Cover image for Tomie dePaola : his art & his stories
Tomie dePaola : his art & his stories
Elleman, Barbara.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, [1999]

Physical Description:
218 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 29 cm
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3554.E1147 Z65 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize
PS3554.E1147 Z65 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
PS3554.E1147 Z65 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
PS3554.E1147 Z65 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Tomie dePaola is among the best-known, best-loved artist/authors creating books for children today. His art and his stories, filled with imagination, humor, elegance, and curiosity, emanate from a love of life reflected in everything he does. Barbara Elleman , a critic in her own right, explores Tomie dePaola as artist and storyteller. The result is a fascinating, complete, and highly readable account that looks first at his life and then at the many genres he has drawn upon--autobiographical memories, folktales, Christmas themes, religious stories, and more. She shows patterns and motifs that thread through his work, points out major influences on his art, and gives a rare look at his fine art and his "non-book" designs.Ms. Elleman's thoughtful narrative and selections of artwork that illustrate Mr. dePaola's diverse styles bring a fresh appreciation to the work of this unique artist/author.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Elleman delves into the life and works of one of children's literature's best-known, most-beloved creators, author-artist Tomie dePaola. An introduction by fellow artist Trina Schart Hyman points out the deceptive simplicity of dePaola's art, and certainly by the end of the book, readers will have renewed respect for both his talent and his hard work. Just as dePaola interweaves his childhood into his books, Elleman skillfully threads dePaola's biography into detailed explorations of his work. Smooth, coherent discussions of text and image are grouped into chapters considering such categories as dePaola's autobiographical, religious, folktale, and Strega Nona books. She is particularly successful in drawing out essential elements of an illustration--taking in everything from a character's eye movement to line, coloration, and use of white space--and articulating the elements so that the less-experienced eye can also find them. Additional chapters, all of which are suffused with the liveliness of dePaola's personality, fill out the picture--from his popularity with folk collectors to his groundbreaking business deal with Putnam. The book design, very much in keeping with dePaola's work, features spacious pages and enticing photographs and artwork. A section of reproductions of dePaola's single paintings adds a fascinating final look at an artist who may be of interest to writers, librarians, parents, and, perhaps most of all, to aspiring artists. --Susan Dove Lempke

Library Journal Review

Fans of dePaola's work will gravitate toward this handsome oversized book that provides a critical overview and celebration of the subject's illustrious career. It begins with a biographical chapter and continues with sections about the author/artist's autobiographical tales, religious books, folktales, nonfiction works, collections, and drawings and paintings; a single chapter is devoted to his most famed creation-"Strega Nona." Well-chosen examples of dePaola's art effectively illustrate Elleman's critical insights; photographs and illustrations on nearly every page create an appealing presentation. While children will enjoy poring over the collected illustrations, they are not the primary audience for this scholarly text. Elleman's description of the influence of Italian Renaissance artists and those of other periods upon dePaola's work may serve as a useful educational point of departure for discussing artistic inspiration and art history. A well-crafted and thoughtful book.-Rosalyn Pierini, San Luis Obispo City-County Library, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.