News & Notes – Coronavirus Edition, Week 4 (4/04/2020)

April 4, 2020 News & Notes 5

News & Notes is a weekly Saturday post featuring book- and publishing-related news, links to interesting articles and opinion pieces, and other cool stuff

Literary Losses

Tomie dePaola, beloved and prolific author-illustrator of children’s books, died March 30, 2020, at the age of 85. The cause of death was “complications of surgery following a fall.” DePaola, or Tomie as his fans often called him, was perhaps best known for his Strega Nona series; the first book was awarded a Caldecott Honor.

Tomie dePaola was born in 1934 and grew up on the stories and tales his mother read him every night. Drawn to art from an early age, he earned his BFA from Pratt Institute in 1956, followed eventually by an MFA from California College of Arts and Crafts and a doctoral equivalency from Lone Mountain College. His first book as an illustrator was published in 1965, and his first as an author-illustrator came out in 1966. Strega Nona was published in 1975. In all, Tomie wrote and illustrated over 270 children’s books, which sold nearly 25 million copies worldwide. His most recent book, Quiet (2018), like many of his books, made the NYT bestseller list. His death is a loss to the children’s book community and to children and their parents everywhere.

Obituaries and tributes: CNN; NPR; Publisher’s Weekly (obituary); Publisher’s Weekly (tributes). Bibliography and Biography: Goodreads; Wikipedia; author’s website

Bookish News

Worth Reading/Listening (not all book-related)

Free Fiction Online

A number of authors and companies are offering free fiction to lift your spirits while you’re on lockdown.

Movies & Shows

  • American Theatre has a list of videotaped live performances you can stream during the month of April. Many ask you to pay a small amount, or pay-what-you-can. I urge you to do so; a lot of these theaters are likely to go under if we don’t support them during the shutdown. (I’d like to put in a special plug for the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, Virginia; they do an amazing job of presenting Shakespeare and other early playwrights.)
  • Adventures From Moominvalley is an animated show based on Tove Jansson’s charming Moomin series for children. The episodes are legally available on YouTube.
  • BLAH

More Stay-At-Home Resources

Cool, Fun, and Awesome

If you haven’t seen this British family’s social-distancing parody of “One Day More” from Les Miserables, you’re in for a treat. It’s witty and surprisingly well-executed. (I know the pandemic is serious, but laughter and humor can help many of us cope with the uncertainties of the situation.)

Bookish Quote

5 Responses to “News & Notes – Coronavirus Edition, Week 4 (4/04/2020)”

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      He was very popular when I was a bookseller. And in his photos, he always looked like a kind but slightly mischievous elf.