Tomi Ungerer…creator of absurd and delicious picture books and more…

I found this poster many years ago in a gallery in NYC.

I love it.

Now faded and wrinkly…it hangs in my studio.

Always has. Always will.

 

The Beast and Monsiur Racine is on top of my pile of Tomi’s books.

When I was a studying with Sendak in the mid-70’s, Maurice introduced me to Tomi’s work .

This book is dedicated to Maurice and designed by Jane Byers Bierhorst (amazing book designer who taught with Maurice). 

This is the book that made me want to make picture books. 

Tomi was a master of the form. It is truly a book that can be read again and again….while always discovering something new in the art. Joyful and absurd. The crowd scenes are wild and wonderful.

 

From my Tomi library...

It’s because of  Tomi, Maurice and Jane that I discovered my passion for this process of creating picture books.  

It is a joy spending time with Tomi’s work. All of it. No matter how absurd…and because it is so…

Tomi’s quote is over my drawing table: “ Far out isn’t far enough”.

I imagine Tomi, Maurice and Jane…together…somewhere…”Outside Over There”…filling the “empty space” with something wonderful.

You are missed…thank you…tcp

Here is a link to Tomi’s official website:

Home

A link to Tomi’s obituary in the New York Times:

The documentary: Far Out Isn’t Far Enough, The Tomi Ungerer (2012) is fabulous…but NOT for children!

However, the animated version of The Three Robbers IS for kids and it’s great!

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Another Fun School Visit in State College, PA…and all that jazz…

Wow…My mailbox is full of kids letters and art…and yesterday a little bit of jazz! …after another visit to another great elementary school in State College, PA.

They were busy at Easterly Parkway Elementary long before I arrived.

Easterly Parkway Elementary has lots of ideas about where Joe goes!

Easterly Parkway Elementary has lots of ideas about where Joe goes!

The kids were prepped and ready for an author visit.

Students prepping before an author visit..very cool!

Students prepping before an author visit..very cool!

These students and their librarian, Laura Alterio, were talking about me while I was still home in Vermont! I think I answered their questions in my presentation…but let’s go over these to be sure!…

My favorite art medium?…watercolor…pen and ink…pencil…

My favorite color?…..purple….

Where I live?….Vermont

My hidden talent?…I wonder what that is?….Along with writing and illustrating picture books there are lots of things I like to do…I like to swim..bike…cross country ski…hike….garden…eat…bake…listen to music…travel…draw while I travel…

I love to draw while I’m on subways…I draw fast…I can draw a person if they are on the subway for just one stop….could that be a hidden talent?… …maybe.

Riding the J train…NYC Subway

Riding the J train…NYC Subway

My first book?….I wrote a book about a blue bird in 2nd grade and gave it a red construction paper cover…self published… The first book that was published by a grown up publisher…We Wish You A Merry A Merry Christmas….1983 we-wish-you

Somehow this librarian managed to get pictures during my presentation…not an easy task…I do not stand still…Thank you, Laura!

…and what about the jazz?
I talk to students about working to music in my studio…the last two books Stan Getz and Miles Davis. A Dave McKenna CD just arrived in the mail from Nichol. She has connections to Dave and his family and thought I might enjoy listening to his music.  I love it. I’m listening to Dave as I write this…and enjoying every minute…Thank you, Nichol!

Thanks to Laura and to everyone at Easterly Parkway Elementary…I enjoyed spending the day with fellow readers…writers and artists!…tcp

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A School Visit in PA…A Children’s Book Editor Works in a Slice of Cheese in NYC…?

I spent a great week visiting schools in State College, PA.

Radio Park Elementary is full of students and teachers that are excited about reading, writing and drawing. A great school. A fun school visit.

One of the best parts of visiting schools is getting artwork and letters from kids!…
I was barely home in Vermont…when letters started arriving…I spent this morning answering them.

One of my favorite comments came from a child that likes that “my editor works in a building that looks like a slice of cheese.” I showed students a picture of the Flatiron Building so they could see where I go when I say “I’m go to see my publisher”.

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Thank you to Mary Robert and her second graders for all your thoughtful letters…Here is a small sample…I’m off to the post office to mail all of the replies!

Elephant and Gracie helped me sign books in my hotel the night before my visit…

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The day of my visit..I was greeted by this poster of MYRTLE in the library. It was drawn by a parent (and artist)…I love how she picked up on the patterns!

Myrtle Poster by parent

Myrtle Poster by parent

I had fun presenting and drawing with the students…I left drawings for the school…they were stuck all over the walls!

More drawings from presentation

More drawings from presentation

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Mrs. Grim’s Kindergarteners gave me an Elephant before I even left the school!
I brought him back to my hotel…tucked him in…and Gracie read a story to 2 Elephants that night…Thank you Mrs. Grim and Kindergarteners!

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Thank you all! A special thank you to a swell librarian…Emily Herring…for all of your hard work. I enjoyed meeting everyone. It was a great day.

To the kids in Radio Park..keep reading, writing and drawing!…tcp

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