Suzy Staubach and I were invited to attend a lovely brunch at Tomie’s house to celebrate his being awarded the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, given by the American Library Association which “…“honors an author or illustrator whose books, published in the United States, have made, over a period of years, a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children.” The dePaola house is absolutely charming, with room after room where wonderful sculptures, artwork, toys, candles, antiques, and dePaola creations abound. One piece of artwork in particular caught my eye: a pencil and ink drawing of Tomie as a Saint, with a drink in one hand and a paintbrush in the other, surrounded by children holding their hands out in begging posture. Trina Schart Hyman, one of Tomie’s dear friends, was working on the drawing when she left for the hospice care where she later passed away. The drawing was still on her drawing table. She didn’t have time to ink in the entire piece but she did get the drink glass done!
Check out Suzy’s blog at www.willowtreepottery.us/Willow_Tree_Pottery/BiblioPotter/Entries/2011/8/1_Tomie_dePaola_Pot_Collector.html and Elizabeth Bluemle’s post with lots of photos at http://blogs.publishersweekly.com/blogs/shelftalker/.
Tomie’s home is surrounded by elegant gardens, with benches in strategic places to best view the grounds. There is a small hidden garden outside of a sliding glass door and a very inviting swimming pool. Almost heaven, New Hampshire.