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About Tomie dePaola
"Tomie dePaola 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 dePaola 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.
- He has been published for over 30 years.
- Over 5 million copies of his books have sold worldwide.
- His books have been published in over 15 different countries.
- He receives nearly 100,000 fan letters each year.
Tomie dePaola has received virtually every significant recognition for his books in the children's book world, including:
- Caldecott Honor Award from American Library Association
- Newbery Honor Award from American Library Association
- Smithson Medal from Smithsonian Institution
- USA nominee in illustration for Hans Christian Andersen Medal
- Regina Medal from Catholic Library Association
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Books By Tomie dePaola
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When Strega Nona leaves him alone with her magic pasta pot, Big Anthony is determined to show the townspeople how it works in this classic Caldecott Honor book from Tomie dePaola.
Strega Nona—“Grandma Witch”—is the source for potions, cures, magic, and comfort in her Calabrian town. Her magical ever-full pasta pot is especially intriguing to hungry Big Anthony. He is supposed to look after her house and tend her garden but one day, when she goes over the mountain to visit Strega Amelia, Big Anthony recites the magic verse over the pasta pot, with disastrous results.
In this richly illustrated and joyful poetry collection, Tomie dePaola shares his favorite poems that perfectly capture the whimsy, wonder, and imagination of childhood. The well-rounded selection includes both widely known works and hidden gems, from poets such as Emily Dickinson, Langston Hughes, Alonzo Lopez, and Gaki—all accompanied by artwork in Tomie dePaola’s signature folk art style.
It’s Christmas time in Calabria and with Strega Nona’s annual feast around the corner, she has no time for her usual magical tasks. Christmas has a magic of its own, and no one knows magic like Strega Nona does, especially Big Anthony. But with the clock ticking on her preparations, will Big Anthony finally be able to prove that he can be counted on with some magic of his own?
With warm illustrations in Tomie’s classic folk-art style, this refreshed addition to the Strega Nona series is a must-have for fans of all ages.
Christmas is a time for warm family gatherings, the sharing of gifts and festive meals, and everywhere, there is music! Carols with familiar melodies and lyrics telling stories of events from long ago have delighted young and old for generations.
This intricately illustrated collection of Tomie’s favorite Christmas carols, first published in 1987, highlights dePaola’s love of Christmas and its traditions and is the perfect family gift to celebrate the holiday. Vibrant, glowing paintings illuminate every page of sheet music.
When Pascual is born, angels sing from the trees. So it is no surprise when he grows up and wants to join a monastery to help the poor. But when Pascual meets the friars, they send him to the kitchen to cook for them.
Poor Pascual! He doesn’t know how to cook, so he prays. And that’s when the kitchen angels swoop down and prepare a feast so delicious that the friars want him to cook every night. What can he do?
Tomie dePaola’s charming text and vibrant, fully refreshed illustrations reminiscent of Italian frescoes capture the beauty and humor of the story of Pascual, patron saint of the kitchens.
Come and bless the Lord,
Because the Lord loves you.
Francis is so full of God’s love that he wants to sing His praises. His glorious singing inspires birds of every color, and even the sun and moon, to join him in joyful celebration. Tomie dePaola’s simple text and vibrant, fully refreshed illustrations bring the spirit of Saint Francis of Assisi to life for even the youngest children.
With Tomie’s signature wry humor and winking charm, this collection of retellings is a beautifully illustrated ode to favorite childhood stories like The Three Bears, The Billy Goats Gruff, Rumpelstiltskin, and classic fairytales from Hans Christian Anderson and the Brothers Grimm. Tomie’s rich, vibrant art is given a modern redesign with bright pops of color and a fresh new look for this re-release of the classic storybook.
When a man captures a great white bear, he is determined to bring it as a gift to the king of Finnmark. But to do that, first he must cross the Dovrefells—a mountain covered in snow and ice—in the middle of winter. On Christmas Eve, he reaches the house of a man named Halvor, and asks if he can stay the night. Halvor warns that every year on Christmas Eve, trolls come down from the mountains to take over his home, but the man and his polar bear think they may just be able to help...
Every midwinter, little Jingle and his family, Il Circo Piccolo, The Little Circus, travel through the countryside to the city for their special Christmas performance. Each year, they stop at the same little village to put on a show for its residents. It’s Jingle’s favorite night.
This year, though, things are different. There is no smoke coming out of the chimneys. Everything is closed up. And the few people still in town have fallen on hard times and don’t have the money to see the circus anymore.
But Jingle is not so easily deterred. With the help of his baby animals, he is determined to put on a show that no one will forget.
One chilly winter’s night, the wind howled over a blanket of snow while in a humble stable, Jesus Christ was born. Angels, shepherds, wise men, and farm animals all gather to share in the still and holy night.
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No time to rest,
It’s Christmas Eve.
And time to get dressed!
It’s finally time for Santa to prepare for the most magical night of the year! But before he can spread Christmas cheer to every boy and girl, he must hurry up and get ready. Just when he’s almost out the door, Santa runs back inside because OH NO! Santa’s got to GO!
Little ones will be chuckling with merry laughter when they find out that even Santa needs to go to the potty!
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This year, Santa and Mrs. Claus are having their entire family over for Christmas dinner. There’s Uncle Alfred the inventor from Bermuda; Sister Olga the opera singer; eight young children, including Baby Willie; even a polar bear named Oscar. With a family like this, mayhem is bound to follow, and from a snowball fight to the Christmas pageant, it’s a wild affair. But in the spirit of the season, everyone has a wonderful time—even the frazzled hosts!
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