Sandy Hook School students spoke with author and illustrator Tomie dePaola during two sessions on Friday, May 16, using Skype, an online communication program.
Mr dePaola spoke with the students from the comfort of his studio, where he said he completes all of his illustrations. Mr dePaola, according to his website tomie.com, has written and/or illustrated nearly 250 books, including Strega Nona, The Art Lesson, and Christmas Remembered.
Sandy Hook library/media specialist Yvonne Cech led the students through the interview sessions.
During two interview sessions, students took turns asking Mr dePaola prepared questions, ranging from when his first book was published to how long he has been writing.
“It’s a wonderful thing for me to know there are children all over the world reading my books,” Mr dePaola said, in answer to what he likes most about creating books.
During the Skype sessions, Mr dePaola also offered advice for students who may be thinking about becoming authors or illustrators. Writers, Mr dePaola said, must love to read.
“Reading is the most important thing in the world,” said Mr dePaola.
For students who may want to be illustrators, Mr dePaola said practicing is the most important thing. He also told the students to be original and not to copy work done by others.
When asked how long he has been writing and illustrating books, Mr dePaola said this September will mark his 50th year anniversary of the publication of his first book.