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The Kent Center School third grade classes, with the support of Miss Morrow, have just completed an author study featuring Tomie de Paola and his wonderful books. We studied his illustrations and explored the various settings and characters in his books. We looked at the situations the characters got into and then how they problem solved their way out.

We enjoyed this unit and, as a closing activity, we celebrated Mr. dePaola’s 70th birthday by reading The Popcorn Book and then holding a popcorn party in his honor.

Each of the children wrote a letter and illustrated a bookmark that featured one of their favorite books. These were sent to the author for his enjoyment.


As the children have warmly stated, “We hope Tomie dePaola keeps writing and illustrating many more stories.”

Here are some excerpts from the letters they wrote:

“Hi! I love your book Strega Nona Meets Her Match. It is the best story I have ever heard in my entire life. You are the best writer and I hope that never stops. I want to be a writer just like you.” Rheanna

“My class made cereal boxes with popcorn as the main ingredient. I put popcorn and caramel in my cereal. We got the idea after reading The Popcorn Book.” Gina

“I liked the book Meet the Barkers. I enjoyed that they shared the blocks. My favorite character is Moffat because he is nice.” Jordan

“I like your books, especially the ones that are funny. Your stories are well written and they make me excited and I can never put them down. My favorite book is The Knight and the Dragon because the knight is awesome when he tries to fight the dragon. The dragon is so funny when he is practicing waving his tail and practicing his mean face.” Carlos

“I like the book Tony’s Bread. It has great pictures, lots of detail, and it’s just the kind of book I like to read. My favorite character is Serafina. I like her because she is kind of funny and because she has love at first sight.” Olivia