Tomie dePaola was born in Meriden, Connecticut in 1934. At age 4, he knew he wanted to become a writer and an illustrator. His mother was an avid book lover and read to him and his brother often. As a child, dePaola would illustrate the books his mother read to him.
By age 10, dePaola was writing books for his younger sisters' birthdays. One of these books was Glimmera, the Story of a Mermaid.
He often draws upon his own childhood experiences in writing books; his Italian grandmother was the model for the grandmother in Watch Out for the Chicken Feet in Your Soup.
Tomie dePaola has published over 200 children”s books over the past 35 years, and has won numerous awards, including both a Caldecott Honor Award, and a Newbery Honor Award. A prolific writer, he has written up to four children's books in a single year.
Tomie dePaola now lives in New Hampshire in a large renovated 200-year-old barn with his four dogs.