Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Pierce Girls and Tomie

Tomie met the Pierce girls (Left to Right: Rachel, Ashley, Megan) at the 2011 Book Author Luncheon sponsored by the Greater Meriden (Connecticut) Branch of the American Association of University Women on Saturday, March 29, 2011. The Pierce family is from Indiana.


Tomie has discovered Old Time Candy. It's worth a visit.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

It's a Miracle!

It's not unusual for us to be asked for a 300 dpi photo. Tomie understands the request, but Tomie's Blog Blogger doesn't. It became an issue again today, so I googled "300 dpi," and discovered this blog entry.

I downloaded the free program, and my life was transformed.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Cat by Ian

Ian is the artist. Ian is in Mrs. Buzan and student teacher Rachel Roman's first grade class at Sugar Creek Elementary in New Palestine, Indiana.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Marta and Ralp Have a Website

Martha Andrea and Ralph Lapham have a website...

They once lived in the greater New London, New Hampshire, area. COUNTRY ANGEL CHRISTMAS is dedicated to them.

Martha has her own website...

Happy Easter!

Cover Illustration Copyright 1988 by Tomie dePaola. From the book, PETOOK: AN EASTER STORY, written by Caryll Houselander, published by Holiday House.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Chets Creek Elementary School Farmers

Mrs. Roberts and Miss Lewis's second grade class at Chets Creek Elementary in Jacksonville, Florida, wrote a letter with a lot of questions.

Q: Our school has a theme every year and this year we are farmers. We are wondering if the barn that you work in is located on a farm?
A: It was on a farm many years ago. The barn is now parallel to a street on one side and next to my house on the other side.

Q: Did you really call your grandmothers "Nana Upstairs" and "Nana Downstairs?"
A: I called my Irish grandmother Nana Downstairs and I called my Irish great-grandmother Nana Upstairs?

Q: What were their real names?
A: Mary Alice Downey was Nana Downstairs. Honorah O'Rourke Mock was Nana Upstairs. You can see their photographs in Barbara Elleman's book, TOMIE DEPAOLA, HIS ART & HIS STORIES.

Q: Did you really tie yourself in a chair like your Nana?
A: Yes.

Q: Do you have any siblings?
A: Joseph, Jr., Maureen and Judie.

Q: Is the Tommy in your stories always supposed to be you?
A: Yes.

Are Autobiographies True?

Mrs. Pearson's third grade class at Warrens Elementary in Warrens, Wisconsin, wrote letters.

Jenna: My teacher, Mrs. Pearson, has been reading the 26 Fairmont Avenue series to us. I like them a lot. I am suripised that your autobiographies are true. I felt like you were right in my classroom at Warrens Elementary in Wisconsin.

Tomie: Thank you, Jenna. Autobiographies, by definition, are true stories.

Many students: Is Buddy still mean to you?

Tomie: My brother and I never got along very well while he lived. He died many years ago.

Letters to Oliver Button

Mandy Carbajal's third grade class at Sir Winston Churchill Public School in Brampton, Ontario, Canada, read OLIVER BUTTON IS A SISSY, and wrote letters to Oliver.

Yehan: We know that bulling is a bad thing to do. You were such a good boy when the boys were bulling you. Because you didn't bully back. I know you tried your best. We know that the tree kinds of bulling are hiting, calling names, and leaving other out.

Tori: I fell so good about your book and the most part that help me in real life about how to dell with bolles and before I thoth that the book was bad but as thay thay say dot gog a book by its cover.

O.G.: When I red your story I did not understand why people called you a sissy. Being diffrent is a good thing not bad. I wonder why people keep calling you a sissy when you're so brave and confident and persaverent.

Sara: I like your book, and I like when you ignor the bully's. and I love your book. and you are a good studinte to Miss Leah. and you are so nice to Ms. Leah your dance teacher and she is nice to you to.

Spring Snow on April 23, 2011

A Tempting Invitation

Lauren Manting's second grade class at the International School in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, wrote.

Marcela: I want that you come to Honduras because is a very good. But is no snow in Honduras and you don't need a sweater.

Tomie: Since it's snowing RIGHT NOW in New London, New Hampshire, I wish I was in Honduras RIGHT NOW with no snow and without a sweater.

