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Tomie dePaola (1934–2020)

Author of Strega Nona

263+ Works 79,788 Members 1,837 Reviews 45 Favorited

About the Author

Tomie dePaola was born in Meriden, Connecticut on September 15, 1934. He received a B.F.A. from Pratt Institute in 1956, a M.F.A. from California College of Arts and Crafts in 1969, and a doctoral equivalency from Lone Mountain College in 1970. He has written and/or illustrated more than 270 books show more including 26 Fairmount Avenue, Strega Nona, Meet the Barkers, Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs, and Oliver Button Is a Sissy. He has received numerous awards for his work including the Caldecott Honor Award, the Newbery Honor Award and the New Hampshire Governor's Arts Award of Living Treasure. His murals and paintings can be seen in many churches and monasteries throughout New England. He has designed greeting cards, magazine and record album covers, and theater sets. His work is shown in galleries and museums. Tomie dePaola died on March 30, 2020 because of complications he had from surgery after a fall. (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Series

Works by Tomie dePaola

Strega Nona (1975) 6,375 copies
The Legend of the Bluebonnet (1983) 3,481 copies
The Art Lesson (1989) 2,645 copies
The Cloud Book (1975) 2,214 copies
Pancakes for Breakfast (1978) 2,178 copies
26 Fairmount Avenue (1999) 2,025 copies
The Popcorn Book (1978) 1,915 copies
Charlie Needs a Cloak (1973) 1,787 copies
The Legend of the Poinsettia (1994) 1,754 copies
The Clown of God (1978) 1,591 copies
The Knight and the Dragon (1980) 1,409 copies
Tomie dePaola's Mother Goose (1985) 1,292 copies
Merry Christmas, Strega Nona (1986) 1,269 copies
Now One Foot, Now the Other (1981) 1,165 copies
Strega Nona's Magic Lessons (1982) 1,096 copies
Strega Nona’s Harvest (2009) 982 copies
Strega Nona Meets Her Match (1993) 978 copies
Oliver Button Is a Sissy (1979) 946 copies
Strega Nona: Her Story (1996) 819 copies
The Legend of Old Befana (1980) 799 copies
The Baby Sister (1996) 767 copies
Tom (1993) 747 copies
Adelita (2002) 720 copies
Country Angel Christmas (1995) 665 copies
Big Anthony: His Story (1998) 661 copies
Bill and Pete (1978) 627 copies
Jamie O'Rourke and the Pooka (2000) 614 copies
The Night of Las Posadas (1999) 587 copies
Strega Nona Takes a Vacation (2000) 586 copies
The Quicksand Book (1977) 563 copies
Jingle the Christmas Clown (1992) 554 copies
Tony's Bread (1989) 543 copies
My First Thanksgiving (1992) 523 copies
The Bubble Factory (1996) 506 copies
Andy That's My Name (1973) 486 copies
My First Chanukah (1989) 474 copies
Bonjour, Mr. Satie (1991) 450 copies
The Miracles of Jesus (1987) 444 copies
Tomie's Little Mother Goose (1997) 412 copies
An Early American Christmas (1987) 410 copies
