Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy Hannukah

It's lightly snowing in New London, New Hampshire. All of the electric candles in the windows are lit as are the trees, in the house and the yard. The menu for dinner is planned, and preparations will begin soon. It's beautiful inside and outside, and there are many reasons to be joyous and give thanks.

First and foremost is Tomie's health. After a busy fall of bookstore autographings and personal appearances, he became quite sick in early December. He's recovering very well, and I expect he'll be much stronger and healthier in 2012.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hannukah!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday, October 23, 2011

2012 Tomie dePaola Illustrator Award

The guidelines for the 2012 Tomie dePaola Illustrator Award from the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators are now posted online.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Blue Horse Auction

Tomie donated a new painting of a blue horse to the "Blue Horse Auction" to benefit the NEA Foundation. Tomie and the other artists were inspired by Eric Carle's new book, THE ARTIST WHO PAINTED A BLUE HORSE. You can bid on Tomie's painting for four more days. Additional artwork will be available after this first group of paintings has sold.
Search "blue horse auction."

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

STREGA NONA'S GIFT and the Krosoczka Family

STREGA NONA'S GIFT is dedicated to Gina and Jarrett Krosoczka, their daughter, Zoe, and their dog, Ralph. Jarrett wrote a note on his blog about the dedication.

Jarrett also suggested to Tomie that he should watch the following YouTube clip.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Publication of
Written and Illustrated by Tomie dePaola
Eleventh book featuring Italian grandma Strega Nona who was first introduced in the Caldecott Honor Award-winning STREGA NONA: AN ORIGINAL TALE.

Brief Presentation and Book Signing
4:00 - 5:30 p.m.
Event Location:
Shelburne Town Hall
5420 Shelburne Road
Shelburne, VT 05482
Store Phone: 802-985-3999

Brief Presentation and Book Signing
6:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Event Location:
Red River Theater
11 South Main Street
Concord, NH 03301
Store Phone: 603-224-0562

Brief Presentation and Book Signing
4:00 - 5:30 p.m.
12 Depot Square
Peterborough, NH 03458
Store Phone: 603-924-3543

Brief Presentation and Book Signing
4:30 - 6:00 p.m.
Event Location:
Nonantum Resort
95 Ocean Avenue
Kennebunkport, ME 04046
Store Phone: 207-967-6136

Brief Presentation and Book Signing
1:00 - 2:30 p.m.
89R Main Street
Andover, MA 01810
Store Phone: 978-475-0143

Brief Presentation and Book Signing
4:00 - 5:30 p.m.
52 State Street
Newburyport, MA 01950
Store Phone: 978-462-8615

Brief Presentation and Book Signing
7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Event Location:
Naperville Central High School
440 West Aurora Avenue
Naperville, IL 60540
Store Phone: 630-355-2665

Brief Presentation and Book Signing
5:00 - 6:30 p.m.
10976 North Port Washington Road
Mequon, WI 53092
Store Phone: 262-241-6220

Brief Presentation and Book Signing
6:30 - 8:00 p.m.
891 Grand Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105
Store Phone: 651-224-8320

Brief Presentation and Book Signing
4869 Main Street
Manchester Center, VT 05255
Store Phone: 802-362-2200

Book Signing
149 Port Road
Lower Village Kennebunk, ME 04043
Store Phone: 207-967-6136

Brief Presentation and Book Signing
4:30 - 6:00 p.m.
2879 Broadway
New York, NY 10025
Store Phone: 212-678-1654

Brief Presentation and Book Signing
6:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Princeton Marketfair
3535 US Route 1
Princeton, NJ 08540
Store Phone: 609-897-9250

Brief Presentation and Book Signing
4:00 - 5:30 p.m.
Mendham Village Shopping Center
84 East Main Street, Route 24
Mendham, NJ 07945
Store Phone: 973-543-4949

Brief Presentation and Book Signing
1:00 - 2:30 p.m.
Northvale Square Shopping Center
271 Livingston Street
Northvale, NJ 07647
Store Phone: 201-784-2665

Brief Presentation and Book Signing
4:00 - 5:30 p.m.
197 Rock Road
Glen Rock, NJ 07452
Store Phone: 201-670-6766

Brief Presentation and Book Signing
10:30 a.m. - Noon
4869 Main Street
Manchester Center, VT 05255
Store Phone: 802-362-2200

Presentation and Book Signing
10:15 - 10:45 a.m. Presentation
10:45 - 11:45 a.m. Book Signing
1:00 - 2:00 p.m. Book Signing
Rome Commons Building
Rome Hall, South Campus Complex
University of Connecticut
Storrs, CT 06269