Friday, April 22, 2011

A Note From a Teacher

Sue Maloney is a second grade teacher at Mill Hill School in Southport, Connecticut: Since the start of our school I have been entertaining my children by reading many of your books. Your stories are so well crafted that I am able to teach an author study based on your books. I can't think of a better author to model story structure or to use as a springboard for teaching narrative writing. We also read your 26 Fairmount Avenue chapter books while we were studying Connecticut and communities and learned a lot about what things were like before television, the internet, etc. The themes that you write about in your books are so current and relevant for the children (and their teacher!).

Tomie: Thank you!

Happy Earth Day!

Cover Illustration Copyright 2011 by Tomie dePaola. From the book, LET THE WHOLE EARTH SING PRAISE, published by G. P. Putnam's Sons.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Funny Third Grade Class

Tony is in the third grade at Coe Elementary in Seattle: Since you make us laugh I have to make you laugh with some jokes.

Q: What type of bears go out in the rain?
A: Drizzly bears.

Q: What do you call Batman and Robin getting smashed?
A: Flatman and Ribon.

Q: Why didn't the two fours want dinner?
A: Because they already eight.

Q: Where did cows hang their paintings?
A: In the moo-seum.

Q: What is a vampire's favorite fruit?
A: Neckterine.

Q: Why did the cookie go to the doctor?
A: Because he was feeling crummy.

Q: Why is it so hot in a stadium after a football game?
A: Because all the fans have left.

Tomie: Ha! Ha! Ha!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Why? Why? Why?

Miss Houston's first grade class at Wellford Academy of Science & Technology in Wellford, South Carolina, asked questions.

Q: Why is Nana Upstairs Nana Downstairs your favorite book?

A: NANA UPSTAIRS & NANA DOWNSTAIRS is my favorite book of my own books. It was the first time I had written a story about my own life.

Q: We read that you love cats. Why did you get rid of them?

A: I developed allergies to cats.

Q: Are you going to write another book?

A: I'm always working on a new book project. STREGA NONA'S GIFT will be published in October. I'm now working on THE BIRDS OF BETHLEHEM for Fall, 2012.

Friday, April 15, 2011

From Joseph the Principal

Joseph is the principal of an elementary school in Connecticut: I feel compelled to write to you because your literature and stories has impacted my life and created a love of reading and learning... I can vividly remember my mother bringing myself and my siblings to the Meriden Public Library to hear you read your books... Growing up as a first generation Italian-American, it was great to read stories that reflected and represented my life, culture, experiences, and stories from my Nanna and Nonno. My fondest memories revolve around my mother reading STREGA NONA to me (I was equally as excited when I was able to read it to my mother and father)... Your literature was influential in my formative years and now I am a principal of an elementary school... I plan to work with my teachers and my own family using your books as the method to deliver my love of reading and the appreciation of family.

Tomie: Thank you for the lovely note.

Make Shore You Tell Us

Second graders from Sacred Heart School in Hanover, Pennsylvania, wrote letters.

Matt: What book are you working on?


Abigail: I love your book Oliver Button Is a Sissy. Did you really tap dance?

Tomie: Yes.

Connor: We have a ant farm. How old is your wife?

Tomie: I'm not married, and I don't have a wife.

Maggie: We are your biggest fans not lyeing. How old are you make shore you tell us.

Tomie: I am 76 years old.

Laura: Why do you righte your name with a lower cace d and a capable P?

Tomie: That's just how my name is spelled. I know a lot of people whose last names begin with a lowercase letter.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

In Defense of Picture Books


Ginny lives in Ilsandong-gu, South Korea: Your book is very interesting! I liked your book because I felt like I became an author myself. I made up the story. Please write us many interesting stories. Bye-bye.

Tomie: I'm glad that you enjoyed making up a story for PANCAKES FOR BREAKFAST. Bye-bye.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Shirley Temple Wannabe

Mrs. Waters's second grade class at West Nyack Elementary in West Nyack, New York, wrote letters with questions.

Christopher: Do you still like to tap dance and do you still want to be a movie star like Shirley Temple?

Tomie: I no longer tap dance, and I no longer hope to be a movie star like Shirley Temple.

Shane: Why in your book Stagestruck you call yourself Mopsy and in your chapter book Here We All Are you call yourself flopsy?

Tomie: I made a mistake.

Tomie's Number One! Tomie's Number One!

Nick is in Mrs. Wheeler's second grade class at Moses Y. Beach School in Wallingford, Connecticut: I wish they had a number #1 foam finger for you.

