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September 29, 1999

Tomie dePaola to Read from His Children's Books at Middlebury College on Oct. 15

Known throughout the world for his colorful children's books, Tomie dePaola will share and read stories and draw pictures on Friday, Oct. 15 at 7:30 p.m. at Middlebury College's Mead Chapel on Hepburn Road, off College Street (Route 125). He has illustrated almost 200 books, a third of which he wrote. Over five million copies of his books have been sold in 15 different countries around the world. Following the reading, books will be sold and dePaola will be available for autographs. The event is sponsored by the Middlebury College Center for the Arts and is free and open to the public.

Born in Meriden, Conn., in 1934 to a family of Irish and Italian descent, dePaola taught, painted church murals, and designed greeting cards and stage sets until 1965 when he illustrated his first children's book, "Sound," by Lisa Miller. It was after the publication of "Sound" that he was able to devote himself to both writing and illustrating children's books full-time. He now lives in New Hampshire with his four dogs and uses a 200-year-old renovated barn as his studio. He often draws on folktales and his own experiences as material for his work.

One of dePaola's books, "Days of the Blackbird," was described by USA Today shortly after it arrived on shelves as having done so well that, "this new book already has the ring of a legend."

The 1976 book "Strega Nona" is perhaps dePaola's most well known work, for which he won the Caldecott Honor Award. Other awards he has won include the Smithsonian Medal from the Smithsonian Institution, the Kerlan Award from the University of Minnesota, and the Regina Medal from the Catholic Library Association. In 1990, he was the sole United States nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Medal for illustration. For more information, call the College box office at 802-443-6433.