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 forhis 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 copyright 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.
Reaching deep into the treasured memories of his own childhood, dePaola pulls out a plum. Little Tommy eagerly anticipates the arrival of a new sibling, and prays nightly for "a baby sister with a red ribbon in her hair." Household preparations proceed on course until a slight detour knocks Tommy for a loop-the arrival of his stern Italian nana instead of beloved Aunt Nell to care for him while his mother is in the hospital. This added dimension lifts the plot beyond the garden-variety "new baby in the house" scenario, and under dePaola's sure, sensitive direction, a richly textured tale unfolds. The sympathetic fellow and his big, extended family are prime fodder for dePaola's artistic talent, too-with their well-known simplicity of line and cheerful palette, dePaola's illustrations radiate warmth and affection. Don't miss the author photo on the jacket cover for a glimpse of the real beribboned sister. Ages 3-6. (Mar.)
PreS‘Another of dePaola's family stories. This one depicts young Tommy's anticipation of the arrival of his new sibling. In tightly framed paintings, the boy helps ready the nursery; draws and cuts paper decorations (his signature birds, hearts, and flowers); and eagerly awaits Aunt Nell's arrival. However, when his mother goes to the hospital, it is his forceful and dour Italian Nana who happens to be available for baby-sitting. Worse, because chicken pox is going around, Tommy can't even visit his mother after his sister is born. But all ends well‘he and his Nana patch up their quarrels, and he gets to hold Maureen when all the relatives have gathered. This title goes along with The Art Lesson (1994), Tom (1993), and Nana Upstairs & Nana Downstairs (1973, all Putnam), all tales based on dePaola's memories. As a "waiting for the baby to arrive" story, though, this one seems as sedate and old-fashioned as its late-1930s setting.‘Susan Hepler, Alexandria City Public Schools, VA