Friday, February 18, 2011


Jordan is in Mrs. Ranard's second grade class at Cloverdale Elementary in Cloverdale, Indiana: I have a sugestion for a new book it is caled Strega Nona gets a horse. It's about Big Anthony moving away and after a cuple of days Strega Nona gets lonley, and she gets a horse so they spend a hole bunch of time together. But then it just dosn't feel right with out Big Anthony, so Strega Nona try's to fing him but then she gets lost. So then the horse finds her and he leads her to Big Anthony. But Big Anthony gets on a plane so they have to get on a plane. So they met together and they lived hapley ever after!

Tomie: Did the horse also get on the plane? Thanks, Jordan, for the story idea!

Hat Book Reports

Jennifer Cairns was a student teacher at Mastricola Elementary in Merrimack, New Hampshire: When I learned that the students in the class would be creating a "hat book report," I was a little confused. As the information was further explained, I got very excited. I loved that the students could be creative assembling a hat that reflected the story that they read. I was even more excited when I learned that each student would be reading a book written by you. Just to name a few of the items that the hats included there was a red hat with a clock, a big pot of pasta, a chef's hat, a knight's hat with a dragon, a volcano, crayon boxes, and one which included long braids.

Tomie: What a clever idea!

Gung Hay Fat Choy

Mrs. Spangler's second grade class wrote letters on colorful stationery. They are at Little Britain Elementary in New Windsor, New York.

Payton: Was your sister a pain in the but because my sister is?
Tomie: My brother was a pain, if you know what I mean.

Mrs. Spangler: This group cannot get enough of your books. We are on WHAT A YEAR in your autobiographical series. You could hear a pin drop during reading time.
Tomie: I'm delighted to hear.

Payton: Gung Hay Fat Choy!!!
Tomie: Best wishes and congratulations. Have a prosperous and good year to you, too.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Hoping for an Early Spring

Becca is the artist. She is in Mrs. Geiswhite's third grade class at Selinsgrove Intermediate School in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania.

Popping Eyes

Adin is in Mrs. Geiswhite's third grade class at Selinsgrove Intermediate School in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania: My eyes popped out when I heard you wrote over 200 books! What's your goal for how many books you wrote?

Tomie: I hope your eyes popped back in. My goal is to write 362 books.

Little Angels/Big Star

Megan is in Mrs. Muldoon's first grade class at St. Peter School in Kirkwood, Missouri. Megan likes COUNTRY ANGEL CHRISTMAS: I really liked the part when the little angels brought the big star.


Marisleysis is a CAN-DO kid in Miss Fox's second grade class at De Anza Elementary in San Jacinto, California. She likes it when Tommy scares the girls while "wearing" chicken feet in the book TOM.

The Tickall Trick

Olivia is in Linda McWherter's second grade class at Grapevine Elementary in Grapevine, Texas: Hav you ever bin on the soopreman in six flags. I Olivia wint on the titin. I was not sckared of it. A trick to not be sckared of some ride just close your eas and it will only tickall you.

Tomie: I'll remember your good advice the next time I ride the Superman at Six Flags.

The Meaning of "Died"

Shaena is in Mrs. Nakamura's class at Wai'anae Elementary in Wai'anae, Hawaii: My favorite book is Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs. This is my favorite book because I like when you wrote what was died. Died means that Nana Upstairs won't be here anymore. I learned if your nana died you still can love her. This helps me to understand that my Nana will still be in the sky.

Tomie: NANA UPSTAIRS & NANA DOWNSTAIRS is my favorite book of my own books.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Have a Merry Tomie!

Denise Porcello's second grade class at Brookside Elementary in Dracut, Massachusetts, wrote.

Nicholas: Do you have hand sanitizer?
Tomie: No.

Jacob: I think your pop up books and normal books are fantastic. When I saw your name I thought it was a holiday. But no it's a person that has fantastic art and writeing. For your age I think your yung like 30 or 40. Because old people can not make pop up books. How old are you?
Tomie: I'm 76 years old. I like the idea of celebrating the holiday of Tomie. Merry Tomie! Happy Tomie!

All Guadalupe-d Up (3)

All Guadalupe-d Up (2)

All Guadalupe-d Up

Tomie dressed in Guadalupe-wear to attend the opening of "Mexican Art From Outsiders to Contemporary: Works From the Randy Hanson Collection" at Colby-Sawyer College.

