Tomie dePaola

September 15, 1934

Tomie dePaola’s illustrations, distinctive in their simplicity, grace the pages of over 200 picture books.

Tomie dePaola was born in Meriden, Connecticut in 1934. He showed his artistic talent early in life and developed it by earning a bachelor’s degree in art education at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York and a master’s degree at the California College of Arts and Crafts.

Early in his career dePaola worked as a stage set designer and muralist. He painted murals for several churches in New England before publishing his first book in 1965. One of his best-known books, Strega Nona, won a Caldecott Honor medal in 1976. Although he mostly illustrates his own words, he has collaborated with several other authors.

Since the early 1970’s dePaola has published 3 or 4 every year, nearly all with his signature style:

My work is recognizable…It thrills and pleases me when teachers, parents, and librarians teel me that young children know when they are looking at one of my books…My style is purely and outward expression of my own inner vision…

quoted in Children's Books and Their Creators

Tomie dePaola lives in New London, New Hampshire.