Children’s author and illustrator Tomie dePaola dies at 85

Nation/World
Author Tomie dePaola signs books at the fourth annual "Scribbles to Novels" gala to benefit Jumpstart April 28, 2008 in New York City. (Jonathan Fickies/Getty Images for Jumpstart for Children)

Author Tomie dePaola signs books at the fourth annual “Scribbles to Novels” gala to benefit Jumpstart April 28, 2008 in New York City. (Jonathan Fickies/Getty Images for Jumpstart for Children)

Tomie dePaola, a children’s author and illustrator known for his book “Strega Nona,” died Monday.

The 85-year-old author died from complications from surgery after he fell in his barn which served as a studio, according to a statement from his literary agent, Doug Whiteman.

Whiteman said dePaola died alone at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire.

“Due to the coronavirus and a quarantine at the hospital where he was being treated, Mr. dePaola was in isolation when he died,” Whiteman added.

DePaola authored nearly 300 books including “Oliver Button is a Sissy,” “The Legend of Old Befana,” and New York Times best-seller “Quiet.”

The author “was one of only a handful of children’s book creators to have received honors from both the Caldecott and Newbery Award committees of the American Library Association,” according to Whiteman.

He was also an artist whose work was featured in museums and galleries in recent years.

DePaola is survived by two sisters and many nieces and nephews, Whiteman said.

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