Exhibition through March 1, 2011.
Gallery is open Monday - Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Marian Graves Mugar Art Gallery
Sawyer Center
Colby-Sawyer College
541 Main Street
New London, NH 03257

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Life of Tomie dePaola

Danielle is in Mrs. Maupai's second grade class at Birchwood School in Dover, New Jersey. She liked the "26 Fairmount Avenue" chapter book series so much that she created a poster: The Life of Tomie dePaola.

She illustrated the following highlights:
Tomie's parents build a new house.
Tomie gets a new baby sister.
He starts dance lessons.
Tomie gets his library card and learns to read.
Tomie dePaola gets his first diary.
Tomie's uncle joins the war.
Tomie's cousin is already in the war and dies.

Just Say NO

Mrs. Lampke's second grade class at the American School of Dubai in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, asked questions.

Sydney: Why do you pay your bills every Monday?
Tomie: My bookkeeper comes every Monday to pay my bills.

Tre: How did you come up with STREGA NONA? Is it based on your life? Or did you make it up?
Tomie: It is not based on my life. I made it up.

Josh: I just wanted to take a stab at saying hi.
Tomie: Hi.

Valentina: I say nooo to my teacher when she stops reading your books.
Tomie: Good for you!


Trey is in Laurie Mitchell's second grade class at St. Mark's Episcopal School in Houston, Texas.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Obsessed and Inspired

Annie lives in North Attleboro, Massachusetts.

"I have to say I am an enormous fan of yours. In second grade I was completely obsessed with your books and you were my transition from little-kid short books to long chapter books... Nothing at all surpasses my love for your Strega Nona books... Now, in 7th grade... I believe you really inspired me to write because your books were the first ones I truly loved, and that ended up introducing me to tons of other writing. I was going to write to you in 2nd grade, but now I'm glad I waited because I can share my almost-full story of being an aspiring writer and your influence on me."

Tomie: Wow! Thanks for writing!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Brendan is in Miss Riggs's second grade class at Savage Elementary in Belleville, Michigan.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Connor is in Leah Gregory's first grade class at Highlands School in Birmingham, Alabama.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Kylie is in Ms. Gosney's fourth grade class at Campbell Ridge Elementary in Alexandria, Kentucky. This is her self-portrait.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Run! Run! Run!

Mrs. Zabbo's third grade class at Taylor Elementary in Foxborough, Massachusetts, asked questions.

Kendall: I question why you never made a book about your Airdale, Bernet, because I write about my favorite moments with my pets. When you were a kid did you want to have a Airdale when you grew up?

Tomie: I have written a story about my dog Bronte, but it hasn't been scheduled for publication. When I was young, I didn't wish for an Airedale. My parents got an Airedale when I was in my 30s.

Amanda: Is living alone a big deal for you?

Tomie: No. But, I don't actually live alone. My dog Bronte lives with me.

James: Was Buddy annoying? Were you really in a tiny tot wedding?

Tomie: Yes, Buddy was annoying. Yes, I was in a tiny tot wedding.

Patrick: Are you going to make another book soon? If so, when it comes out I will run as fast as I can to the bookstore.

Tomie: My newest book was published a couple of weeks ago: LET THE WHOLE EARTH SING PRAISE. My next book will be published in the fall: STREGA NONA'S GIFT. Run! Run! Run!

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Taylor likes when Tommy scares the teacher with chicken feet on his hands in the book TOM. Taylor is in Becky Leousis's second grade media classes at Shawboro Elementary in Shawboro, North Carolina.

Friday, February 11, 2011


Sarai likes THE ART LESSON, and is in the kindergarten class at Calvert School in Baltimore, Maryland.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Too Many Genres!

Sophia is in fifth grade and lives in Grand Island, New York: I am writing a bioraphy, book revew (26 Fairmont Avenue), a genre description (what genre you write) and a biblography, wow! I chose you because I am full Italian and you are Italian too, and I fell in love with Strega Nona because I have a nonna and nonno too... So if you have any information on what genre you write in..."

Tomie: I write several different kinds of books.

I could probably add additional styles of writing to this list. I also have illustrated over 100 stories written by other people.

Since I've written and/or illustrated over 200 books, you've taken on a big project. Good luck!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Mike of New Jersey

Mike of South Hackensack, New Jersey, wrote a lovely letter.

