Friday, November 30, 2012

Tomie and Skype

This morning Tomie chatted via Skype with second grade students at Van Cortlandtville Elementary in Mohegan Lake, New York. The students asked a lot of questions about writing stories. They even mentioned writing techniques that were new to Tomie.

It was time.

Tomie picked out a new cell phone in 2006. He told the clerk he wanted a phone that made phone calls and nothing else. He didn't want "bells and whistles." He didn't want to play music. He didn't want to search the internet.

The phone he got was a flip phone with large letters and numbers for dialing and viewing. We assumed the phone was designed for children, or for persons "of age."

But now, his 2006 model won't hold a charge and the battery is warped.

It was time to get a new cell phone.

We went to the local Verizon Wireless store and he got an iPhone4. The phone was free, and it was similar to my phone. The assumption was that I could teach him how to use it.

He had to return once to the store because of some glitches, but Will whom he's known since Will was in grade school, quickly resolved the issues.

Tomie has successfully made a couple of phone calls. But now, he wants to learn about the other capabilities of the phone. 

Challenges ahead!    

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Tomie and His World in Words and Photographs

Available from our local bookseller,
Morgan Hill Bookstore,

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Monday, November 26, 2012

Limited Edition Holy Twins Print

© 2001 by Tomie dePaola
From the book, THE HOLY TWINS, Putnam
Tomie has created an exclusive, limited edition, signed and numbered print, "The Holy Twins," for the Abbey of Regina Laudis to help fund the Abbey's New Horizons Renovation Project.
For more information, and to purchase a print, contact:
Monastic Art Shop
Abbey of Regina Laudis, OSB
273 Flanders Road
Bethlehem, CT 06751
Hours - Daily 10:00 a.m. - noon, 1:30 - 4:00 p.m.
Closed on Wednesdays.
All proceeds to benefit New Horizons Project.

Kissed Icon

© 2012 by Carolyn Croll


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

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Lost Photos - #1

2006. Here is Norman Stevens (Director of University Libraries, Emeritus, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT) with his favorite book, BILL AND PETE GO DOWN THE NILE, or as Norman refers to it: NORM AND PETE GO DOWN THE NILE. Tomie's books are for children and imaginations of ALL ages.

Blatant Intention

Margarita Perez is a professor of early childhood education at Worcester State University in Worcester, Massachusetts. She attended the autographing at the Norwich Bookstore. The photo was taken to cause envy.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thank You, Norwich Bookstore

We just returned from another wonderful autographing at the Norwich Bookstore in Norwich, Vermont. Left to Right: Penny McConnel (co-owner), Tomie, Liza Bernard (co-owner).

Friday, November 23, 2012


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

Thanksgiving and Grace

Tomie spent the day yesterday in a big comfortable chair reading GRACE: A MEMOIR, by Grace Coddington. Grace Coddington is the Creative Director of Vogue magazine.

Tomie noticed a photograph in the book was taken by one of his twin photographer cousins, Frances McLaughlin-Gill, aka Franny.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Tomie's Thanksgiving Feast for One

Lobel's all-beef Kosher knockwurst stuffed with cheddar cheese, wrapped with bacon. Baked, then broiled. Dijon mustard on the side. Tomie exclaimed, "Delicious."

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tomie does not like turkey nor does Calvin Trillin. (Calvin Trillin, according to wikipedia, "is an American journalist, humorist, food writer, poet, memoirist and novelist.")

According to Trillin in THE TUMMY TRILOGY (Farrar, Straus and Girous, 1994), "I have been campaigning to have the national Thanksgiving dish changed from turkey to spaghetti carbonara...

"...the campaign had been inspired partly by my belief that turkey is basically something college dormitories use to punish students for hanging around on Sunday."

Trillin imagined his own story of the first Thanksgiving meal with the Pilgrims and Indians:

The Indians brought to the meal a dish they learned about from Christopher Columbus - "spaghetti carbonara - made with pancetta bacon and fontina and the best imported prosciutto. The Pilgrims hated it... The Indians were so disgusted that on the way back to their village after dinner one of them made a remark about the Pilgrims that was repeated down through the years and unfortunately caused confusion among historians about the first Thanksgiving meal. He said, 'What a bunch of turkeys!'"

Tomie will be having a hot dog later today for his Thanksgiving meal.     

Monday, November 19, 2012

Paintings of an Icon

"Tomie Is a Good Listener," © 2012 by Daphne Confar
Tomie sat for two portraits by Daphne Confar earlier this year. ("Tomie on the Other Side of the Brush" is on the right column of the blog.) Tomie loves them!

Before He Was an Icon

This is Tomie's friend Delli from Pittsburgh. She knew Tomie when they both were at Pratt Institute, and before he was an icon.

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines "icon," as: "an emblem, a symbol, an object of uncritical devotion," among other meanings. When presented with the iconic news, Delli replied, "Who knew?!"

Here Delli is volunteer knitting for children and the elderly.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Speaking of Alma Maters

Many years ago, Tomie autographed in a store in the Seattle area. One of the teachers from Peter Kirk Elementary in Kirkland, Washington, attended the autographing. She brought Tomie a gift of two Peter Kirk Elementary sweatshirts.

I have worn "mine" nearly every day for YEARS. It is simply indestructible.

The Peter Kirk name is on the front of the sweatshirt. It is also on the back in HUGE letters.

This summer a clerk in the local hardware store asked me if Peter Kirk Elementary was my alma mater. I said, "Yes, and I'm very proud."  

It's Iconic, Really

Tomie just received a letter from his alma mater, Pratt Institute.