Brief Presentation and Book Signing
11:00 a.m. - Noon
253 Main Street
New London, NH 03257
Store Phone: 603-526-5850

Brief Presentation and Book Signing
10:30 a.m. - Noon
291 Main Street
Norwich, VT 05055
Store Phone: 802-649-1114

Book Signing
1:00 - 2:30 p.m.
149 Port Road
Lower Village Kennebunk, ME 04043
Store Phone: 207-967-6136

Brief Presentation and Book Signing
1:00 - 2:00 p.m.
28 Riverside Drive
Contoocook, NH 03229
Store Phone: 603-746-5442

Presentation and Book Signing
11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
200 Lexington Road
Concord, MA 01742
Free by reservation only.
Museum Phone: 978-369-9763

Thursday, October 6, 2011

More National Book Festival Photos

Here are some photos from the National Book Festival that PUBLISHERS WEEKLY posted online.

National Book Festival #8

We had dinner with Sarah Dessen Friday night, September 23, at our hotel, after the National Book Festival Gala in the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress. Sarah had over 500 people meet her when she autographed the next day at the Festival.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

National Book Festival #7

Tom Lederer and Tomie.

Tom's father, Wolfgang Lederer, was Tomie's Master's Degree mentor at the California College of Arts and Crafts (now called California College of the Arts) in Oakland, California, in the late '60s. Tom was in Washington, DC, for a Peace Corps reunion. He was wandering down the National Mall, and by coincidence saw that Tomie was speaking at the National Book Festival on the Mall.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

National Book Festival #6

Tomie had an overflow crowd for his presentation at the National Book Festival. As he climbed the steps to the stage, the crowd cheered and yelled, and it energized Tomie. Here he is teaching the audience how to do an "Italian kiss." Click on the photo to see the audience reactions.

When we left the tent, on a golf cart, to go to the autographing area, some fans ran alongside the cart to get photographs of Tomie. Very funny.

The presentation will be posted on the Library of Congress website. We'll let you know when it's available to watch.

Monday, October 3, 2011

National Book Festival #5

Jarrett Krosoczka (left) and Matthew Reinhart (right) with Tomie.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Q & A with Mrs. Moyer's Class

Mrs. Moyer's second grade class at Stone Ranch Elementary in San Diego, California, wrote.

Almost everyone asked: Is Mrs. Bowers still alive?
Tomie: I don't know. My dancing school teacher, Miss Leah, is still alive. I saw her in July. She looks great!

Matthew: Do you know any baseball players?
Tomie: No

Jared: I think on a great book scale 1 - 10 your books are a 10!
Tomie: Thank you. I think on a great comment scale, 1 - 10, your comment is a 10!

Blue Eyes

This drawing was in a BIG Happy Birthday letter from Mrs. Coats's second grade class at Clay Lamberton Elementary in Berlin, Wisconsin.

The class asked a couple of questions:
Q: Are you going to be in Wisconsin?
A: I'm going to be autograping at Next Chapter Books in Mequon, Wisconsin, on October 25.

Q: Are you working on another pop-up book?
A: No, but I'm glad that you liked BRAVA, STREGA NONA.

National Book Festival #4

Tomie and William Joyce.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

National Book Festival #3

Marilyn Parr was Tomie's volunteer escort at the National Book Festival on Saturday, September 24. Marilyn was a huge help. Thanks, Marilyn!

Friday, September 30, 2011

National Book Festival #2

Jarrett Krosoczka (of "Lunch Lady" and PUNK FARM fame) took this photograph of Tomie's line at the National Book Festival autographing.

The good news was that Tomie had a long line of fans. Some of them had stood in line for several hours.

The bad news was that Tomie was scheduled from 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. for autographing. The Festival grounds closed at 5:30 p.m. so we were able to stay an extra thirty minutes. We had to limit autographs to one book per person, and no posed photographs. Everyone in line met Tomie, but it's frustrating when an autographing session becomes rushed.

We've been told that Barnes & Noble, the Festival bookseller, said Tomie's books were the only author's books to sell out. Again, it was good that all of the books sold. But, it was bad because some fans were VERY disappointed that there weren't books to buy.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

National Book Festival #1

Tomie and Julianne Moore met at the National Book Festival in Washington, DC, on Saturday, September 24. Julianne Moore's daughter loves "Strega Nona."

