When Strega Nona leaves him alone with her magic pasta pot, Big Anthony is determined to show the townspeople how it works.
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Eric Carle and Tomie dePaola: Author One-on-One
Eric Carle is the creator, author, and illustrator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and many other children’s books. Tomie dePaola is the author and illustrator of Strega Nona: Her Story and countless other books. They recently had a conversation about their careers as picture book authors.
Tomie dePaola: When I was only four years old, I announced to my family in particular and to the world in general that I was going to become an artist, and write stories and draw pictures for books. I never swayed from that early declaration. I’ve always been curious to know, what inspired you to become a creator and illustrator of picture books?
Eric Carle: My career began as a graphic designer and for a number of years I worked as an art director for an advertising agency in New York. In the mid 1960's Bill Martin, Jr. saw an ad of a red lobster that I had designed and asked me to illustrate his Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Well, I was set on fire! I was so inspired by this book, and the opportunity to illustrate it changed my life. After that, I started to create my own books, both words and pictures, and really it was then that I had found my true course in life.
Now, I have a question for you, Tomie. How would you describe your artistic style, and has it changed over time?
Tomie dePaola: My illustration style is heavily influenced by folk art--strong simple shapes, bold lines, color, color, color and a deceptive simplicity. My style began to develop early in art school, and through the years, it hasn’t changed very much, but it has refined itself. How would you describe yours?
Eric Carle: My aim with my work is to simplify and refine, be logical and harmonious. I like to use simple shapes, bright colors and a lot of white space. I write for the child inside of me. That is always where I begin.
Tomie dePaola: I do, as well. The only audience I keep in mind is that four-year-old in me. People sometimes ask me what advice I would give to young artists. I always think of the wonderful advice I received from my twin cousins when they were in art school in the late '30s. They told me, “Practice, practice, practice and don’t copy.”
Eric Carle: I often tell people about the four magic letters: DO IT. I want to be encouraging but I can only offer the example of my own experience, which is just one approach. There are many wonderful artists to learn about, which is important. But you must use your own imagination. You have to just do it.
Tomie dePaola: How do you feel knowing that a copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar is sold every 30 seconds, somewhere in the world?
Eric Carle: It is hard for me, maybe for others too, to grasp this concept. But I am truly honored that my story is enjoyed by so many and that it is now being shared by a generation of parents who grew up with my book. How about your Strega Nona. She is one of your most popular characters. Can you share how she came to be?
Tomie dePaola: In the ‘70s when I was teaching at a college, we were required to attend faculty meetings. I always sat in the back with a yellow legal pad. Everyone thought I was taking notes. At one meeting a doodle appeared of a little lady with a big nose and a big chin. I named her Strega Nona, and the rest is history. Speaking of history, how will you be celebrating the third annual Very Hungry Caterpillar Day this year?
Eric Carle: On The Very Hungry Caterpillar Day, March 20th, I will probably be at home with my wife, Bobbie (I am a bit of a hermit, actually). But I will be saying a little toast to the caterpillar for whom I have a special place in my heart. And speaking of holidays, isn’t your favorite holiday Christmas. Do you have a special Christmas memory?
Tomie dePaola: Christmas is my favorite holiday. My favorite Christmas was the one when I received tons and tons of art supplies: everything from an easel to paints, pads and pads of paper, and “how to draw” books.
Tomie dePaola is one of the most popular children’s book authors and illustrators of our time and the recipient of the 2011 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, among other lifetime achievement awards. A Newbery Honor winner, he has written and illustrated a number of books for Simon & Schuster, including Caldecott Honor book Strega Nona, as well as Oliver Button Is a Sissy, Charlie Needs a Cloak, Michael Bird-Boy, and Andy, That’s My Name. A native of Connecticut, Mr. dePaola studied at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and now lives in New London, New Hampshire. Visit him online at Tomie.com and TomiesBlog.Blogspot.com.
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Descripción Scholastic, 1992. Estado de conservación: Fair. Big. Shows definite wear, and perhaps considerable marking on inside. Nº de ref. de la librería GRP75944406
Descripción Scholastic, 1992. Estado de conservación: Very Good. Big. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. Nº de ref. de la librería GRP94278664
Descripción Scholastic Big Books from Scholastic Inc./New York, 1975. soft cover, ex library, a small tear on the title page, clear tape on the spine, unpaged, 15 x 19 7/8 inches, extra postage for international shipping, good + book condition, no dust jacket, juvenile picture book, Nº de ref. de la librería M 2217
Descripción Scholastic. PAPERBACK. Estado de conservación: Very Good. 0590726250 Very Good Condition. Has some wear. Five star seller - Buy with confidence!. Nº de ref. de la librería Z0590726250Z2
Descripción Scholastic Inc./New York, 1975. stiff cover, ex public library, library bar code, used for only a few story hours, unpaged, 15 x 20 inches, extra postage for priority or international shipping due to size, BIG BOOK, first Scholastic printing, September 1991, very good + book condition, no dust jacket, juvenile picture book, Nº de ref. de la librería M 2807
Descripción Scholastic, 1992. Paperback. Estado de conservación: Used: Good. Nº de ref. de la librería SONG0590726250
Descripción Scholastic, 1992. Paperback. Estado de conservación: Good. Big. Ships with Tracking Number! INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE Shipping available. May not contain Access Codes or Supplements. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Nº de ref. de la librería 0590726250