The Parables of Jesus (1987) 393 copies
Days of the Blackbird (1997) 353 copies
Kit and Kat (1994) 297 copies
Bill and Pete to the Rescue (1998) 278 copies
My First Easter (1991) 269 copies
The Lady of Guadalupe (1980) 263 copies
My First Halloween (1991) 262 copies
Strega Nona's Gift (2011) 253 copies
My First Passover (1990) 245 copies
Boss For a Day (2001) 241 copies
Too Many Bunnies (Trade) (1989) 232 copies
The Birds of Bethlehem (2012) 220 copies
The Kids' Cat Book (1979) 220 copies
My First Christmas (1989) — Author — 216 copies
Mary: The Mother of Jesus (1995) 202 copies
Michael Bird-Boy (1975) 199 copies
Christmas Remembered (2006) 174 copies
Christopher: The Holy Giant (1994) 167 copies
The Comic Adventures of Old Mother Hubbard and Her Dog (1981) — Illustrator — 163 copies
Stagestruck (2005) 154 copies
Tomie's Little Book of Poems (2004) 150 copies
Quiet (2018) 150 copies
Queen Esther (1750) 146 copies
T-Rex Is Missing! (2002) 144 copies
I'm Still Scared (2006) 143 copies
A New Barker in the House (2002) 131 copies
Look and Be Grateful (2015) 117 copies
The Song of Francis (2009) 110 copies
The Christmas Pageant (1978) 109 copies
Tomie's Baa Baa Black Sheep (2004) 101 copies
Santa's Crash-Bang Christmas (1977) — Illustrator — 96 copies
Marianna May and Nursey (1983) 94 copies
Tomie dePaola's Rhyme Time (2000) 93 copies
Four Friends in Autumn (2004) 92 copies
Strega Nona Does It Again (2013) 88 copies
My Mother Is So Smart (2010) 87 copies
The Cat on the Dovrefell: A Christmas Tale (2021) — Illustrator — 82 copies
My First Songs (2010) 81 copies
Angels, Angels Everywhere (2005) 79 copies
The Wind and the Sun (1972) 76 copies
Jack (2014) 73 copies
Four Friends at Christmas (2002) 73 copies
Songs of the Fog Maiden (1979) 68 copies
David and Goliath (1792) 60 copies
Get Dressed, Santa! (1996) 59 copies
Noah and the Ark (1983) 59 copies
The Unicorn and the Moon (1973) 57 copies
In a Small Kingdom (2018) 55 copies
Four Friends in Summer (2003) 55 copies
My First Mother Goose (2009) 53 copies
Strega Nona and the Twins (2017) 42 copies
My First Christmas Carols (2010) 25 copies
Flicks (1979) 24 copies
My First Fairy Tales (2009) 24 copies
Grab That Dog! (1989) 23 copies
Tomie's Little Book of Love (2007) 23 copies
My First Bible Stories (2010) 20 copies
My First Angels (2011) 17 copies
Fight the Night (1968) 16 copies
Saint Patrick (2019) 13 copies
The Magic Pasta Pot (1979) 8 copies
Hurry, Santa! (2020) 8 copies
Song of Francis (2009) 8 copies
The Journey of the Kiss (1970) 5 copies
Joe and the Snow (1968) 5 copies
Mother Goose Frieze (1984) 4 copies
Tomie De Paola 3 copies
Der Zaubertopf 2 copies
Parker Pig, Esquire (1969) 2 copies
I miracoli di Gesù (2003) 1 copy
Snakes 1 copy
Book 4 1 copy
Book 5 1 copy
Harvest 1 copy
Vive la Saint-Valentin (1983) 1 copy
Rhyme Time 1 copy
Spagettigrytan (1979) 1 copy

