Christmas Remembered

( 4 )


Tomie dePaola shares his love for Christmas in fifteen vivid memories, spanning six decades. Wherever he lived - as a teenager in Connecticut, an art student in Brooklyn, a novice monk in Vermont, or an artist in New Hampshire - Tomie's enthusiasm for the holiday reflects the original style in which he has always celebrated Christmas.

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Tomie dePaola shares his love for Christmas in fifteen vivid memories, spanning six decades. Wherever he lived - as a teenager in Connecticut, an art student in Brooklyn, a novice monk in Vermont, or an artist in New Hampshire - Tomie's enthusiasm for the holiday reflects the original style in which he has always celebrated Christmas.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
DePaola (26 Fairmount Avenue) waxes nostalgic in slightly new territory here-a series of autobiographical vignettes of Christmases past aimed at an audience beyond children. From his earliest childhood memories of his family's faux fireplace purchased "so Santa could visit," to presents at age 11 that validated his aspirations to be an artist, to holidays as an adult spent with fellow artists and friends in San Francisco and Santa Fe, this volume chronicles its creator's lifelong fondness for celebrating December 25th. DePaola alternates his signature gouache style with mixed-media and collage pieces, giving the work a pleasant "scrapbook" effect. All ages. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Karen Leggett
There was Christmas with the paper fireplace; Christmas with the first black and white television in the neighborhood (which the whole neighborhood came to watch); Christmas in a priory when Tomie dePaola thought he would become a monk; and Christmases in San Francisco, Santa Fe, Vermont, New York City and New Hampshire. This is a wonderful collection of memories, written almost like a journal and illustrated with dePaola's characteristic bright colors and rounded shapes—plus one surprising collage. His first book written for all ages, dePaola warns that readers are free to omit the drinking spots—and there are many! The stories span dePaola's life, so they become cultural and historical snapshots of Christmas during World War II, making candy-canes by hand, creating paper roses when there was no money for ornaments, filling a San Francisco apartment with tiny Christmas trees and being mesmerized by Las Posadas in Santa Fe. This is a fun collection of warm, personal essays from a beloved artist who takes joy in making a special holiday even more special.
School Library Journal
Gr 3 Up-The beloved children's author/illustrator shares Christmas reminiscences, beginning in 1937, when he was three, and continuing through his adult years. Youngsters familiar with dePaola's autobiographical books, such as 26 Fairmount Avenue (Putnam, 1999), will recognize some of the family members and settings in the childhood anecdotes. However, the most compelling narratives are the memories of the author's adult years as a monk in a Vermont priory, a Brooklyn art student, a young man in San Francisco, and a visitor in Santa Fe. Their child appeal is limited, but adults will enjoy these glimpses into the personal life of a creative member of the children's literature community. The border decorations and occasional paintings capture the color and nostalgia of Christmas past and present.-Virginia Walter, University of California, Los Angeles Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
DePaola offers a montage of Christmas memories from his earliest days as a toddler in a high chair, captured in home movies, right up to his current celebrations in his home in New Hampshire. He includes memories of family parties in his childhood home on Fairmount Avenue, helping out in a candy shop and a special Christmas when he received a full complement of art supplies to nurture his budding talent. Each stage of his life is captured with glimpses of his Christmas celebrations: singing in high school concerts, shopping as an art student in New York City and preparing for the holiday as a young novice at a Benedictine monastery in Vermont. Other chapters describe his time as a grad student in San Francisco, a visit to Santa Fe and a Christmas in New York as an adult. Full-page illustrations of holiday subjects in dePaola's distinctive style alternate with spot illustrations of Christmas scenes, with a polka-dot border accenting the pages. While the stories from his childhood will interest younger readers, most of the volume will be of more interest to dePaola's adult fans and those doing author studies. (Nonfiction. 10-adult)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142414811
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/1/2009
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 642,838
  • Age range: 8 - 11 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Tomie dePaola
Tomie dePaola lives in New London, New Hampshire.


Born in 1934 into a large extended Irish/Italian family, Tomie dePaola received his art education at Brooklyn's Pratt Institute and the California College of Arts & Crafts. Although he always wanted to create children's books, he spent several years applying his talents to the fields of education, theater, and graphic design. In the mid-1960s, he received his first commission to illustrate a children's science book. A year later, he published his first original picture book, The Wonderful Dragon of Timlin. Today, he is one of the most prolific -- and beloved -- author/illustrators in children's literature.

In addition to illustrating stories by other writers, DePaola has created artwork for collections of poetry, nursery rhymes, holiday traditions, and folk and religious tales. But, he is most famous for books of his own creation, especially Strega Nona ("Grandma Witch"), the beloved story of an old woman who uses her magical powers to help the people of her small Italian village. Written in 1975, this Caldecott Honor winner is still delighting children today.

DePaola admits that there are strong autobiographical elements in many of his books (Nana Upstairs & Nana Downstairs, The Art Lesson, Stagestruck), but nowhere is this more evident than in 26 Fairmount Avenue, a series of charming chapter books based on his Connecticut childhood. Taking its name from the address of his family home, the series captures the experiences and emotions of a young boy growing up in the late 1930s and early '40s in the shadow of World War II. The first book in the series received a 1999 Newbery Honor Award.

DePaola and his work have been recognized with many honors, including the Smithsonian Medal, the Kerlan Award for "singular attainment in children's literature," the Catholic Library Association's Regina Medal, and several awards from the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. In 1999, the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts bestowed on dePaola the Lotte Jacobi Living Treasure Award for the body of his work.

Good To Know

  • Tomie dePaola's name is pronounced Tommy de POW-la.

  • Between college and graduate school, dePaola spent a short time in a Benedictine monastery before determining that religious life was not for him.

  • Using a combination of watercolor, tempera, and acrylic, dePaola's artistic style is best described as folk-traditional.

  • DePaola's favorite painters and strongest artistic influences are Matisse, Giotto, and Ben Shahn.
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    Customer Reviews

    Average Rating 4
    ( 4 )
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    Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
    • Posted February 10, 2009

      Nice Gift for Christmas

      I rec'd this book as a gift, and loved it, so this past Christmas I purchased it as a gift for my child's teacher. I'm a fan of DePaola; I love his children's books, but this one if for adults. If you are of Italian-American decent, I strongly recommend it as you will be able to relate to a lot of the stories. If you're not of I/A decent - still a good read; warm and funny stories, positive messages throughou.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted November 1, 2006

      Awsome Book!!!!!!

      This book is great, Tomie dePaola is one of my favorite authors. I love how he talks about his different Christmas's they are really cool and there are so many twists and turns you would never expect.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted December 20, 2009

      No text was provided for this review.

    • Anonymous

      Posted November 28, 2009

      No text was provided for this review.

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