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Family Trees at the Concord Museum

Tomie is the Honorary Chair for the Concord Museum's "Family Trees: A Celebration of Children's Literature" in Concord, Massachusetts. Tomie will present a program and autograph books, 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., on Sunday, December 4, 2011.

The event is free by reservation only. Call 978-369-9763.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Love, Love, Love Burdick's!

Left to Right: Tomie, Christine Marklin, Marianna McGuffin, Martin Marklin

We went to Burdick's in Walpole, New Hampshire, last night to celebrate Tomie's birthday.

McGuff and Tomie have known each other for 54 years. They have lots of fond memories, including as actors on stage at the Weston Playhouse in Weston, Vermont.

Christine and Martin are dear friends, too. Martin is 50 years old today. Happy Birthday, Martin!

Click on the photo to see the luscious desserts.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tucson Sends Birthday Greetings

Ondine is in Ms. Down's second grade class at Manzanita School in Tucson, Arizona. The class sent a big birthday card and letter with self-portrait drawings.

"Happy Birthday, Tomie" Links

Happy 77th Birthday, Tomie!

Left to Right: Jeff and Ashley, Megan and Rachel in foreground

The Pierce family, minus Mom, is standing in Popcorn, Indiana, at the corner of Popcorn Road and Popcorn Church Road. The girls sang "Happy Birthday" to Bronte at their home on Tuesday morning. They are probably singing "Happy Birthday" to Tomie this morning.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Happy Birthday, Bronte!

The Pierce girls and family from Indiana sent Bronte a Big Bite All Natural Dog Biscuit for Bronte's seventh birthday on September 13th. Tomie is sniffing the biscuit and wondering, Anything for me? The girls each made cards for Bronte. The message in Ashley's card was: Paws down, you're the best!

Popcorn, Indiana

The Pierce girls and family from Indiana sent Popcorn, Indiana treats for Tomie's birthday. Bronte is sniffing the treats and wondering, Anything for me?

Friday, September 9, 2011

A Girl's Best Friend

Megan lives in Mason City, Illinois: You are the best friend a girl can ever have.

Tomie: I've heard that comment in the past. Thank you.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The dePaola Dollhouse Family

Kelsey lives in Columbus, Ohio.

"I've been a big fan of yours since I was little. I've always been captivated by your drawings, the colors, the faces, and all the little things. I'm 15 now, but when I was younger I used to sit and read PANCAKES FOR BREAKFAST and I'll never forget the phrase 'If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.' When I got my big wooden dollhouse for Christmas when I was eight, I named all of the family members after yours. The mom and dad were Joe and Flossie, the brother and sister were Buddy and Tomie (sorry you were a girl, but I was determined, and she was my favorite anyway) and the baby sister, Maureen. The house even came with another family, and the girl in that family was Jeannie. The book THINGS WILL NEVER BE THE SAME was the first chapter book that I ever fell in love with (FANTASTIC MR. FOX was next). That book made me want to have a diary and is one of the reasons why I still have one today."

Tomie: It's OK that Tomie was a girl since she was your favorite. I know a woman in Minnesota whose name is "Tomie." I hope Buddy and Tomie got along better in your dollhouse than they did at 26 Fairmount Avenue.


Suzanne lives in Louisville, Kentucky. The following part of her letter is about the audiobook edition of 26 FAIRMOUNT AVENUE.

"It was January. It was cold and gray. And I was going through a particularly difficult time in my life. There's no way to express what listening to that book on tape did for my mood, my mental health and my heart! Every morning we'd turn on the car CD player before even leaving the driveway, so anxious to hear your captivating stories and exuberant, laughter-filled voice. The book itself is wonderful, but to hear you read your own words to us in your own unique, completely joyful way was a special gift. I'll never forget those mornings - driving along on the way to school with my 4 and 6 year olds in the back seat, steaming coffee mug in one hand and silent tears streaming down my face from the difficulties of the night before. And then, suddenly, laughter bubbling to the surface and unexpectedly ending the tears and sadness, all because of you and your wonderful anecdotes. You are SUCH an amazing storyteller!"

Tomie: Thank you for the sweet words.

Bear "Sighting"

Last night a bear feasted in the corn field in Tomie's meadow, and later walked around the yard and left his "mark."

Monday, September 5, 2011


We went to the Weston Playhouse yesterday in Weston, Vermont, to see a world premiere performance of "Saint-Ex," a musical "about Antoine de Saint-Exupery's world, imagination and dreams." Tomie gave it a "thumbs up."

The Weston Playhouse building was impacted by Tropical Storm Irene so it was amazing that "Saint-Ex" could even be performed again.

