Remembering Tomie dePaola

Tomie dePaola was an acclaimed American writer and illustrator. He wrote and/or illustrated over 250 books for children.

Thomas Anthony was born in Meriden, Connecticut to Joseph and Florence dePaola on September 15, 1934. To readers and admirers, he is known as Tomie.

One of the best known and best-loved authors, Tomie signed his name with a heart–a symbol of love.

Tomie dePaola’s Signature

Tomie is best known for the book Strega Nona. Considered a folk tale, this story includes the character of Big Anthony. There are eleven books about Strega Nona and Big Anthony. Here’s the original book published in 1975.

Strega Nona
Written & Illustrated by Tomie dePaola

Tomie’s newest book is: When Everyone is Fast Asleep, published by Holiday House, May 14, 2019. The 32 page book was written and illustrated by Tomie for ages 3-6.

When Everyone Was Fast Asleep
Written & Illustrated by Tomie dePaola

About the Book from Holiday House:

“Float along with the Fog Maiden as she takes two children on an enchanted bedtime adventure in this classic from the bestselling author of Strega Nona, Quiet, and more— now back in print!

When everyone was fast asleep, two children were awakened by Token, the Fog Maiden’s mysterious cat, and sent into the magical night.

Gentle and lyrical, this forgotten classic bedtime story from the author of Quiet and Strega Nona is back to enchant a new generation of fans. Soft illustrations paired with an imaginative text take readers on a dreamlike journey— sharing milk and honey with the trolls, watching the peacocks waltz, and attending a palace ball— before tucking them safely back into bed.

Cozy, quiet, and sure to delight, the Fog Maiden’s sweet dream is made to be shared.”

Tomie’s very first illustrated book: Sound, written by Lisa Miller. The 48 page picture book was published by Whiting & Wheaton, 1965. Written for ages 4-8.

Written by Lisa Miller; Illustrated by Tomie dePaola

About the book from Tomie’s website:

“The world is full of sounds. The song of a bird. The noise of a jet. The music of a parade. But what is sound?’ By using everyday, familiar happenings, Lisa Miller introduces boys and girls to a complicated but fascinating scientific concept – sound.”

Many years ago, I had the opportunity to meet Tomie at an International Reading Conference, now called the International Literacy Association. I purchased some of his books which he happily signed. The mission statement for ILA is: The International Literacy Association (ILA) is a professional organization with a mission of connecting research and practice to continuously improve the quality of literacy instruction across the globe.

Over the years, Tomie received many awards, honors, and recognitions for his work for children, including the Caldecott Award for Strega Nona and a Newberry Honor Award for 26 Fairmount Avenue. Tomie even received many honorary degrees from various colleges and universities.

Tomie dePaola passed away on March 30, 2020.

Do you want to know what Tomie’s favorite color is? Can you guess what his favorite snack might be? To learn more about Tomie visit his website.

If you are a member of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) discover and learn in a Masterclass with Tomie dePaola.

Published by Prairie Garden Girl

I am a wife who is adored by my Sweet Perry. Together we are parents to five boys and grandparents to seven unique, sweet, and sometimes sassy grands. Pa Perry and Oma Sue love instilling the love of learning in the hearts of Johannah, Joshua & Jaxon; Henry & Charlotte, and Lily & Lane. I am a reader. I am a children's picture book writer and enjoy writing fiction and nonfiction stories. I am a creator who sews and paints with acrylics and watercolors and sketches with colored pencils. I am an educator to hundreds of students, throughout the years. I am a cyclist on a pink Marin Portofina, and a 5K walker. Perry and I are organic gardeners and enjoy homesteading on the Illinois prairie. Life is a beautiful ride with my Sweet P. Together, Perry and I feel life is a journey filled with joy. We want to live our lives by leaving the world a better place.

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