Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Man with 75 Faces

Christine and Martin Marklin created this 75th birthday card and called it "The 75 Faces of Tomie."

The photographs were taken during an interview on stage in the auditorium of the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.

Click on the image to get a better look.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Tomie: Saving the World One Drawing at a Time

 Pratt Hero © by James Emmett
James Emmett was a recipient of Tomie's scholarship at Pratt Institute. He sent this drawing with a thank you note.

World Fruitcake Competition: We Have a Winner!

The winner of this year's World (except Canada) Fruitcake Competion is - drumroll - Sonali Fry, Editorial Director, Little Simon, Simon & Schuster.

She submitted her mother's recipe for a Sri Lankan Christmas Cake with marzipan frosting. (I'd post a photo of the cake, but the judge ate it before I could get the camera.)

Judge's remarks: Exotic and delicious! 

Conversations with a Chair

Richard Jesse Watson sent Tomie a Christmas card with this note: Think of you often and sometimes have discussions w/ you in my studio. "What do you think of this, Tomie?" Ha! Ha! You are such an influence.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Love, Love, Love the Snow!

Day One of Three Days of Culinary Decadence

Left to Right: Peggy, Nola, Tomie

Peggy and Connie are co-owners of Morgan Hill Bookstore in New London. They like to thank Tomie for autographing at their store by taking him to dinner. Or, is it bribery for the next autographing request?

Connie was absent from this Christmas Eve dinner at the Coach House Restaurant at the New London Inn because she was driving north to visit family in Burlington, Vermont.

Nola (New Orleans, Louisiana) is a part-time store employee who also travels the world - India is the next stop.

It was a lovely way to celebrate Christmas Eve.

A Perfect Christmas Dinner

The elements of Christmas dinner were prepared to perfection.

Molasses-brined Niman Ranch pork chop with a multi-layered sauce (evolving over months - the newest layer of pomegranate conserve added to the sauce) and a condiment of Cunningham Farms sweet potato butter.

Hasselback butter baked potatoes - basted in butter for hours.

Belgian endive salad (a typical Parisian winter salad that Tomie had for the first time in Paris in 1959) with a dressing of lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, salt, freshly ground pepper, a spoonful of dijon mustard, and sugar to taste - to cut the mustard.

Yummy Memories

As we sit through a snowstorm (a predicted 10-16 inches is expected), it's nice to remember the trip yesterday to The Restaurant at Burdick Chocolate in Walpole, NH, for lunch. It's a drive of 70 minutes from New London, NH, and worth every minute of drive-time.

Brita's choices:
French Onion Soup
Calf's Liver
Zuger Kirsch

Tomie's choices:
Oysters on the Half Shell
Steak Frites
Butter Crust Cranberry Tart, and One Canele
(aka Canele de Bordeaux, Cannelle, Cannele)

My choices:
Mushroom Soup
Beef Stew
Hot Chocolate

The Restaurant at Burdick Chocolate is a bit French bistro. The little Walpole Grocery is also worth a visit for its unusual offerings. Burdick's owns the grocery store. It's located only a few yards from the restaurant.

A teacher from Massachusetts was eating with family and friends at the restaurant and recognized Tomie. She asked for an autograph and a photo.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Drew Kidder

Newlyweds Katie and Drew Kidder visited last night. Here they are standing next to Tomie's newest painting (completed a couple of days ago).

We've known Drew since he was a little boy. (See December 2, 2012, "The Lost Photos - #2." Drew is the taller of the two boys. Stowe is the "short one" who is quite handsome as an adult... with the right lighting.)

We were invited to Katie and Drew's wedding in Raleigh, NC, but couldn't go because of Bronte's "new" blindness. Drew is an artist, and Katie is in the next stage of her medical training.

Flowers in the House

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Saturday, December 22, 2012

A Welcoming Front Door

Here's the wreath on Tomie's front door. (Yes, that's the color of the front door.)

The orange star and wreath with manger scene were from Tomie's Midwest of Cannon Falls collection from many years ago.

The greens and ribbons are the work of the brilliant (in so many ways) Mauli at the Art of Nature in New London, NH.

Click on the photo to get a better look.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


THE NEW YORK TIMES published today a review online of THE BIRDS OF BETHLEHEM.

"Tomie dePaola uses his signature folk-tale illustrations to stunning effect..." 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Thoughts and Prayers

Our thoughts and prayers are of the Sandy Hook Elementary School community.

We have a small connection to the school. Earlier this year, a parent, from the school, who had grown up in New London, NH, wrote to ask if Tomie would visit the school in person or via Skype. 

Tomie offered to Skype with some classrooms. The librarian, Yvonne Cech, arranged for him to meet some of her students this past March. They were Tomie's first Skype sessions and the school's first Skype session with an author.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

"Everyone's Favorite"

Fit for a Tomie dePaola Christmas Tree

Donna Lee Woolcott painted an ornament for Tomie featuring Strega Nona and Tomie's dog. Very nice.

(I think you can only view the Facebook page with a Facebook account.)

