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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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A Mexican legend tells how the poinsettia came to be, through a little girl's unselfish gift to the Christ Child. Tomie dePaola has embraced the legend using his own special feeling for Christmas. His glorious paintings capture not only the brilliant colors of Mexico and its art, but also the excitement of the children preparing for Christmas and the hope of Lucida, who comes to see what makes a gift truly beautiful.
Every morning and every afternoon, Old Befana sweeps with her broom. “Cranky old lady,” the children say. “She is always sweeping!” Sweep, sweep, sweep.
But when a brilliant star glows in the eastern sky one night, and Old Befana encounters the glorious procession of three kings on their way to Bethlehem, her world will never be the same.
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...
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.
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.
Three wise men of the East, having seen a new star symbolizing the birth of a great king, follow the star to Bethlehem where they present gifts to the newborn Jesus. This beautiful rendition of the well-known tale is sure to delight young readers.
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.
This inventive and fresh Nativity story is told from a bird's-eye view. On the morning of the first Christmas, the birds of Bethlehem gather in the fields--not only to eat but to share the exciting news. People from all over have descended on Bethlehem and an angel has appeared in the night sky. Something extraordinary is coming! The birds agree that they must find this wondrous thing, and off they fly to the stable where a child has been born.
In simple language and dazzling pictures, beloved author-illustrator Tomie dePaola shares the awe and anticipation of the first Christmas. His cast of brightly colored, curious birds will appeal to young children, making this a perfect introduction to the story of Christmas.
Many years ago, when the People traveled the Plains, a young Indian boy had a Dream-Vision in which it was revealed that one day he would create a painting that was as pure as the colors of the evening sky at sunset. The boy grew up to become the painter of the tribe, but although he found a pure white buckskin for a canvas and made paints from the brightest flowers and the reddest berries, he could not capture the sunset.
How the young Indian artist finally fulfills his Dream-Vision is lovingly told and illustrated by Tomie dePaola, in words and pictures that capture the spirit and beauty of this dramatic legend.
Tomie dePaola's beloved Strega Nona is back in a colorful picture book, perfect for fall and the changing seasons. With beautiful illustrations reminiscent of the artwork that won Tomie dePaola the Caldecott Honor for the original Strega Nona, this celebration of harvest and gardening will make the perfect addition to any Strega Nona collection.