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Tomie dePaola,
Author, Illustrator & New Hampshire Resident

Tomie dePaola, whose given name is Thomas Anthony de Paola, was born in Meriden, Connecticut in 1934 of an Irish and Italian background. From an early age his ambition was to create picture books. His mother, a book lover, read to Tomie and his brother and encouraged their love of books. Tomie credits the Saturday morning radio show, "Let's Pretend," in helping to develop his imagination. At the ripe "old age" of ten, he wrote books for his younger sisters' birthdays. One of these books was Glimmera, the Story of a Mermaid.

Tomie dePaola has a B.F.A. from Pratt Institute and an M.F.A. from California College of Arts and Crafts. He often draws upon his own childhood experiences in writing books. For example, his own Italian grandmother was the model for the grandmother in Watch Out for the Chicken Feet in Your Soup. His book Strega Nona was selected as a Caldecott Honor Book and he was the United States nominee for the Hans Christian Anderson Award.

His career as a professional artist and designer paralleled his success as an author. A prolific writer, he produces sometimes two to four children's books a year. He combined this career with an academic one, teaching at New England College in Henniker, New Hampshire. He enjoyed many "one man shows" in Boston which featured his drawings and set designs. Many of his murals adorn the walls of Catholic churches and monasteries in New England. His book, Clown of God, is a beautiful expression of a poor one's gift to the serene mother and playful child.

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.

Tomie dePaola's
Mother Goose

Tomie dePaola
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The Mother goose rhymes are perhaps the most popular collection of poems and songs in the history of children's literature. The magical old woman on her goose is so dear to our hearts, and so much a part of the oral tradition, that her tales will always be with us. Over the centuries, many different versions of Mother Goose have appeared, and it now seems fitting that Tomie dePaola should complete his original and comprehensive edition of over two hundred Mother Goose rhymes as he celebrates his twentieth year in publishing.

Tomie dePaola's
Nursery Tales

Tomie dePaola
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Now the beloved artist-author of books for children has created a richly illustrated companion book of nursery tales, chosen from among the fairy tales and folk tales, the fables and poems he most loved as a boy. The result is a collection that offers variety and enjoyment for the whole family.

From the oldest to the youngest, everyone will find a favorite, whether it be The Little Red Hen, The Emperor's New Clothes, Rumpelstiltskin or The Owl and the Pussycat.

Older readers will appreciate the wit and style Tomie dePaola brings to his illustrations, while younger children will respond to his infallible sense of fun, his use of brilliant colors and his original interpretations of wonderful characters who have remained the favorites of generations of children.

The Legend
of the

Tomie dePaola
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In Mexico, the poinsettia is called flor de la Nochebuenaˇ flower of the Holy Night. At Christmastime, the flower blooms and flourishes, the quite exquisite red stars lighting up the countryside.

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.

Big Anthony
Tomie dePaola
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Strega Nona fans will love this story of Big Anthony, the bumbling but lovable helper to whom she has remained loyal all these years, even after he used her magic pot and almost drowned the town in pasta in his first--but not his last--disaster. How did Big Anthony find Strega Nona in her little house in Calabria?

Life for Big Anthony began on a farm in northern Italy. From the day he was born, he didn't pay attention. And that meant trouble. Nonna Graziella was the first to realize what lay ahead when he got everyone wet at his christening. And by the time he was a teenage, he had messed up so many things on the farm that his father sent him away to find work. Some of the cities he passed through have never been the same: Pisa, Firenze, Roma, and Napoli.

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