Associated Works

Cookie's Week (1988) — Illustrator — 3,509 copies
Shh! We're Writing the Constitution (1987) — Illustrator, some editions — 2,793 copies
The Quilt Story (1985) — Illustrator — 2,250 copies
Can't You Make Them Behave, King George? (1977) — Illustrator, some editions — 1,564 copies
George Washington's Breakfast (1969) — Cover artist, some editions — 1,521 copies
Mice Squeak, We Speak: A Poem (1984) — Illustrator — 1,112 copies
Miracle on 34th Street (1947) — Illustrator, some editions; Illustrator, some editions — 977 copies
The Vanishing Pumpkin (1983) — Illustrator — 744 copies
Little Poems for Tiny Ears (2014) — Illustrator — 557 copies
Simple Pictures Are Best (1977) — Illustrator — 518 copies
Teeny Tiny (1985) — Illustrator — 465 copies
I Love You, Mouse (1976) — Illustrator — 460 copies
The Surprise Party (1977) — Illustrator — 397 copies
I Love You, Sun, I Love You, Moon (1994) — Illustrator — 351 copies
School's In! (1997) — Contributor — 347 copies
Erandi's Braids (1999) — Illustrator — 330 copies
The Holy Twins: Benedict and Scholastica (2001) — Illustrator — 286 copies
The Spooky Halloween Party (1772) — Illustrator — 261 copies
Four Scary Stories (1774) — Illustrator — 248 copies
The Night Before Christmas (Tomie dePaola) (1980) — Illustrator — 232 copies
The Walking Coat (1980) — Illustrator — 231 copies
Alice Nizzy Nazzy: The Witch of Santa Fe (1995) — Illustrator — 218 copies
Hark! A Christmas Sampler (1778) — Illustrator — 181 copies
Petook: An Easter Story (1988) — Illustrator — 174 copies
The Badger and the Magic Fan (1990) — Illustrator — 137 copies
The Big Book For Our Planet (1993) — Contributor — 135 copies
The Tyrannosaurus Game (1975) — Illustrator — 132 copies
Benny's Big Bubble (1997) — Illustrator — 124 copies
The Wuggie Norple Story (1980) — Illustrator — 96 copies
Who's a Friend of the Water Spurting Whale (1987) — Illustrator — 92 copies
Knock, Knock (2007) — Illustrator — 81 copies
Good Morning To You, Valentine: Poems For Valentine's Day (1976) — Illustrator — 70 copies
The Giants' Farm (1977) — Illustrator — 68 copies
Christina's Carol (2021) — Illustrator — 66 copies
Nicholas Bentley Stoningpot III (1982) — Illustrator — 62 copies
Tikvah: Children's Book Creators Reflect on Human Rights (2001) — Contributor — 61 copies
Pages of Music (1988) — Illustrator — 60 copies
Let's Find Out About Houses (1962) — Illustrator — 54 copies
Hot as an Ice Cube (1971) — Illustrator — 51 copies
Celebrate Cricket: 30 Years of Stories and Art (2003) — Contributor — 43 copies
Wings (2019) — Illustrator, some editions — 41 copies
Steppin' Out: Jaunty Rhymes for Playful Times (2017) — Illustrator — 26 copies
Easter Buds Are Springing: Poems for Easter (1979) — Illustrator — 25 copies
The Green Gourd: A North Carolina Folktale (1992) — Foreword — 25 copies
Ghost Poems (1979) — Illustrator — 22 copies
Once upon Dinkelsbuhl (1977) — Illustrator — 21 copies
The Barker Twins: Triple Check-Up (2004) — Illustrator — 21 copies
The Tiger and the Rabbit and Other Tales (1946) — Illustrator — 19 copies
Look in the Mirror (1972) — Illustrator — 19 copies
Read for Joy! (1996) — Illustrator — 16 copies
Sound Science (1968) — Illustrator — 14 copies
Marc the Magnificent (1978) — Illustrator — 12 copies
Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast (1977) — Illustrator — 12 copies
This is the Ambulance Leaving the Zoo (1975) — Illustrator — 11 copies
Pick It Up (1971) — Illustrator, some editions — 9 copies
The Rocking-Chair Ghost (1969) — Illustrator, some editions; Illustrator, some editions; Illustrator, some editions — 9 copies
Sound (1965) — Illustrator — 8 copies
Tricky Peik and Other Picture Tales (1967) — Illustrator, some editions — 8 copies
Finders keepers, losers weepers (1967) — Illustrator — 5 copies
Cricket Magazine, Vol. 4, No. 3, November 1976 (1976) — Illustrator — 5 copies
Cricket Magazine, Vol. 3, No. 2, October 1975 (1974) — Contributor — 4 copies
Cricket Magazine, Vol. 4, No. 5, January 1977 (1977) — Contributor — 3 copies
Cricket Magazine, Vol. 4, No. 6, February 1977 — Cover artist; Illustrator — 2 copies
Cricket Magazine, Vol. 5, No. 4, December 1977 (1977) — Illustrator — 2 copies
Cricket Magazine, Vol. 6, No. 1, September 1978 (1978) — Illustrator — 2 copies
Cricket Magazine, Vol. 4, No. 12, August 1977 (1970) — Illustrator — 2 copies
Hold Everything (1973) — Illustrator — 1 copy

