Thursday, January 31, 2013

NYC Photos #1 and #2

Chris Cheng, Tomie, David Diaz

Chris Cheng, David Diaz and Tomie saw each other in the lobby of the Grand Hyatt in New York City earlier today. They are at the Hyatt for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators Conference.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

"I Give Thee Love" © 1968 by Tomie dePaola

Betsy from California sent an envelope to Tomie, in 2007, with a letter and two photocopies. We only recently came across the envelope.

Betsy had purchased a hand-colored lithograph and an etching in 1968 at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Novato, California, from a small group of Renaissance costumed artists. The lithograph and the etching were created by Tomie dePaola. She now wondered if they were created by THE Tomie dePaola.

Tomie went to the Faire with a group of artists - all print makers. Tomie was attending California College of Arts and Crafts and teaching at San Francisco College for Women/Lone Mountain College. The group had made prints and sold them at the Faire. They even created artwork at the Faire.

Betsy remembered buying Tomie's works from a very tall man. Tomie said that one of the guys in his group was indeed tall.

This Faire was one of the first Renaissance fairs.

It's a wonderful story to hear from 45 years ago.   

Sunday, January 20, 2013


A weatherperson on a Boston television station recently predicted "snizzle." We had never heard of the weather term. But, I think that's what we're experiencing right now. Snizzle.

I was walking the dog and there was drizzle at times, and there was snow at times, and there was "in between" at times. I think this must be snizzle!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

ELD Acrostic Poetry

Mrs. Trickey's third grade English Language Development group at Hughson Elementary in Hughson, California, wrote a group-constructed acrostic poem.

Big, bad
Yard - and the town!   

Friday, January 18, 2013

Let Me Count the Reasons

Tommy is a student at Chaparral Elementary in Ladera Ranch, CA.

"Dear Tomie De pola, I think you are a great writer for many reasons. First, you are funny. Like when Big Anthony has to blow 3 kisses to stop the pasta pot. Also how he dresses up like a girl. Next, It gives a message to the reader. When Big Anthony dresses up like a girl it tells me to be my self. One other message is don't touch stuff that's not your like a pasta pot. Those are my reasons you are a great writer."

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Self Portraits

Self Portraits © 2007 by Tomie dePaola

This self portrait, from 2007, first appeared in ARTIST TO ARTIST: 23 MAJOR ILLUSTRATORS TALK TO CHILDREN ABOUT THEIR ART.

This piece of art will be part of an exhibition at the Katonah Museum of Art in Katonah, New York.

"Face to Face: Thirty Centuries of Portraiture"
October 27, 2013 - February 16, 2014  

Terrific Atticus

Atticus is six years old and lives in Minneapolis. He wrote, "You are picturerific and storyrific."

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Big Anthony and the Great Wall of China

Miss Lane's Lively Ladybugs class at Concordia International School in Shanghai, China, suggested a story idea.

"It would be an interesting story if Strega Nona, Bambolona and Big Anthony could visit China! We are sure that Big Anthony would get into some kind of BIG trouble, maybe even at the Great Wall!"

A Good Way to Start the Day

Hello to Kadie Johnson's first grade reading group at the Sage International School of Boise, Idaho. I understand that you check the blog every morning.

I know a poet, and fruitcake champion, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, who also reads the blog every morning.

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Lavender Cutter

"The Lavender Cutter," © 2013 by Tomie dePaola

If you look back to the posts on January 4, 2013, you'll see that Tomie was working on a painting, and then decided he didn't like it. So, he painted over it.

This is what was painted on top of the rejected painting. It was completed yesterday.

Minutes later, Tomie put a new canvas on the easel and began to draw an image with pencil.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

New Slogan: An Author You Can Trust

Andrew attends the International Community School in Bangkok, Thailand. He wrote, "You're the author I know to trust."

The Merry Meriden Magician Man

Richard Jesse Watson (Dad) and Jesse Joshua Watson (Son) created two portraits of Tomie for a website created by Gina and Jarrett Krosoczka celebrating Tomie's 75th birthday in September, 2009.

Richard called his portrait "Tomie, the Picture Book Magician" and Jesse called his "The Merry Man From Meriden."

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Fond Memories From One Year Ago

Brenda Martin won a visit to Tomie dePaola's house through a raffle at the Concord Museum (Concord, MA) in December, 2011. She, and her chosen guests, visited on January 14, 2012. Brenda, her daughters and friend sent a framed collection of photographs after the visit as a remembrance.