"I guess the story begins in 1992 when I entered the first grade. I had just moved to a new town and it was my first day in a new school. My teacher, Mrs. Kipp, was reading us a book titled Strega Nona and was explaining to us how you were her favorite author. She had a picture of you in class and what seemed to be like hundreds of copies of your various stories. Little did I know at that time, but you would also become one of my favorite authors and artists as well. Your stories such as Strega Nona, The Art Lesson, and Strega Nona Meets Her Match still bring back fond memories of very happy times when I was a little boy. Seeing your illustrations simply brings a smile to my face and I am happy you have shared your gift with the world."

Juggling Away

Elizabeth is in Debi MacKay's first grade class at Providence Christian Academy in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Her favorite book, of mine, is THE CLOWN OF GOD.

Barn Blooming Clivia

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Strega Nona Airlines

The second grade students in Ms. Fuller and Mrs. Le's classes wrote letters with drawings and book ideas. Their school is Aoba-Japan International School in Tokyo.

Chan: I think you should write STREGA NONA GOES TO JAPAN.

Award Hardware

Ms. Rohla's second grade class at St. Helena Catholic School in Minneapolis asked a question.

Class: When you win an award for your stories or your illustrations, do you actually get a real medal?

Tomie: Sometimes. Some of the medals I've received are for the Regina Medal Award, the Caldecott Honor Award and the Newbery Honor Award. I'll receive a medal in June for the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award. I should wear the medals all at the same time!

Exhausted Bunny

Moffat was exhausted last night after helping dismantle two Christmas trees.

Moffat is visiting from Christy Howard's kindergarten class at Taylor Elementary in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Buried Under Paper Roses

Moffat helped take the paper roses off of the 12-foot Christmas tree.

Moffat is visiting from Christy Howard's kindergarten class at Taylor Elementary in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

February 7: Time to Take Down the Christmas Trees

Moffat and Tomie posed yesterday in front of the Marklin tree before Moffat helped take down the tree.

The Marklin tree is so named because the Tomie-designed ornaments were made by Marklin Candle Design.

Moffat is visiting from Christy Howard's kindergarten class at Taylor Elementary in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Visitors From the dePaola Birthplace

Kathie and Kevin Matsil visited this weekend. Kathie is the Children's Librarian at the Meriden Public Library in Tomie's hometown of Meriden, Connecticut.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Snow-throwing Bunny

While Tomie's Blog Blogger shoveled the most recent snowfall, Moffat used the snowthrower. Moffat is visiting from Christy Howard's kindergarten class at Taylor Elementary in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Thanks for the help, Moffat!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Egg Love

Ethan is in Lauren Upchurch's second grade media class at Carthage Elementary in Carthage, North Carolina: I like the book little grunt and the big egg. I like the book because it is phristoric and I liked dinosaurs when I was 4 or 5 and I love eggs.

Tomie: It's no wonder that you like LITTLE GRUNT AND THE BIG EGG.


Danny is in Mrs. McCready's second grade class at McVey Elementary in East Meadow, New York.

Danny: Tomie do you have any new books coming out? Can you please put me in it. Can you put my name as Brian? Please.

Tomie: Danny/Brian, I won't be able to put you in one of my books, but I can put you in this blog post.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Like Big Anthony, Like Dad

Ms. Fioravante's third grade class at PS 16, John Driscoll School, in Staten Island, New York, wrote letters.

John: Big Anthony reminds me of my dad. He never listens to his boss. He always gets screamed at all the time. He is hard headed and they both are tall just like brothers.

Alexandra: I like the book Strega Nona's Magic Lessons because Big Anthony dressed up like a layty and that made me laugh. I'm trying to pass 3rd grade.

Tomie: I hope you pass third grade.

The Book Lord!

Mrs. Kenny's second grade class at Crescent Elementary in Waldwick, New Jersey, wrote letters.

Nick: I think your like a book lord! A awsome one! You like have one hundred thousand books! You make your books really funny!

Planet Big Potato

Joshie is in Anne Dontonville and Heather Sullivan's third grade classes at Enfield Village School in Enfield, New Hampshire.

He wrote a new ending to JAMIE O'ROURKE AND THE BIG POTATO: The potato grew so big that it turned into a orbiting potato! People lived there. People got there by climbing the roots.

Beyond Common Sense

Erin Geiswhite's third grade class at Selinsgrove Area Intermediate School in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, wrote letters.

Rita: When you lived in Vermont, did temperatures really drop beyond common sense?

Tomie: Yes. They drop beyond common sense in New Hampshire, too. Right now, it's snowing beyond common sense!