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Tomie dePaola

Biography

Tomie dePaola

Tomie De Paola was born in Meriden, Connecticut, in 1934 to a family of Irish and Italian background. By the time he could hold a pencil, he knew what his life's work would be. His determination to create books for children led to a BFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and an MFA from the California College of Arts & Crafts in Oakland, California.

It drove him through the years of teaching, designing greeting cards and stage sets, and painting church murals until 1965, when he illustrated his first children's book, Sound, by Lisa Miller for Coward-McCann. Eventually, freed of other obligations, he plunged full time into both writing and illustrating children's books.

He names Fra Angelico and Giotto, Georges Rouault, and Ben Shahn as major influences on his work, but he soon found his own unique style. His particular way with color, line, detail, and design have earned him many of the most prestigious awards in his field, among them a Caldecott Honor Award for Strega Nona, the Smithsonian Medal from the Smithsonian Institution, the Kerlan Award from the University of Minnesota for his "singular attainment in children's literature," the Catholic Library Association's Regina Medal for his "continued distinguished contribution," and the University of Southern Mississippi Medallion. He was also the 1990 United States nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Medal for illustration.

Tomie De Paola has published almost 200 children's books in fifteen different countries. He remains one of the most popular creators of books for children, receiving more than 100,000 fan letters each year.

Tomie lives in an interesting house in New Hampshire with his four dogs. His studio is in a large renovated 200-year-old barn.

Tomie dePaola

Books by Tomie dePaola

by Tomie dePaola - Children (Ages 0-6), Picture

When Jack sets out to see the world and find a place of his own, he’s surprised to attract a following of enthusiastic animal friends eager to join him on his quest. Jack and his entourage all have high hopes that they will find just what they are looking for as they travel on their merry way. Children will delight in the cumulative chorus of animal sounds as the pages get more and more crowded with the residents of this delightful kingdom.

written by Lin Oliver, illustrated by Tomie dePaola - Children (Ages 0-6), Poetry

For babies and toddlers, each moment is full of wonder and discovery. This delightful collection of original poems celebrates the everyday things that enthrall little ones, such as playing peekaboo, banging pots and pans, splashing at bath time, and cuddling at bedtime. Full of contagious rhythm and rhyme, this inviting picture book introduces young children to the sound of poetry.

by Tomie dePaola - Children (Ages 0-6), Fiction, Humor, Juvenile Fiction

All the young men in the village are chasing Angelina, but the one she has eyes for doesn’t know she exists. At his wits’ end, her father sends her to his cousin --- Strega Nona. Strega Nona, Big Anthony and Bambolona are excited to have a houseguest, but Angelina's demands have the whole household in a tizzy! It’s up to Strega Nona to devise a plan that will make everyone happy.

Written and Illustrated by Tomie dePaola - Children's, Christian, Fiction, Holiday

On the morning of the first Christmas, all the birds of Bethlehem are astir.  Something has happened! People from all over are in the city and an angel has appeared meaning something big is happening!

by Tomie dePaola

Starring two of Tomie dePaola's best-loved characters, this funny story features beautiful art, introduces young readers to Italian holiday traditions, and lands Big Anthony in yet another silly predicament that will delight fans young and old.