It was strange to see in Vermont houses and roofs sitting on the side of brooks - brooks that were raging and destructive rivers during Irene. Some roads were a mess and many yards were full of dried mud.

Photographs of the damage caused by Irene flooding can be seen on the Weston Playhouse's Facebook page, and the BURLINGTON FREE PRESS website.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Good Night, Irene

We were mostly unaffected by Irene. Wind, lots of rain, and that's about it. The electricity was off for about four hours, but Tomie had a generator, and power. We were shocked to read and hear the next day about all of the destruction elsewhere. We had no idea.

The weather has been beautiful since Sunday. We can't imagine what others are facing as they pick up the pieces.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

ALA: #3

Dorothy Fitts, Head Librarian, at Lafayette County and Oxford Public Library in Oxford, Mississippi.

The Barbara Elleman Research Library Lecture

The Barbara Elleman Research Library Lecture is "a series featuring the country's preeminent scholars, book collectors, researchers, editors, authors, and illustrators in the field of children's literature" at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.

Patricia Lee Gauch will give the First Annual BERL Lecture.

Saturday, October 22, 2011
Lecture: The Picture Book as an Act of Mischief
"Celebrate the magic and mystery of the picture book as a key genre in literature for children." Free with Museum Admission.

Pre-Lecture Event
Friday, October 21, 2011
Creating a Picture Book: An Editor's Eye View
"Master Class with editor-writer Patricia Lee Gauch. Delve into how visual and textual elements work together to make a great picture book. Designed for students, teachers, and beginning illustrators. Registration is required. (18 years and up)"

(Barbara Elleman wrote TOMIE DEPAOLA, HIS ART & HIS STORIES.)

The Carle Honors Art Auction

"Our fourth annual art auction will feature original works of art donated by eleven of the industry's most celebrated artists. This year also offers the opportunity to bid on special 'experiences' with authors and artists - a personal meeting, specially personalized artwork or writings, or other once-in-a-lifetime gifts."

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Tomie dePaola Historical Museum Library and Bookstore

Emily and Nathan live in Portland, Connecticut.

"We so enjoyed your descriptions of 26 Fairmount Avenue that we decided to go visit it this week. We were very saddend and dissapointed to see that it had been abandonned and disrespected by its last owners. We would like to suggest that you buy your childhood house back again since it is now up for sale. I would suggest making it into a museum, library, bookstore or historical site."

Tomie: I was in Meriden, Connecticut, not long after receiving your letter and I drove by the house. It does look a bit sad. It was a great place to live when I was young. A lot of great memories came to me as I drove through the neighborhood. But, I don't think I'll buy the house.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Morgan Hill Bookstore, Photo #2

Rita and Bob Cricenti owned the Cricenti's Markets in New London and neighboring towns. They sold the markets a few years ago. When they drive near Paola in Italy, they think of Tomie.

Morgan Hill Bookstore, Photo #1

Cynthia Prince came to the autographing at Morgan Hill Bookstore in New London yesterday. She organized a reading program in the Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, public schools 30 years ago. She is still active in the program.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Meriden Public Library Celebration, July 23, Photo #12

Kathie and Kevin Matsil. Kathie is the Children's Librarian at the Tomie dePaola Children's Library at Meriden Public Library.

Meriden Public Library Celebration, July 23, Photo #11

Left to Right: Sue, Carol, Jeanne, Steve, Leah, Rhoda, Tomie

We went to Rhoda's house after the Meriden Public Library celebration. Sue is Carol's daughter. Carol was Tomie's grade school and high school dancing partner. Jeanne is Rhoda's friend. Steve is Leah's son. Miss Leah was Tomie and Carol's dancing school teacher. Rhoda helped Leah at the dancing school.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Meriden Public Library Posters #3

Meriden Public Library Posters #2

Meriden Public Library Posters #1

The Meriden Public Library created READ posters using staff members' children and pet. The framed posters hang outside the new Tomie dePaola Children's Library. What a clever idea for any library, school and classroom!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Meriden Public Library Celebration, July 23, Photo #10

Left to Right: Shelby Bobbi, Patrick Bobbi, Judie Bobbi, David Bobbi, Ellie dePaola

Judie is Tomie's sister. David is Judie's husband. Patrick is Judie and David's son. Shelby is Patrick's wife. Ellie is Judie and Tomie's niece.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Pasta and Songs

Lily lives in Agoura Hills, California.

"Me and my class and the other sencend grad classes had a pasta party. We sang On Top of Spaghetti and That's Amore. It was so so fun. I think Strega Nona is your best book."

