Tomie dePaola was born on September 15, 1934 in Meriden, Connecticut. He grew up there with his father and mother, Joseph and Florence (Downey) dePaola, and his brother and sisters, Joseph, Judie and Maureen.

Tomie developed a love for books at an early age probably because his mother loved books and read to Tomie every day. At the age of four, Tomie told anyone who would listen that he wanted to write stories and draw pictures for books and to sing and tap dance on the stage when he grew up. (At age 76, Tomie can say he's done all of those things!)

 

 

   
Drawing and dancing continued to interest Tomie during his school years. Tomie and his dancing partner, Carol Morrissey, performed throughout Meriden and elsewhere during their years in school. Tomie continued to take art classes and create art for exhibitions, theater productions, posters and many other things.
 
 


When Tomie graduated from high school, he went to Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York where his twin cousins, Franny and Fuffy, had previously attended art school. In art school, he said he "spent four years learning how to draw everything - tin cans, dogs, cats, horses, trees - and I practiced and practiced."

     

Tomie didn't get a contract for his first book for several years after graduating from Pratt. When he did get a children's book job, it was to illustrate a science book called SOUND. A year or so later, he wrote and illustrated his first book, THE WONDERFUL DRAGON OF TIMLIN.

That was over 40 years ago when Tomie was asked to illustrate SOUND.

Tomie has now illustrated nearly 250 books and written the stories for over 100 of those books.

He works in a studio attached to a renovated 200-year-old barn in New London, New Hampshire.

MORE BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION can be found in…

www.tomiesblog.blogspot.com

TOMIE DEPAOLA, HIS ART & HIS STORIES, by Barbara Elleman
G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1999

CHILDREN'S BOOKS AND THEIR CREATORS (Anita Silvey, Editor)
Houghton Mifflin, 1995

SOMETHING ABOUT THE AUTHOR AUTOBIOGRAPHY SERIES (Volume 15)
Gale Research, 1993

MAJOR AUTHORS AND ILLUSTRATORS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG ADULTS
Gale Research, 1992

CHILDREN'S LITERATURE REVIEW (Volume 24)
Gale Research, 1991

SOMETHING ABOUT THE AUTHOR (Volume 59)
Gale Research, 1990

BIOGRAPHICAL HIGHLIGHTS…
Tomie dePaola is best known for his works for children.

Tomie has been published for over 40 years.

Over 15 million copies of his books have sold worldwide.

His books have been translated into almost 25 different languages.

Tomie dePaola and his books have received many important recognitions.

Caldecott Honor Award for STREGA NONA from American Library Association (ALA)

Newbery Honor Award for 26 FAIRMOUNT AVENUE from ALA

Laura Ingalls Wilder Award from ALA for "substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children"

Smithson Medal from Smithsonian Institution

Regina Medal from Catholic Library Association

Living Treasure from New Hampshire Governor's Arts Awards

Tomie dePaola has illustrated nearly 250 books and written the stories for over 100 of those books.
Most popular character featured in ten books is "Strega Nona" (in Italian, "Grandma Witch"), a wise, loving and gentle woman who possesses magical powers.

Also popular are Tomie's autobiographical stories and stories based on his life as a youngster, such as, the "26 Fairmount Avenue" series of chapter books. Some of his stories based on his real life are ethnic (Irish and/or Italian); some are humorous; some are touching; but none are sentimental. All of them exude reverence for family.




Tomie dePaola has been profiled and interviewed by many print, TV and radio media.
THE TODAY SHOW, weekday edition, NBC-TV
THE TODAY SHOW, Saturday edition, NBC-TV
THE EARLY SHOW, weekday edition, CBS-TV
CNN MORNING NEWS, CNN-TV
ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, National Public Radio
THE NEW YORK TIMES and THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
THE WASHINGTON POST
USA TODAY

Education
1956, BFA Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York
1969, MFA, California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland, California
(now called California College of the Arts)
1970, doctoral equivalency, Lone Mountain College, San Francisco, California

Teaching Career
1962-3 Instructor of Art
Newton College of the Sacred Heart
Newton, Massachuetts

1963-6 Assistant Professor of Art
Newton College of the Sacred Heart
Newton, Massachuetts

1967-70 Assistant Professor of Art
San Francisco College for Women
(later called Lone Mountain College)
San Francisco, California

1972-3 Instructor of Art
Chamberlayne Junior College
Boston, Massachusetts

1973-6 Associate Professor, Designer, Technical Director in Speech and Theater
Colby-Sawyer College
New London, New Hampshire

1976-8 Associate Professor of Art
New England College
Henniker, New Hampshire

1978-9 Artist-in-Residence
New England College
Henniker, New Hampshire

 
 
 
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