"We are pleased that your work has been voted by the Pratt Institute community and public as one of the top 125 Pratt icons of all time. In honor of the Institute's 125th anniversary this year, Pratt hosted an online gallery of works by Pratt alumni and faculty, and invited alumni, students and friends to select those they consider to be the most iconic. It is a truly impressive collection of work, and we are delighted that yours has been recognized as among the best."

Some of the other 125 Pratt icons are:
Philip Johnson, Architect
Jules Feiffer, Artist
Arnold Lobel, Illustrator and Author
Betsey Johnson, Fashion Designer
Harvey Fierstein, Actor
Robert Sabuda, Illustrator and Author
Edward Koren, Illustrator
Richard Meier, Architect   

Friday, November 16, 2012

Right Down the Road

Although we've never seen them in the local grocery store or pharmacy or in one of the area restaurants, we learned this week that former CIA Director David Petraeus and his wife, Holly, own a home in Springfield, New Hampshire, which is a hop, skip and a jump away from Tomie's home.

Mrs. Petraeus inherited the home from her parents.

The wikipedia entry for David Petraeus lists Springfield as his "official domicile."

Hotbed of Creativity

Nancy Paulsen (Nancy Paulsen Books of Penguin Young Readers Group), Tomie's editor, is visiting. She arrived last night to the sight of Tomie holding a platter of meatloaf for her. Nancy loves Tomie's meatloaf, so Tomie makes meatloaf every time Nancy visits.

Tomie and Nancy worked on new projects today. They completed a nearly final draft of a story for 2014. They discussed several other ideas for books for 2014 and beyond.

It's always helpful when Nancy comes to New Hampshire to discuss projects.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

You Go, Girl! (At least, in NH.)

New Hampshire makes history! No state has ever had a female governor AND entirely female Federal delegation (U.S. senators and representatives) until now.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Italian Invasion

Elizabeth Masucci (left) and Cynthia Pietrantoni, "early retired" teachers, visited yesterday from the Boston area. We've known "the grammar queens" for many years. They like to be called "early retired" because they retired YEARS before the usual retirement age.

They came with a box from the Gingerbread Construction Co. filled with two gingerbread girls and six SWEET muffins.

We learned for the first time that Elizabeth had become an actress. You may have seen her in scenes in the following movies:
Edge of Darkness, with Mel Gibson
Game Plan, with The Rock
What's Your Number, with Anna Faris
The Makeover, with Julia Stiles
Clear History, with Larry David
Here Comes the Boom, with Kevin James

Crowd scenes, that is.

Get Out the Shovels!

We Voted!

It is common for the poll worker (often the poll worker is Thelma) to have trouble finding Tomie's last name in the list of registered voters. It must have something to do with the "de," capital D or not, space between "de" and "Paola," or not. His name is eventually found, but it's never quickly found.

This morning as we were walking to the voting area, Thelma told Tomie that she told the poll workers last night to find his name last night so that there wouldn't be a delay this morning when Tomie came to vote. It worked. Tomie's name was quickly found, and he voted.

Ahh, small towns. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Power-less, but Powerful Artists

Left to Right: Tomie, Olivia, Leeza, Kelly

Olivia, Leeza and Kelly visited yesterday afternoon. Leeza and Kelly are both artists. Tomie first met Leeza years ago at a Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators conference. Olivia spent much of the afternoon drawing while her mother, Leeza, and Kelly talked with Tomie.

Olivia and Leeza live in New Jersey and are without electricity. Kelly lives on Long Island and is without electricity. They are all staying at Kelly's second home in Massachusetts.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Background on the Society of Illustrators Medal

Tomie asked Kate Feirtag, Exhibition Director, Museum of American Illustration at the Society of Illustrators, if she had any information about the beautiful Society of Illustrators medal.

Richard J. Berenson, Past President of the Museum of American Illustration at the Society of Illustrators replied:

"The bas-relief of the Bison shown on the face of the medal is adapted from the wall painting in the cave of the Font-de-Gaume at Les Eyzies in Southern France, and was one of man's earlier art efforts. The species of Bison, now almost extinct, differs somewhat from the North American form, with a rather small head, neck and shoulders. Just what prompted Prehistoric man (in this case the Cro-Magnon type, who lived about 10,000 years ago) to draw pictures of this sort is hard to say. They may have been done to propitiate the game to be later used as food, or simply to satisfy an artistic urge and northing more - just as one might paint a picture today.  --Charles R. Knight

"The medal was sculpted by Mario Cooper from designs by Robert Foster." 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

A Man and His Princess Cake

Brita, Swedish friend, and now, US resident, made Tomie a massive Swedish Princess Cake.

Scenes Before the Nor'Easter (and Snow?)

A Man with His Medal and Plaque

The medal reads "Society of Illustrators" - more about the medal on Sunday.

The text on the plaque reads:
The Original Art
Lifetime Achievement Award 2012
Presented to
Tomie dePaola
For distinguished achievement in
the field of children's book illustration.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Please Stand and Applaud

On Thursday evening, October 25, 2012, Tomie received an Original Art Lifetime Achievement Award for 2012 from the Society of Illustrators at a ceremony in NYC. Here are Anelle Miller's introductory remarks and Tomie's brief acceptance speech. (Anelle Miller is the Executive Director of the Society of Illustrators.) Lifetime Achievement Awards are given each year in two categories: Contemporary and Posthumous. The awards were first given in 2005. Tomie is the 8th person to receive the Contemporary award. Tomie's peers chose him for the award.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Happy Post-Halloween!

Greetings for Halloween a day late. Much of our town's internet service inexplicably went down on the day after Sandy, Tuesday afternoon, so a Halloween greeting couldn't be posted until now. Service wasn't restored until late on Halloween day, Wednesday.

It was fortunate that I bought candy for hundreds to handle the SEVEN children who came to Tomie's house for trick-or-treating. Those seven kids were cute.

Someone is going to have to eat that candy.