Tomie: THAT would be cool!

Uncle Charles and Viva

Jennifer Riscili's second grade class at Shady Side Academy Junior School in Pittsburgh sent letters full of questions.

Q: Did Uncle Charles ever marry his girlfriend, Viva?

A: Yes

Q: When did you first start writing 26 Fairmount Avenue?

A: I started thinking about it and writing it in 1997. It was published in 1999.

Q:Who is going to take over Tom and Nana's shop?

A: It is now closed.

Q: Who took over your dad's barbor shop?

A: It is now closed.

President Tomie

Peyton is the artist. He drew Tomie and his twin cousins. The twin cousins said "Never copy" and "Ya." Peyton is in Ms. DiFilippo's second grade class at Shady Grove Elementary in Glen Allen, Virginia.

Nikolas: Did you ever play with Shirley Temple?

Tomie: No. I wish I had played with her.

Liam: Your books are a "inspiration to my imagination."

Tomie: Thank you.

Aidan: Did you ever take a picture with Mae West?

Tomie: No. That would have been an awesome picture!

Quinn: Did you run for presedent?

Tomie: No. Would you vote for me if I ran for president?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Tomie Updated

We're updating fools at!

Click on the link below.

You can check on updates by clicking on "Tommy" and his NEW sign.

The American Library Association called a Great Web Site for Kids. Click on the Great Web Sites logo to learn about other ALA-designated Great Web Sites for Kids.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Author and Editor at Work

Tomie's editor, Nancy Paulsen, is here. They're working on the manuscript of Tomie's Fall 2012 book for Nancy Paulsen Books, THE BIRDS OF BETHLEHEM.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Kelly is in Mrs. Sweeney's fourth grade class at Village East Elementary in Aurora, Colorado.

Kelly: What part of your family is Italian? Do you know how to speak Italian? Are the people in your stories real?

Tomie: My father was Italian. I can speak some words in Italian, but I'm not fluent. The people in my autobiographical books are real. You can learn which books are autobiographical by looking at the answer to the question "Are some of your books true" on this website page...

Is It Rude to Ask a Woman Her Age?

Mrs. Drozd's first grade class at Henry B. Milnes School in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, wrote with questions: We would like to know how you came up with Strega Nona? How old is she? We believe Strega Nona loves and truly cares for Big Anthony even though he always gets into trouble.

Tomie: I also believe Strega Nona cares for Big Anthony. As to Strega Nona's age, she is ageless. You can learn more about how I created STREGA NONA by following this link...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Grown-up Words

Mrs. Walter's first grade class at PS 165, The Edith K. Bergtraum School, in Flushing, New York, wrote letters.

Alexander: Your books are fine but you need to write more grown-up words. Grown-up words are important you know? First graders know lots of grown-up words. Why are your grown-up words so grown-up? Can you you write more grown-up? All of your books are challenging.

Tomie: When I was a little boy we didn't know as many grown-up words as children know today. I wrote the "26 Fairmount Avenue" books using the words I knew as a child. You might want to try reading CHRISTMAS REMEMBERED. It has a lot of grown-up words in it.

I'm Only 76 Years Old!

Mrs. Papa's second grade class at Bellwood Attendance Center in Bellwood, Nebraska, wrote letters.

Sami: Do you have any grandchildren?

Tomie: I don't have any grandchildren or children.

Michael: I can't believe that your still writing books when your 77 years old!

Tomie: Hey, I'm only 76 years, 7 months old!

Strega Nona's Safari

Mira is the artist. She is in Miss Lane's Grade 2 "Lively Ladybugs" class at the International School of Tanganyika in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Sara: I am wondering if you've ever been to Africa. If not you can come to Africa for a safari and write a book called STREGA NONA'S SAFARI. It could be about Big Antony getting a job as a ranger and Strega Nona could visit him with Bambolona. Big Anthony could run into a lion and the lion starts chasing them, but Strega Nona has an idea to turn the lion into a mouse. Then they would all be safe.

Tomie: I've never been to Africa. Thanks for the story idea.

Monday, April 4, 2011

"Four score and seven years ago..."

Tomie just returned from recording his Laura Ingalls Wilder Award speech. He will present the speech in New Orleans in June at the American Library Association convention. Weston Woods records the Caldecott, Newbery and Wilder Awards speeches and gives them to the Caldecott/Newbery/Wilder dinner attendees, and makes them available for others.