Starting at the Upper Left and then going Clockwise:
Photo, left to right, of Victoria Martin, Tomie, Brenda Martin, Caroline Martin, Sharon Kennelly. Wooden Blocks from childhood, and featured in NOW ONE FOOT, NOW THE OTHER. Tomie designed a round stained glass window in the Mercer Room, and this is what happens when the sun shines through it. Close-up of Christmas tree. Stained glass white bird by fan Kate Nelson (last known address was in California) who gave Tomie many stained glass pieces. Mexican folk art. Christmas tree. Center photo is of the gnu that Tomie painted. The gnu's current location is near the New London Inn.

Brenda was born in England, so Brenda and Tomie continue to chat about all things British, such as, "Downton Abbey" and "Call the Midwife."

Click on the image to get a closer look. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

E. B. Lewis

Tomie with E.B. Lewis after Tomie received the Original Art Lifetime Achievement Award at the Society of Illustrators in New York City on October 25, 2012.

Tomie said that E.B. Lewis told him that he started wearing scarves after seeing Tomie wearing scarves at SCBWI conferences. When E.B. Lewis went to Paris, he noticed all of the men also wearing scarves.

Tomie - aka Fashion Icon

Creative Team

Nancy Paulsen, left, and Cecilia Yung, right, are standing with Tomie (BONJOUR, MR. SATIE artwork hanging above them) at the Original Art show at the Society of Illustrators on October 25, 2012 in New York City. Tomie received the Original Art Lifetime Achievement Award at this event.

Nancy is Tomie's editor with Nancy Paulsen Books. Cecilia is Art Director for Nancy Paulsen Books and G. P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers.

Monday, January 7, 2013

"You Still Got It!"

Many years ago, there was a store in Tomie's hometown of Meriden, Connecticut, called New England House of Collectibles/Three Cheers. It was a huge store.

When Tomie visited the store for the first time for an autographing, he was greeted by an enormous crowd. The autographing lasted nearly four hours. Friends from childhood would approach the autographing table and ask, "Do you know who I am?" His childhood dancing school teacher, Miss Leah, was in line, and tap danced with Tomie. It was a funny day... exhausting, but funny.

(The following day Tomie autographed pre-sold books for another four hours.)

At the end of the "live" autographing, as we were leaving the store, a young, tall and rather large girl at the cash register bellowed, "I don't know what you got, Tom, but you still got it!"

We've repeated that line many times since that autographing. A few minutes ago, we used a variation of that line, and received a great audience reaction. That is, we both laughed.   

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The British Are Coming! The British Are Coming!

Countdown to "Downton Abbey," Season Three Premiere, 9:00 p.m. Eastern time, PBS, TONIGHT. Tomie is already prepared. His chair is in place. The channel has been changed. The volume is perfect. Sub-titles are on (who can understand those English?). His Union Jack jammies are laid out as are his Union Jack cap, slippers and flag. Reserved English excitement mounts.

The Marklins Are Coming! The Marklins Are Coming!

The Marklin Family is expected to visit today. These photos were taken after Tomie's autographing at the Marklin Marketplace in Contoocook, NH, on December 16, 2012.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Coignard Madonna and Child

Roland Coignard, French sculptor, created this Madonna and Child. It was hand carved from oak, and then polychromed. His wife and son Benoit were the models. Tomie met Roland Coignard in 1959 in Paris. Roland Coignard did work for M. Cheret L'Atelier, the studio owned by Tomie's ex-father-in-law.

White Amaryllis

Mercer Room Vignette

Mexican Bag as Art

Tomie bought this Mexican bag many years ago. He has it hanging in the entryway of his home as artwork.

Friday, January 4, 2013

New Painting Update

Tomie didn't like the new painting, so he painted over it, and started anew. It looked great to me, but not to him.

A New Painting

A Poinsettia Every Christmas

Tomie dedicated THE LEGEND OF THE POINSETTIA to Chris O'Brien in 1994. Chris has been sending poinsettias every Christmas since 1994.

Here's a poinsettia wreath Chris made with colored paper.


Ryan Thomann, the senior designer in the art department at Tomie's publisher, co-owns a store in Brooklyn - Life:Curated. Check out the website and be cool like Ryan.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Pink on Pink

Anne Taylor Davis gave Tomie these pillows many years ago. They are Alexander Girard designs. The pillows rest on the pink sofa in the "chapel living room."

Alexander Girard donated his immense collection of folk art to the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe. Tomie has toured the museum.

Christmas Lilies

Karen and Harlow Carlson of Minnesota sent Tomie lilies for Christmas. Beautiful!

The dePaolas of France

Lucie dePaola, Tomie's French cousin, is having a baby.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

One Size Too Small

It was traditional on Christmas Day for Tomie and his siblings to receive new pajamas when they were young. This Christmas, Tomie's new pajamas didn't quite fit.

THE KNIGHT AND THE DRAGON is now on pajamas.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013