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Tomie dePaola (b. 1934) is best known for his books for children. He has written and/or illustrated nearly 250 books. Over 15 million copies of his books have sold. The Birds of Bethlehem is his newest book. Strega Nona Does it Again will be published in fall 2013.
Born in Meriden, Connecticut, dePaola received his BFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and his MFA from the California College of Arts in Oakland, California. He received a doctoral equivalency in fine arts from Lone Mountain College in San Francisco.
In addition to writing and illustrating children’s books, dePaola taught for several years in art and theater departments in colleges in California, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.
DePaola has received many prestigious awards, including the Smithson Medal from the Smithsonian Institution, the Kerlan Award from the University of Minnesota, the Regina Medal from the Catholic Library Association, and the Sarah Josepha Hale Award, a prestigious distinction in writing by a New Englander.
He was also the United States nominee in 1990 for the international Hans Christian Andersen Award in illustration. The American Library Association named Strega Nona a Caldecott Honor Book and 26 Fairmount Avenue a Newbery Honor Book. He was the 2011 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award recipient for “substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children.” He received the Society of Illustrators Original Art Show Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.
The University of Connecticut, Georgetown University, and Pratt Institute, among others, have granted him honorary doctoral degrees. Pratt Institute, in 2012, named him “one of the top 125 Pratt icons of all time.” In 1999, he was selected for the New Hampshire Governor’s Arts Award of Living Treasure.
DePaola makes his home in New London, New Hampshire, where he works in a renovated 200-year-old barn. Visit the author at tomie.com and tomiesblog.blogspot.com.
A biography of the wealthy young Italian who gave away all his possessions to become a wandering preacher and protector of animals.