Tomie dePaola, celebrated author and illustrator who delighted millions of children with his warm and witty books, died on Monday in Lebanon, New Hampshire, from complications after surgery for a fall he had suffered last week. He was 85.
The winner the 2011 Children’s Literature Legacy Award for his “innate understanding of childhood, a distinctive visual style, and a remarkable ability to adapt his voice to perfectly suit the story,” dePaola wrote and/or illustrated over 270 books, including Strega Nona, Oliver Button Is a Sissy, 26 Fairmount Avenue, and Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs. Some 25 million copies of his books have been sold in over 20 languages.
Now might be a good time to listen to dePaola himself read you Strega Nona: