Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Happy Publication Day!

THE BIRDS OF BETHLEHEM, written and illustrated by Tomie, published by Nancy Paulsen Books of the Penguin Young Readers Group, goes on sale today!

From the book's front flap:
This unique tale tells the story of the Nativity from a bird's-eye view. In simple language and dazzling paintings, beloved author-illustrator Tomie dePaola captures the anticipation and awe of the first Christmas. His appealing cast of colorful, curious birds will enchant children of all ages.

More to come about the book...  


Although the wind and rain were ferocious last night, all is well here in Tomieland. Several small branches are on the ground, a solid fence section separated from its upright post, and a little water came inside. Power was out for about three hours, but Tomie has a generator. That is, no significant problems were experienced here.

The devastation elsewhere is hard to read about in newspapers and online, and to see on TV.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Rain or Shine, Superstorm or Not, a Dog's Gotta Sniff

This photo was taken a couple of days ago during weather milder than today. As we were standing in the rain and wind today, I wanted to ask Bronte, "What? You can't walk AND sniff at the same time?"

I imagine the sounds and smells of a storm are intriguing.

Visitors From the West

Ian and Will Hillenbrand visited Tomie yesterday. Will presented at the Keene State College Children's Literature Festival in Keene, New Hampshire, this past Saturday. He came to Tomie's studio on Sunday to interview him for a magazine publication.

Ian and Will drove to Lewiston, Maine, on Sunday afternoon so that Ian could learn more about Bates College.

I wonder if their flights home today to Ohio were cancelled because of Sandy.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Love for a Country Girl

Kate Huntington is the new owner of Country Girl Diner on Route 103 in Chester, Vermont.

As we were sitting at CGD, Tomie asked one of the nice women working at the diner if she was the new owner. She said, "Yes," and introduced herself - Kate Huntington. Tomie introduced himself, and Kate was delighted. Her family knew Tomie's books.

When you visit the Country Girl, order the tomato and corn chowder.


Tomie Hearts Country Girl Diner

Tomie loves the Country Girl Diner in Chester, Vermont.

Anne Taylor Davis was visiting from New York City. We had planned on eating lunch at Fat Frank's in Bellows Falls, Vermont, but HORROR, Fat Frank's was closed - FOREVER, it seems. After eating at Fat Frank's, we were going to get dessert at Ari Oy. (The real name is Dari Joy, but the D and J were missing from the letters on the side of the building. Ari Oy was probably once a Big Boy because there's a Big Boy on the roof or some character similar to a Big Boy.)

Quick-thinking Tomie suggested that we go to Chester to his favorite diner from his youth, Country Girl Diner.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Be Careful

"Be Careful," "Step Up," and "Step Down" are new commands that we're trying to teach Bronte.

"Be Careful" is used when Bronte is close to running into something with his head. "Step Up" and "Step Down" are used when we're walking (he is walked with a hand on the harness for maximum control in tight places) and he encounters a step.

This morning Bronte ventured off of the safe zone carpeted area in the barn and found one of his toys.

Any indication that he's gaining confidence is a good sign.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Long and Boring Walk

Bronte is doing well, we believe.

The barn floor is concrete. We've placed carpet mats from one end of the barn to the other end down the center of the barn. We're calling this carpeted center area the "safe zone." That is, Bronte will not run into anything if he stays on the carpet mats. If he ventures off of the mats onto the concrete floor, he might run into something and hit his head.

His dog bed is an inch or so off of the safe zone. His water bowl and food bowl are on another piece of carpeting right off of the safe zone.

We've seen Bronte go to his water bowl five times without directional guidance. Triumph!

Bronte loves to go outside for "walks" in the yard.

I had read that walks with a blind dog are boring for the walker and a sniff-fest for the dog. The walker has to be patient.

It used to take 10 minutes to walk around Tomie's yard. It now takes three times that amount. It still only takes 10 minutes to walk, but it takes 20 minutes to stand and sniff.

Bronte is "seeing" with his nose and ears. It's fascinating to watch him stand and "see," but after a few minutes, it is also very boring for the walker.

When he does walk, he sometimes trots like a horse. He seems quite happy during those moments.

We don't think he's in any pain and we think he's adjusting well. Old habits are returning: begging at the table for food, putting his head between legs for rubbing, finding his dog bed and toys in the house, barking at loud outside noises (the UPS truck, etc.)...

If we're gone for several hours, we've been able to find someone to sit with him. If we plan to be away only a couple of hours, we leave him alone. He seems to stick to his dog bed and the safe zone.

So, Bronte seems to be doing just fine.

Tomie Does It Again!

Tomie finished the interior artwork yesterday for his Fall 2013 book, STREGA NONA DOES IT AGAIN. He's working on the jacket artwork today.

Tomie has said that artists never retire. He's living proof!