From his Irish-Italian roots to his adventures in musical theater, his time as a Benedictine monk and his work as a fine artist and teacher, legendary author/illustrator Tomie dePaola has always drawn from life experience. But how does a character inspired by your own grandmother become so universal? Find out in this intimate interview with one of our industry's most esteemed, beloved and prolific talents.
In this 57-minute interview, Emma Walton Hamilton asks Tomie everything you'd want to know about this legend from how he got his start to if his grandma really was Strega Nona to where he would go to school today if he was just starting out.
Tomie dePaola has been writing and illustrating books for children for over 50 years. His 260+ books have sold 25 million copies worldwide, including Strega Nona, 26 Fairmount Avenue, The Art Lesson, and Christmas Remembered. Tomie and his work have been recognized with the Smithson Medal from the Smithsonian Institution, the Kerlan Award from the University of Minnesota for his "singular attainment in children's literature," and the Regina Medal from the Catholic Library Association. The American Library Association has honored him with a Caldecott Honor Book, a Newbery Honor Book, and the 2011 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for his "substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children."