Tomie Forever! A Salute of the Heart to This Picture Book Champion of World Renowned Whose Books Will Keep His Legacy Alive for Young Readers!
Picture book author Tomie de Paola passed away yesterday, March 30, 2020.
He was 85 years young.
He had an elfin smile and a sincere love both for what was his vocation in life, and for those for whom he wrote his books.
He was a born storyteller who relished people, picture books and the way that narrative and art attached, can move the emotions and take us subtly and softly from where we are, to an entirely new place.
His picture books, such as ” The Legend of Old Befana “and his wise, but sly “Strega Nona,” made me laugh, while his “Clown of God,” made me cry.
Some of his stories were autobiographical, some were based on tales, legends and myths, many were religious in nature, drawn from saints, parables and miracles.
He drew his inspiration from everywhere.
One of his latest books called “Quiet” tapped into the need for everyone of us to slow down and look around and reflect.
Simple, at first glance, it depicts a grandfather with his two grandchildren in a park. All around them is hurley burly…the dog is barking, birds are chirping loudly and the children are part of an active and energetic scene.
All at once the grandfather quietly beckons them over to a bench to sit for bit.
And the mood changes.
There is time for observation…and more importantly, reflection.
The children remark on this when they observe, “When my mind is quiet, I can think.” or words to that effect.
Tomie knew the territory of a child’s heart very well. I don’t think you can write for children and ever completely leave that domain of childhood.
He knew it and wrote about it and for it.
He was my friend and I will miss him.
Here is a video that I did several years ago about him and his Irish/Italian heritage of which he was equally proud.
God love you, Tomie. I do, too.