V is for The Vanishing Pumpkin
W is for One-Who-Dearly-Loved-Her-People
X is for eXample of a great author
Y is for New York Times
(People love the work of Tomie dePaola. THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW said that dePaola is a "great contemporary picture-book writer.")
Z is for The Carsick Zebra