Monday, December 10, 2012

When Is Midnight Mass?

Several years ago, Tomie's friends from Australia were visiting for Christmas. They wanted to go to Christmas Eve midnight mass at the local Catholic church. Tomie was "performing" - that is, reading one of his stories as a favor to the priest.

Jenny, from Australia, asked, "When is midnight mass?" Tomie said, "Call the church."

The answer was that midnight mass began at 10:00 p.m.

When she told Tomie, she also added, "How twisted."  

He's So Sculpture-al

Tomie's friend, Rhett Johnson, has installed sculpture at the new Ronald McDonald House in Chicago.

Rhett's wife Kelly Buntin-Johnson's website is:

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Have Yourself a Merry Marklin Christmas

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

The Angel Tomie

Many years ago, the W.D. Hall Elementary kindergarten classes of El Cajon, California, sent an apron featuring stars (a photograph of a child was in each star) and the angel Tomie. Tomie's Blog Blogger has the apron hanging in his office.

Shared Experiences

A grandfather came yesterday to the autographing at Boston College to get a book signed for his two grandchildren. But, he couldn't remember the name of one of the grandchildren. We suggested that he step aside for a few minutes to refresh his memory while others got their books signed. He returned to the autographing table after remembering the name (without calling his wife).

After Tomie signed the book, he mentioned he too had Airedale terrier dogs over the years. Tomie shared that his dog was blind. This man explained that he had an Airedale who went blind, and then lived another healthy eight years. They commiserated that their blind dogs missed running after thrown toys. But, it was good to hear of a family's similar story with a dog.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

A Reunion of Cousins

Tomie's cousin, Maureen Malavase, came to Boston College's Alumni Association Winter Wonderland today. Maureen's grandparents were Viva and Charles (from the "26 Fairmount Avenue" chapter books).

Friday, December 7, 2012

Back to College

Brief Presentation and Book Signing
1:00 p.m.
Brighton Campus
9 Lake Street, Room 100
Brighton, MA 02135

He's So Grand!

THE BIRDS OF BETHLEHEM in the window of Posman's Bookstore in Grand Central.

A House of Vignettes

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Big Anthony as Movie Theater Popcorn Maker

Barbara Elleman (TOMIE DEPAOLA, HIS ART & HIS STORIES) sent this "New Yorker," December 3, 2012, cartoon. "Do you suppose the guy at the door is Big Anthony?" she wrote.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

I Feel Pretty

Left to Right:
Bronte, Mooey, Dee Ganley (stylist)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

An Anniversary

It was a year ago, December 4, 2011, that Tomie was admitted to the hospital and didn't leave until 15 days later.

John Walters wrote in the Winter 2012/2013 "Kearsarge Magazine": His own future nearly came to an end just before Christmas 2011. At the end of a busy book tour, "I had some  serious and mysterious health issues," he says. He was hospitalized for most of December. They never figured out exactly what the problem was, but he did recover. Now, he's looking forward to writing and making art for as long as he can, and celebrating as many Christmases as he can.

Monday, December 3, 2012

At Night

Change Is Good

The little Christmas tree stood for many Christmases in the house entryway. But, this year, Tomie wanted it in front of the large windows in the Mercer room. This tree is decorated with Marklin Candle ornaments designed by Tomie.

Click on the photo to get a better look.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

All I Want for Christmas Is a Singing Tree

Last night Tomie watched on TLC, the so-called Learning Channel, "Crazy Christmas Lights" and "Extreme Christmas Trees." The latter program featured the Mona Shores High School's "singing Christmas tree" in Muskegon, Michigan. The tree is sixty-seven feet tall and holds 300 high school students.

I told Tomie, "Don't get any ideas."

The Lost Photos - #2

1985. Left to Right: Stowe Kidder, Tomie, Drew Kidder, Papa David Kidder, Tomie's Blog Blogger, Kathy Belko

The photographer was Mama Janet Kidder. We're all smiles as we get ready to cut down Christmas trees at a hilltop tree farm.

Covered in Snow Crystals This Morning

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Another Saturday, Another Autographing

Mary Jane and Fred Ogmundson attended the autographing today at Morgan Hill Bookstore. Mary Jane is best known in our area as "Mrs. O" from her elementary school teaching days.

They are the parents of the very talented Will Ogmundson.

Pen Pals

Tomie wrote to Philip Pullman to compliment him on his newest book, FAIRY TALES FROM THE BROTHERS GRIMM.

Philip Pullman replied, "The praise of a friend whom one esteems for his own work is worth diamonds."


Left to Right: Tom Dunn, Will Ogmundson, Cindy Johnson, Tomie, Linny Kenney, Scott Sweatt, Fred Sprague

Last night was the premiere performance of "an original operetta by Will Ogmundson and Tom Dunn" of "Tomie dePaola's The Night of Las Posadas" by the Alchemists' Workshop.

Cindy Johnson, Linny Kenney, Scott Sweatt and Fred Sprague were the actors.

The performance was at the Wilmot Congregational Church in Wilmot, NH.