Thursday, October 31, 2013


Here's a wonderful article in PUBLISHERS WEEKLY:

One small error. The article mentions that Tomie autographed at the Brooklyn Book Festival. But instead, Tomie was scheduled to autograph for Boulevard Books in Brooklyn. The store moved the autographing to an auditorium in a Catholic school in an Italian neighborhood in Brooklyn, and he signed for four hours.

Travel Agents in Their Everyday Wear

Travel agents Holly (top) and Wendy (bottom) are ready to pound the pavement tonight as they go house to house asking for treats.

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Lost Friend Now Found

Connie Congdon came to the autographing at Toadstool Bookshop in Keene, New Hampshire, last week. We hadn't seen Connie for many years. (Connie was in a wheelchair for rehabilitative reasons.)

Connie adapted some of Tomie's books for the stage at the world famous Children's Theatre in Minneapolis.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

A Visitor From England

Left to Right: James Herbst, Carolyn Brodie, Tomie

Carolyn and Jim visited Tomie in May around the time of their wedding anniversary. Tomie has always enjoyed Carolyn's company, and not just because she was the chair of the committee that selected 26 FAIRMOUNT AVENUE as a Newbery Honor Book. It was a lot of fun spending a few hours with Carolyn and Jim.

Carolyn was born in England, Arkansas. She said that when folks talked about going to the local Dairy Queen, they'd say, "We're going to visit the Queen of England."

Carolyn is a professor in the School of Library and Information Science at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio.

Tomie dePaola: Then and Now

Tomie dePaola: Then and Now, by Kimberly Swick Slover

We Have a Winner!

Left to Right: Ellen, Tomie, Maria Elena

Many, many years ago, Ellen invited Tomie to visit the international school in Guadalajara, Mexico, where she worked. But, Tomie couldn't accept the invitation. Yet, Ellen still wanted to meet Tomie.

So, when Ellen's daughter, Maria Elena (who lives in the Boston area), saw that Tomie was going to be at the Boston Book Festival on this past Saturday, Maria Elena said to her mother that this might be her best chance to meet him.

Ellen wins the prize for traveling the greatest distance (Guadalajara, Mexico, to Boston) to meet Tomie!

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Hugo Bookstores

Top Photo: Andover Bookstore, Andover, MA
Second From Top, Left to Right, Andover: Meg, Tomie, Hannah (Chris's daughter), Chris
Second From Bottom: Book Rack, Newburyport, MA
Bottom Photo, Left to Right, The Book Rack: Peter, Tomie, John Hugo

The Book Rack store is quite small, so the line for autographs went out the door. After the autographing was over, German exchange students went to the door and asked who had been inside that everyone wanted to meet. Justin Bieber, in disguise, with his shirt on, and pants pulled up.

First Snow

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Ghosts in Tomie's Courtyard?

 Are there ghosts in Tomie's courtyard? Are the ghostlike figures plants, gourds and pumpkins covered with cloth so that they're protected from the cold evening temperatures? Or, are there ghosts in the courtyard?! Frightening questions?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

An Afternoon with Rutherford and Stefan

Left to Right: Tomie, Stefan Stefanko, Rutherford Witthus

After Tomie was sent a book made by Rutherford Witthus, and after he heard that Rutherford lived in New Hampshire, Tomie wanted to meet him and learn more about his art.

This afternoon Tomie spent a delightful afternoon seeing more of Rutherford's work and talking with Rutherford and his partner, Stefan.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Jack and the Castor Bean Plant

I haven't had the heart to pull the castor bean plant out of the ground because it is still growing. It's over nine feet tall. But, temperatures below 32 degrees later this week will probably be the end of the castor bean plant. Jack may want to climb it today!

Did You Graduate From High School?

Photo: Connie Burnell and her son, Greg, with Tomie

During the autographing at the Toadstool Bookshop in Keene, New Hampshire, last night, a man asked Tomie, "Did you graduate from high school?"

Tomie replied, "Yes."

The man asked, "Do you have your high school diploma?"

Tomie answered, "Yes."

The man then said, "No, you don't," as he handed Tomie Tomie's high school diploma.


Tomie owned a building in Jacksonville, Vermont, in the '70s. Tomie and his parents stored a lot of things in the building.

The Burnells bought the building from Tomie, and apparently Tomie and his parents didn't remove all of their belongings from the building.

Tomie now has his long lost high school diploma although he never knew it was long lost.

The autographings during this book tour have been fascinating for many, many reasons.

Monday, October 21, 2013

You Meet the Most Interesting People...

After Tomie's presentation and autographing at the Boston Book Festival, we ate lunch with Sherry Litwack at the Copley Plaza Hotel across the street from many of the festival's activities.

Anthony (Tony) Tjan, his wife, Laura, and their oldest daughter stopped to say hello and introduce themselves. (They had attended Tomie's presentation.) They're lovely people, and it was nice that they stopped. (I didn't think to pull out my camera for a photo op until they had left.) Tony was scheduled to speak in the afternoon on "Happiness and Success."