Tagged

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Common Knowledge

Canonical name
dePaola, Tomie
Legal name
dePaolo, Thomas Anthony
Birthdate
1934-09-15
Date of death
2020-03-30
Gender
male
Nationality
USA
Birthplace
Meriden, Connecticut, USA
Place of death
Lebanon, New Hampshire, USA
Cause of death
fall, complications
Places of residence
California, USA
New London, New Hampshire, USA
Education
Pratt Institute (BFA)
California College of Arts and Crafts (MFA)
Lone Mountain College
Occupations
writer
illustrator
artist
Organizations
Newton College of the Sacred Heart (taught 1962-66)
Awards and honors
Caldecott Honor Award from American Library Association
Newbery Honor Award from American Library Association
USA nominee in illustration for Hans Christian Andersen Medal
University of Southern Mississippi Medallion
Kerlan Award from the University of Minnesota
Smithson Medal from Smithsonian Institution (show all 11)
Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal (2011)
New Hampshire Governor's Arts Award of Living Treasure
Regina Medal from Catholic Library Association (1983)
Society of Illustrators Lifetime Achievement Award (2012)
Children's Literature Legacy Award (2011)
Agent
Whiteman, Doug
Short biography
[from Michael Bird-Boy, 40th anniversary edition]
TOMIE dePAOLA is one of the most popular children's book authors and illustrators of our time and the winner of the 2011 Children's Literature Legacy Award for "significant and lasting contribution to children's literature", among other lifetime achievement awards. A Newbery Honor winner, he has written and illustrated a number of books, including Caldecott Honor book Strega Nona and its companions, as well as Oliver Button Is a Sissy; The Legend of Old Befana; The Clown of God; Michael Bird-Boy; Andy, That's My Name; and Quiet. A native of Connecticut, Mr. dePaola studied at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and now lives in New London, New Hampshire.

Members

Reviews

Celebrated children's author and illustrator Tomie dePaola retells the medieval French legend of The Little Juggler in this beautiful picture book, changing the setting from France to Italy, and adding a poignant, bittersweet ending not found in the original. Orphaned Giovanni has but one skill in this tale: that os juggling. Becoming a traveling performer, he wins acclaim and juggles in front and dukes and princes. But when he grows old and can no longer perform, he finds himself ridiculed by the public, and driven away with sharp words and stones. Putting away his juggling, he heads home to his native town of Sorrento, where he seeks shelter one Christmas Eve in a monastery. Here, ashamed that he has nothing to offer the Virgin Mary and Christ Child, he makes his last performance: giving his all, his very life, in a marvelous show which leads to a miracle...

I grew up with The Clown of God, which was one of my favorite picture books as a child, and I never fail to be moved by its story of a man of talent who, growing old and finding the world a hard place, comes home to God by offering all that he has—both his performance and his life—as a gift. In the original, as I have learned, there is no death involved in this miracle, and while I am normally on the side of retelling traditional tales in their original form, here the changes made by dePaola create a truly moving story. I had the honor and pleasure of meeting Tomie dePaola some years ago, when this 2018 reprint was published and I was managing a children's bookstore, and in the course of our conversation he told me that this new edition was a better representation, visually, of his original intention for the book, than the first edition from the 1970s. Apparently that first edition didn't get the colors quite right. He also told me that, of all his books, this was his favorite, something I was so delighted to learn, as it is also mine. The artwork is beautiful of course, in that vintage dePaola style, but it is the storytelling which is truly captivating, capturing the poignancy of growing old and of feeling cast aside and worthless, and the joy of discovering one has something still to give. Recommended to dePaola fans, and to picture book readers looking for miraculous stories touching on issues of aging, faith and bringing the best that one has to God. It would pair very nicely with Barbara Cooney's retelling of the original French version of the story, The Little Juggler.
… (more)
 
Flagged
AbigailAdams26 | 20 other reviews | May 12, 2024 |
independent reading level: PK - 3 grade
awards:
None individually, though DePaola has received a bunch of cumulative recognitions.
 
Flagged
daylaj | 5 other reviews | Apr 27, 2024 |
independent reading level: Grade 2-3
Awards: Americas Awards 1994
 
Flagged
daylaj | 30 other reviews | Apr 27, 2024 |
I loved this book as a child, and I love it now. I even have a little Strega Nona doll in my library. I wish I had my own little magic pasta pot.
 
Flagged
mrsandersonreads23 | 251 other reviews | Apr 14, 2024 |

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Statistics

Works
263
Also by
76
Members
79,788
Popularity
#153
Rating
4.0
Reviews
1,837
ISBNs
1,475
Languages
14
Favorited
45

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