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Tomie dePaola biography

Author Biography  | Books by this Author  | Read-Alikes

Tomie dePaola
Photo by Suki Coughlin

Tomie dePaola

How to pronounce Tomie dePaola: tommy de POW luh

Tomie dePaola Biography

Tomie dePaola was born in Meriden, Connecticut, in 1934 to a family of Irish and Italian background. 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 named Fra Angelico and Giotto, Georges Rouault, and Ben Shahn as influences on his work, but 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.

He published more than 200 children's books in fifteen different countries. He died in late March 2020 aged 85 due to complications following surgery.

Tomie dePaola's website

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Books by this Author

Books by Tomie dePaola at BookBrowse
26 Fairmount Avenue jacket
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Read-Alikes

All the books below are recommended as read-alikes for Tomie dePaola but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose read-alikes

  • Jeanne Birdsall

    Jeanne Birdsall

    Birdsall was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and raised in the suburbs. She decided to become a writer at the age of ten - but she didn't start until she was 41. She worked first on other jobs, most notably as a ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    26 Fairmount Avenue

    Try:
    The Penderwicks
    by Jeanne Birdsall

  • Polly Horvath

    Polly Horvath

    Polly Horvath grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Her books include The Trolls, finalist for the U.S. National Book Award for Young People's Literature in 1999, Everything on a Waffle, a runner-up for the Newbery Medal in 2002 ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    26 Fairmount Avenue

    Try:
    The Vacation
    by Polly Horvath

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