I learned later that Tony Tjan is an entrepreneur, and CEO of Cue Ball. That brought to mind Guy Kawasaki ("former chief evangelist of Apple") of Garage Technology Ventures ( who wrote a book called HOW TO DRIVE YOUR COMPETITION CRAZY in the mid-1990s. Guy Kawasaki got permission to put Tomie's THE KNIGHT AND THE DRAGON in his book in its entirety. It seemed to us to be an out-of-the-box idea.

But, back to Tony Tjan. I've placed a link to his Cue Ball profile because the drawings on the right side are amusing and interesting.

Judith Rosen with Sir Henry Vane and Tomie

Judith Rosen of PUBLISHERS WEEKLY met Tomie at the Boston Public Library for an interview prior to Tomie's Keynote talk at the Boston Book Festival.

The library had yet to open when Judith came up to Tomie in front of the library and introduced herself. So, Judith and Tomie sat outside the library in the sunshine and talked.

I observed. It appeared to me that Judith's focus was intended to be on Tomie's new book, STREGA NONA DOES IT AGAIN. But, Judith's efforts to get Tomie to focus on the book mostly failed. Tomie found Judith herself far too interesting, and wanted to just talk... about this, and that, and lots of things.

I was amused, and entertained. I imagine Judith's article will end with "Tomie dePaola's newest book is STREGA NONA DOES IT AGAIN." The story that precedes that line will have little to do with the new book.

I can't wait to see what she writes.

Friday, October 18, 2013

"The Public Side of the Fence," aka the Front Yard

An Exhibition of Self Portraits

Tomie's original art, titled "Self Portraits" in the column to the right, will be featured in an exhibition at the Katonah Museum of Art in Katonah, NY.

Artist to Artist: Self Portraits by Picture Book Illustrators

October 27, 2013 - February 16, 2014

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Tomie dePaola: Then

Tomie dePaola: Then
An exhibition of artwork from Junior High School through the mid-1970s.

Colby-Sawyer College
New London, New Hampshire
November 7 - December 20, 2013

Opening Reception: November 7, 5:00-7:00 p.m.

(No autographing at this event.)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Wild, Wild World of Children's Books Creators

Here's the cover of an uncorrected proof of an advanced reading copy of WILD THINGS: ACTS OF MISCHIEF IN CHILDREN'S LITERATURE, by Betsy Bird, Julie Danielson and Peter D. Sieruta.

It's scheduled to be published in April of 2014 by Candlewick Press. (This cover is not necessarily the final cover of the published book.)

Tomie was asked to write an endorsement of the book, and he enthusiastically wrote one.

By the way, Tomie is mentioned in the book. Oh, dear.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Fall Afternoon Sun

Here's a line of trees in the late afternoon sun on property adjacent to Tomie's yard and meadow.

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Briggs of Hancock County, Maine

Kate and John Briggs stopped at Tomie's house last week during the trek from New York City to their house in Maine. Sleeping was the only thing that interrupted non-stop storytelling.

Kate and John own Holiday House, publisher of many of Tomie's books.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Fall Courtyard Photos

These are some of the pots, plants, gourds and pumpkins in the courtyard in between the house and the barn. Click on the photos to get a better look.

What Do Milk, Diapers, Liquid Plumbr and Tomie dePaola Have in Common? They Could All Be Found Yesterday at Wegmans!

Top Photo: "Tomie dePaola in Aisle 9!"

Second From Top: Shannon, Tomie, Breighana (Shannon and Breighana were the asset protection agents assigned to Tomie... that is, secure the author and keep the teachers and Italian mothers from squeezing Tomie too hard)

Second From Bottom: Most of the Wegman's team assigned to help at the autographing.

Bottom Photo: Tomie with Elier Ruiz, master event organizer

Who knew an autographing at a food market could be so successful?! Tomie autographed yesterday for over three hours at the Wegman's in Northborough, Massachusetts. Everyone who attended the autographing was a gem and the Wegman's helpers were wonderful... and helpful.

What an enormous store! If not for the guidance and protection of Breighana and Elier, we would have gotten lost in the store as we wandered throughout it after the autographing.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Happy Feasts!

(Click on the image for a larger version.)

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Junior Prom, Meriden, Connecticut, 1952

Left to Right: Buddy dePaola, Gerry Meoni, Sandra Schocket (nee Klamkin), Tomie

Gerry's mother was very strict and wouldn't let Gerry go to the Junior Prom on November 22, 1952. But, Flossie, Tomie's mother, didn't agree.

So, Flossie arranged for Buddy (just out of the National Guard after serving in Germany) to accompany Gerry to the Prom. Tomie, a freshman at Pratt Institute, accompanied Gerry's best friend, Sandra.

The theme of the Prom was "Dreamer's Paradise."

Gerry gave this photo to Tomie at the R.J. Julia autographing on Friday of last week.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

"100 Great Children's Books"

The New York Public Library announced its first-ever list of the top 100 children's books of the last 100 years, and two of Tomie's books were on the list.


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The FOUR Glamorous Gabors

A friend sent Tomie the book, THOSE GLAMOROUS GABORS: BOMBSHELLS FROM BUDAPEST, for his birthday with the note: I've always thought of you as the fourth Gabor.

Is It Too Early to Begin Mailing the Christmas Cards?

The new Christmas card came last week. Tomie used a design he created in the early 1960s. This means I might get the cards mailed before the end of 2013. Fingers crossed.