Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Craftiest Kindergarten Class in America!

Mrs. Sue Meier's kindergarten class at South Elementary in Ithaca, Michigan, celebrated an Old Time Christmas in their classroom. They made quilt blocks, a covered wagon, Christmas stockings and hand-dipped candles. They sent me a card, a quilt block, a stocking, two hand-dipped candles, and photographs of their projects.

Coman Hill's Class 2R

Miss Rowell's second grade class at Coman Hill Elementary in Armonk, New York, asked questions after reading the "26 Fairmount Avenue" series, including the most recent, FOR THE DURATION.

Class: Are you planning to write more books in the "26 Fairmount Avenue" series?
Tomie: Yes. I don't know when the next book will be published. It probably will be the last in the series.

Class: When are you going to write about Judie?
Tomie: Soon.

Class: Was Buddy ever nice to you again after the diary incident? (The children were really upset with Buddy! You can't imagine the uproar that happened when we read Chapter 13 of FOR THE DURATION!!)
Tomie: No.

Class: What happened to Uncle Charles? Was he safe during the war? (The children are concerned that he may have gotten hurt or died like Blackie.)
Tomie: He was safe. He received a medical discharge in 1944.

Class: Did you ever change your mind and write in a journal or diary again or did you decide to become a writer because you had so many stories in your head?
Tomie: I never again wrote in a journal or diary. When I got much older, I became an illustrator for books. I did have a lot of stories in my head, and that helped when I started writing stories for my books.

Class: How did you decorate your Christmas tree when you were a kid? Did you create ornaments?
Tomie: We did not create ornaments. We had a lot of special family ornaments. My father loved icicles. You can read about that in CHRISTMAS REMEMBERED.

Class: What happened to Miss Leah?
Tomie: Miss Leah is alive and well, and living in Connecticut. I am in touch with her.

Class: Did you get Miss Bailey for 3rd grade?
Tomie: Yes, but she was my third grade teacher for only half of the year. She got married halfway through the school year, and at that time, women could not be married and teach in the state of Connecticut. So, we got a new teacher after Miss Bailey left.

Miss Rowell: I just finished a week of parent/teacher conferences. Your name came up over and over again. The parents kept sharing how your stories have inspired their young children to read. I thought, "Flossie would be so proud!"
Tomie: Thanks for telling me!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tomie (Hearts) Topricin

Tomie is featured in the Topricin Winter 2011 Newsletter.
In the drop-down menu under Educational Resources, click on Newsletter.

Download the Winter 2011 Newsletter. Tomie is featured on Page 3.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Kim Comai's second grade students at Russell Elementary in Smyrna, Georgia, wrote letters.

Ricky: I red the book BILL AND PETE. I like the book because the man was naked at the end. Theis reminds me wen my bruthr was takeing a bath.

DeAndre: I liked BILL AND PETE because Bill don't no how to spell his name. When I was 2 I don't no how to spell my.

Sanai: I liked the book BILL AND PETE because Pete is a toothbrush and brieds are cool. This book reminds me of when I needed my new toothbrush.

William: I liked your book BILL AND PETE. It was awesome! I liked your book because it tells the seacret of friendship!

Always Remember...

Cydney is the artist. She is in Mrs. Rorro's second grade class at Hamilton Elementary in Glen Rock, New Jersey. Click on the drawing to get a closer look at the tap dancing troupe.

Olivia: Always remember to never stop drawing and tap dancing.

Tomie: Words to live by.

Most Popular Table Award

Dawn Bronson is a first grade teacher at Palos East Elementary in Palos Heights, Illinois: It's the beginning of a new year and my first grade class has finally decided to take down the bulletin board we created in honor of your birthday on September 15th.

Tomie: Why did you take down the bulletin board?

Dawn Bronson: I have round tables in my classroom with four students seated at each one. These tables have illustrations from favorite books in the center of them. The most popular table to sit at in the room is the Strega Nona table.

Tomie: It's a month of awards! First, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award. Now, the Most Popular Table Award. I'm humbled.

One-Take Tomie

Gerry Putnam of CedarHouse Sound and Mastering, near New London, recorded Tomie reading STREGA NONA yesterday. The recording will be used for a new CD and book package from Simon & Schuster.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Shoulder Pads Are Back!

Juan is the artist. He is in Peggy McFadden's third grade class at Hancock Elementary in Houston.

Happy Publication Day!

LET THE WHOLE EARTH SING PRAISE is available for sale today!

KIRKUS Starred Review:
"DePaola takes two pieces of the Old Testament (the Benedicite and Psalm 148) and transmutes them into a simple song for all Creation... Each double-page spread calls on the world to bless and praise God... The images of birds, fish, animals, flowering plants and so on are in the most elemental of shapes... The people are representative of all, with green, blue and purple faces... Every page is infused with joy and color, and sweet touches..."


Saturday, January 15, 2011

This One's Dedicated to...

Tomie told the Marklin family last night that he had dedicated his newest book, LET THE WHOLE EARTH SING PRAISE, to them. He gave the Marklins an Advance Copy.

