These laugh-out-loud stories from New Hampshire and Vermont are set during the four seasons of the year. The storyteller in his appealing dialect tells little-known tales, among them "Mothah Skunk" and the night she had to move out with her kits because Sherman Curtis smelled so bad; the escapades of Big Gertie Benson, the lumberjacks' cook and a cousin of the Bunyans in the Midwest; and George Petty, who delivered the mail even during mud season by standing on the back of his horse with only his head sticking out. Interspersed throughout are comic style episodes as an unsuspecting tourist tries to get information from the locals.
A delightful preface about living in New Hampshire for the past thirty-five years and visiting the North Country since he was a boy explains why Tomie dePaola has perfect pitch for the dialect and a genuine appreciation for these unforgettable characters and their understated humor. Perfect for listening to with the family or in the classroom, these tales are sure to be a hit with Tomie's fans, young and old.
Tomie dePaola was born in Meriden, Connecticut, in 1934 to a family of Irish and Italian background. By the time he could hold a pencil, he knew what his life's work would be. 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 names Fra Angelico and Giotto, Georges Rouault, and Ben Shahn as major influences on his work, but he 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.
Tomie dePaola has published almost 200 children's books in fifteen different countries. He remains one of the most popular creators of books for children, receiving more than 100,000 fan letters each year.
Tomie lives in an interesting house in New Hampshire with his four dogs. His studio is in a large renovated 200-year-old barn.
- He has been published for over 30 years.
- Over 5 million copies of his books have sold worldwide.
- His books have been published in over 15 different countries.
- He receives nearly 100,000 fan letters each year.
Tomie dePaola has received virtually every significant recognition forhis books in the children's book world, including:
- Caldecott Honor Award from American Library Association
- Newbery Honor Award from American Library Association
- Smithson Medal from Smithsonian Institution
- USA nominee in illustration for Hans Christian Andersen Medal
- Regina Medal from Catholic Library Association