- Age Range: 3 - 7 years
- Hardcover: 112 pages
- Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (October 14, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0399255362
- ISBN-13: 978-0399255366
- Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.6 x 11.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #391,307 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Joy to the World: Tomie's Christmas Stories Hardcover – October 14, 2010
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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.
“Exquisitely wrought story…. dePaola’s talent for crafting folktales is honed to near-perfection, and his pages glow with the soft sun-washed hues of the Southwest.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review of The Night of Las Posadas
“dePaola’s illustrations are not simply pictures designed to expand the text: his illustrations are the text. dePaola uses the influence of Byzantine and Romanesque art to depict and enlarge our understanding of character and humanity.”—SLJ, starred review of The Story of the Three Wise Kings
“The story has a simple dignity, but it is the artwork that takes center stage here. The spreads, which feature everyday occurrences… are magnificently staged.”—Booklist, review of the Legend of the Poinsettia
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Top Customer Reviews
The first story in the book is "The Night of Las Pasadas" which is my favorite. Tomie de Paola recounts the inspirational story of Mary and Joseph trying to find a place to lodge to give birth to the Baby Jesus. Readers will be absorbed in the simple legend and inspiring paintings. Sister Angie has been directing the Las Pasadas celebration for 50 years in the town of Santa Fe, New Mexico. This year she has chosen her neice, Lupe, and her husband, Roberto, to portray Joseph and Mary in the procession. Everyone practiced and looked forward to the celebration. On the night of Las Pasadas, Sister Angie gets the flu and cannot attend the celebration because she is sick in bed. Lupe and her husband get stuck in the snow on their way to the celebration and miss their part. A mysterious man and his wife and a donkey appear at the very last moment and take Lupe and Roberto's place. Chills will go up your spine as you read the end of the story and experience the wonderful miracle that occurs.
The second story is about the Three Wise Men or Kings. This story stays true to the Biblical account in Matthew. The paintings are done in a Romanesque style. This story, as well as the others, would make a wonderful Christmas read aloud. All three stories could also be adapted as a "Reader's Theater" in the classroom.
The third story is a wonderful account of the miracle of the little girl who had nothing to give to the Christ Child except some green weeds. A wonderful miracle occurs as she gives this gift from her heart to the Christ Child. You will want to read this great story to experience the great miracle of the Poinsettia.
This book is a treasure to be cherished for Christmas after Christmas. Your children will love hearing these stories year after year. An additional benefit will be the appreciation and enjoyment of Christmas celebrations in other cultures.