Left to Right: Martin (aka Skip), Judith (the athlete), Matthias (the techno wiz), Tomie (the Wilder Award winner), Simeon (the financial prodigy), Anna (holding book, aka the restaurateur), Christine (aka Mrs. Skip). Bronte (the dog) is in the foreground trying to get attention.

Later in the evening, the Marklins shared an iPad slideshow of their recent trip to Israel and Egypt.

LET THE WHOLE EARTH SING PRAISE, G. P. Putnam's Sons. Publication date: Thursday, January 20, 2011.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Author One-on-One: Eric Carle and Tomie dePaola

Follow the link to a Q & A between Eric Carle and Tomie at

Wilder Award Trivia

Tomie's former editor, Margaret Frith, sent Tomie a congratulatory note regarding the Wilder Award, and mentioned that Tomie was the 18th recipient, and the 7th author/illustrator.

1954 Laura Ingalls Wilder
1960 Clara Ingram Judson
1965 Ruth Sawyer
1970 E.B. White
1975 Beverly Cleary
1980 Theodor S. Geisel
1983 Maurice Sendak
1986 Jean Fritz
1989 Elizabeth George Speare
1992 Marcia Brown
1995 Virginia Hamilton
1998 Russell Freedman
2001 Milton Meltzer
2003 Eric Carle
2005 Laurence Yep
2007 James Marshall
2009 Ashley Bryan
2011 Tomie dePaola

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Party Favors

For the last four annual holiday parties, Christine and Martin Marklin have given Tomie's guests a Tomie-designed/Marklin-Candle ornament. The ornament for the party this past Sunday was a snowflake.

Click on the photo to get a better look.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

"The Beloved Tomie dePaola..."

As we watch the snow fall from inside the barn, I discovered an article about the ALA Youth Media Awards at SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL online.

"The beloved Tomie dePaola is winner of this year's 2011 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award...

"'Tomie dePaola is masterful at creating seemingly simple stories that have surprising depth and reflect tremendous emotional honesty,' says Wilder Award Committee Chair Megan Schliesman. 'They have resonated with children for over 40 years.'"

Our snowfall is expected to be at least a foot. We took my four-wheel-drive truck this morning to the hospital for Tomie's weekly anemia check-up. The snow is blowing a lot so even the dog doesn't want to spend much time outside.

But, it's OK, for us, that winter has arrived. Travel for Christmas, New Year's and the Governor's Inauguration is over, as is Tomie's annual holiday party.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Laura Ingalls Wilder Committee Statement

...the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award which honors an author or illustrator whose books have made a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children.

This year's recipient is Tomie dePaola.

Tomie dePaola's books range from autobiographical stories to retellings of folktales and legends, to original tales and stories. His works reflect an innate understanding of childhood, a distinctive visual style, and a remarkable ability to adapt his voice to perfectly suit the stories. With books that are often humorous - sometimes quietly, sometimes outrageously - and almost always contain a strong, emotional core, dePaola has made a contribution to children's literature that is broad, deep and lasting.

Monday, January 10, 2011


The American Library Association has just announced at its Midwinter Meeting in San Diego that Tomie is the 2011 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award winner.

The award honors an author or illustrator whose books, published in the United States, have made, over a period of years, a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children.

Tomie teared up when he received the phone call. He still tears up when talking about it. He's very excited.

Huge News This Afternoon! HUGE!!!

Friday, January 7, 2011

2010 INTERNATIONAL Fruitcake Challenge: The Winner!

The winner is Jennette! This is the same fruitcake recipe as the one she used for the fruitcake that won last year. The judges said, "Moist. Most like 'true' fruitcake."

Stephanie came in second. The judges said, "Most colorful - prettiest."

A NEW RULE. Only ONE fruitcake entry per person.

(Apologies to Jennette for the misspelling of her name on the card attached to the plate.)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Tomie's "Inaugural Address"

According to the early news on WMUR-TV, the ABC affiliate in Manchester, NH, WMUR will be broadcasting the Inauguration of John Lynch, Governor of New Hampshire, at noon today. The live broadcast will also be available on their website.

Tomie is expected to speak for five minutes at approximately 12:48 p.m.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

STREGA NONA, Read by Tomie, Online

You can see and hear STREGA NONA, read by Tomie, online during the month of January, 2011, at

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2010 INTERNATIONAL Fruitcake Challenge: Third Place and Fourth Place

Sally Phennicie (left) and Holly Walker (right) are getting ready to taste the four different fruitcakes. They have water to cleanse their palates. They have pens and paper to take copious notes.

Sally LOVES fruitcake. Holly does not.

Sally is a former banker. Holly co-owns Compass Travel and is Tomie's travel agent.

They are uniquely qualified to be the 2010 Fruitcake Challenge judges.

Sadly, American Anne's fruitcake came in fourth position. It was declared "not a 'real' fruitcake."

Canadian Jennette's alternate entry came in third place. "Dense and dark - overcooked."

More information to come regarding a winner.

Click on the photo to get a better view of Tomie's kitchen.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Left to Right: Tomie, Moffat, Mary Jo

Mary Jo is a former student of Tomie's. She visits on December 31st every year.

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

Moffat had a great time celebrating the old year and the New Year. She's wearing a "Happy New Year" tiara.