Tomie dePaola Study

I have a lot of favorite children's books authors, but my all time favorite has got to be Tomie dePaola.  He is such an amazing story teller.  He manages to make his books funny, interesting, and full of heart. One of my dreams is to meet him one day.  Unfortunately, he lives on the east coast and only travels around there and I live all the way in Arizona.  My husband says we can go to see him one day so we will see :)

Linda from Around the Kampfire is hosting a linky for all the ways we teach about this incredible author, so make sure to check out all the ideas being shared!

Tomie dePaola is our author of the month for April.  He is suppose to just take one month, but he kind of spills into May (We also read a couple of his Irish folktale stories in March).  Below you will find our Author of the Month wall with some of the titles we read in class.  To make the board, I just photo copied the covers of some of his books and laminated them.  I bundle them together in my files under the corresponding month so that I can pull them out quickly and set up my display each year.  The kids love looking at the books that we will be reading.  They like to keep track of the books that we have read and even use the covers to write new stories during writer's workshop.
This year we also used Linda's Tomie Unit.  I purchased it at the end of last year and it was too late to use it so I was so excited to be able to use it this year!  It was a huge hit!

Here are some portraits that they made with their favorite characters.  I love Big Anthony's face in the first one!
We wrote post cards from Strega Nona! The kids giggled when they found out they were going to pretend they were Strega Nona.  I love the center image. Do you see her belly as she floats in the ocean?  Also, please note the frog spawn on the lower right of the picture (We just did our frog study a few weeks ago.)
We were reviewing cause and effect in our anthology and this activity was perfect for it! I love it when the kids don't know that they are practicing a skill.  They just think they are having fun!
You can find all these activities in Linda's unit right here:

For those of you who are nuts about Tomie, did you know that you can get autographed books from him?  The Morgan Hill Bookstore is in his local town and they sell his books and he can autograph them for you.  I got these a few years ago when he was able to personalize them.  Last I checked, he has been having health problems and isn't able to personalize them anymore, but he will still autograph them for you!  This is all at NO extra charge, you just purchase the books over the phone and pay with your credit card.  The books are sold at their retail price, so if you are going to purchase them anyway, why not get them signed?? 
I did spend a small fortune on these books because I repurchase many titles that I already owned, but when would I get this chance again? I had to do it :D 

These books are some of my most treasured possessions!  I let the kids hold them and I remind them that they are touching something that Tomie once touched!  Talk about feeling special :)

I hope to one day purchase a page from one of his books.  You can purchase that through an art dealer that you can contact via his website.  The Strega pages cost between $600-$4,000 but there are other pieces that are far less expensive.

So who are your favorite authors?  Do you also love Tomie?  If so, make sure to link up with Linda for her Tomie dePaola Linky!


  1. Your kiddos' postcards and character galleries turned out so cute! It's so fun to see these, and I love the frog spawn!

    I had no idea you could purchase books and have Tomie sign them, what a treasure! I'm so glad your class had fun with the study. Thanks so much for the shout out, you are so sweet, Maribel!

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