Featured books by
Reading Rockets recommends the following books by Tomie dePaola.
The first in a series of autobiographical chapter books about Tomie dePaola's early years, this story focuses on his family's move from their apartment in Meriden, Connecticut, to the now famous address, 26 Fairmount Avenue. This Newbery Honor book is sprinkled with humorous sketches, and is ideal for reading aloud and for the sharing of family stories.
Adelitas stepmother and stepsisters relegate her to kitchen duties after her father dies - and they dont let her attend the fiesta. While details change a kindly servant takes the place of a fairy godmother and a brightly hued shawl replaces the glass slipper the story is recognizable as a Cinderella variant. Adelita, published in September of 2002, is rich with the colors, flavors, and sounds of Mexico. Spanish is sprinkled throughout this beautifully decorated book.
Charlie's sheep keep nibbling on his cloak, and now it's all tattered and torn. So, he shears his sheep, cards and spins the wool, weaves and dyes the cloth, and sews a beautiful new red cloak to keep him warm when winter comes.
DePaola uses humor and verve to retell the traditional Irish tale of how Ireland’s Fin M’coul – with the help of his wife – outwits an even bigger giant and creates the topography of Ireland. Characteristic illustrations add to the outsized fun.
This small board book provides a first look at the holiday to be shared with the youngest. Clear illustrations are placed in an open format to engage readers and to illuminate traditions and celebrations.
The narrator knows his mom is special by the way she does regular Mom things (like changing a diaper) but more. She also drives an old truck and teaches her son to dance the polka. The author/illustrator’s homage to his mom will be appreciated by mothers everywhere.
Every Sunday Tommy and his family visit the two nanas: upstairs Nana is Tommy's great-grandmother who stays in bed because of her age; the active Nana downstairs is his grandmother. Tommy is forlorn when Nana upstairs dies, but comes to understand that she remains with him through his fond memories of times shared. New artwork in a larger format was created to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of this modern classic.
His classmates taunt Oliver because he prefers to dance and draw and do other things that other boys don't much like. But Oliver's practice and passion for dance gain the respect and admiration of the kids after his performance. This tough topic is handled with sensitivity and humor in both text and illustration.
An old woman decides to make pancakes for breakfast on a snowy morning. It’s not so easy though. She must gather the eggs and even find maple syrup. Will her animals help? Humor abounds in this wordless picture book, sure to change with each reading.
Ever wonder why popcorn pops? When did it become a favorite food? With humor and verve in text and illustration, dePaola presents scientific and historical information about popcorn in this delectable book.
Big Anthony is large in size and curiosity but short on self-control. When Strega Nona, "grandma witch" of the village, leaves him in charge of her magic pasta pot, he can’t resist trying his hand at a spell. The small town almost drowns in pasta until Strega Nona returns just in time to reverse the spell and save the day. Through his lively illustrations and vivacious retelling, dePaola brings a traditional tale to new generations.
Join Strega Nona and Big Anthony for holidays in Calabria (Italy) where feasts, food, and fun abound from early December to Epiphany. Of course, Big Anthony gets into trouble, but all ends well in this cheerful holiday offering with these enduring characters.
When the good Italian witch, Strega Nona carefully adds a touch of magic to her well-tended garden it grows beautifully. Her bumbling assistant, Big Anthony, is not as careful with near-disastrous results. A creative solution to the overabundance winds up helping many - but will Big Anthony ever learn?
Though Tommy's family values and respects his artwork, the budding artist’s school doesn't always seem to appreciate it. That is until a special teacher encourages Tommy to follow his own interests. The tone of dePaola's signature art is reserved here but ideally suited to this autobiographical picture book. Those who follow their own passions and persevere (or want to) will find this book affirming.
A range of colorful birds share what they see in Bethlehem on the night of the Nativity, including the child and mother. Soft color and gentle line – characteristic of dePaola – and fluid text present a warm Christmas story.
Bluebonnets are the state flower of Texas. How they came to be is an Indian legend from the Comanche tradition. An orphan, She-Who-Is-Alone, is raised by the tribe in a time of drought and famine. Her sacrifice brings the people back into harmony with nature and saves the tribe. Stylized illustrations (though obviously still dePaola's work) provide atmosphere for this inspiring, touching, and respectful tale.
In this retelling of a beloved Mexican folktale, Tomie dePaola presents Lucinda, a young girl who is helping her mother weave a new blanket for Baby Jesus to be used in the Christmas procession to the church. When her mother falls ill, however, Lucinda tries to continue weaving and is distraught when the blanket's threads get tangled. She is sure that she has ruined the celebration — until a Christmas miracle brings forth the flaming red-star flowers that we still enjoy each December. Beautiful artwork will enthrall readers.
The simple, plain text tells of the close relationship between Tommy and his namesake grandfather, Tom. They read the comics together, act out poems, make up stories, and play practical jokes.
Original illustrations define and enhance a selection of over 200 mostly familiar nursery rhymes. Open format and gentle colors in a large format make this a wonderful book to share with young children.
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