Tomie: What a great party!

You're Never Too Old

Dan lives in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

"I sure would like to thank you for the book you wrote called, 'The Legend of Bluebonnet.' This was the first book that I ever read in my life. I should tell you that I am in my late sixties. I didn't get to learn to read when I was growing up, but I am learning now."

Tomie: I admire you.

Meriden Public Library Celebration, July 23, Photo #9

Left to Right: Peggy Marchetti, Karen Roesler, Ellen Anderson

Peggy and Ellen are Tomie's twin cousins. Karen is the Library Director of the Meriden Public Library.

Meriden Public Library Celebration, July 23, Photo #8

Bina Williams is a Youth Services Librarian at Bridgeport Public Library in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Twelve Hours

We made the annual trip to the Weston Playhouse with Peggy (left) and Connie (right) of Morgan Hill Bookstore. We started with lunch at Fat Franks in Bellows Falls, Vermont. Next was shopping at the Vermont Country Store in Rockingham, Vermont. We then saw "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" at the Weston Playhouse in Weston, Vermont. After laughing hard, we settled our minds by attending Vespers at the Weston Priory. We next filled our tummies with a wonderful meal at the Inn at Weston.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Meriden Public Library Celebration, July 23, Photo #7

Mickey Mariash from Mamaroneck Avenue School in Mamaroneck, New York.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Joe Pye Weed

Italian in the House

Anthony Manupelli visited yesterday to discuss a possible biopic/documentary about Tomie.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Meriden Public Library Celebration, July 23, Photo #6

Kiss the Cook! Kevin Matsil prepared a ton of food for the afternoon gathering at Kathie and Kevin's home.

Meriden Public Library Celebration, July 23, Photo #5

Kathie and Kevin Matsil hosted an afternoon gathering of Tomie's close friends and family prior to the evening gathering at the Meriden Public Library. Kathie is the children's librarian.

Left to Right: Kathie, Sue Keenan, Sherry Litwack, Tomie, Judie Bobbi, Ellie dePaola

Sue's mother is Carol, Tomie's childhood dancing partner. Sherry is a close friend. (She handles Tomie's artwork sales.) Judie is Tomie's youngest sister. Ellie is Tomie's niece, and Tomie's brother Buddy's (Joe's) daughter.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wilder Award Party, Photo #12

Christine and Martin Marklin came to the party to represent the wonderful Marketplace at Marklin Candle in Contoocook, New Hampshire.

Wilder Award Party, Photo #11

Bern and Peter Collins of South Burlington, Vermont.

Wilder Award Party, Photo #10

Jeanne Lamb of the New York Public Library, and Andrew Medlar of the Chicago Public Library.

The Happy Family

Left to Right: Anne Marie, Tomie, Brita

Brita is Tomie's Swedish "girlfriend," and Anne Marie is Brita's daughter.

Great Find

Stephanie has cleaned for Tomie for nearly 30 years. This spring and summer she has enjoyed finding flowers in the gardens for flower arrangements in the house. She found these flowers yesterday.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Wilder Award Party, Photo #9

Here are Susan and Tom Galligan with Tomie. Tom is president of Colby-Sawyer College in New London. He testified before Congress on the BP disaster regarding maritime law.

Wilder Award Party, Photo #8

Wilder Award Committee members, Martha V. Parravano and Andrew Medlar, are posing with Tomie and his Wilder Award medal. Martha is at THE HORN BOOK MAGAZINE and Andrew is at Chicago Public Library.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Wilder Award Party, Photo #7

When Tomie received the phone call in January from the Wilder Award Committee, he was having his annual holiday party. He was standing by the "bar" in the kitchen, and near the telephone when the phone rang.

When Tomie had his Wilder Award Party on July 31, he stood by the "bar" in the kitchen, and near the telephone waiting for a phone call about ANOTHER award.

But, the phone didn't ring.

Wilder Award Party, Photo #6

Left to Right: Lisa Fabiano, Tomie, Allison Pottern Hoch, Margaret Aldrich

Lisa, Allison and Margaret came from Wellesley Books in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

Wilder Award Party, Photo #5

Isabel Berg is from Book Ends in Winchester, Massachusetts.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Wilder Award Party, Photo #4

Wendy Kelso (left) and Madeline Braun (right) came to the party from Kennebooks in Kennebunk, Maine.

Wilder Award Party, Photo #3

Jessica Wood came from the Northshire Bookstore in Manchester Center, Vermont, to attend the party last week.