The Postal Service dedicated a stamp honoring children’s book author and illustrator Tomie dePaola during a ceremony in New Hampshire on May 5.
The Forever stamp was unveiled at the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, which holds more than 100 of dePaola’s works in its collection and established a Tomie dePaola Art Education Fund to support art education for young people.
“There are many gifted children’s book authors and illustrators, but Tomie dePaola’s genius is unique in so many ways: He could communicate with — and without — words, and touch readers across cultures and generations,” said Steve Monteith, USPS chief marketing and customer officer, who spoke at the ceremony.
“At the Postal Service, we feel great kinship with this idea. We help Americans of all backgrounds and generations stay connected, no matter where they are,” he said.
In a career spanning five decades, DePaola (1934-2020) wrote or illustrated more than 270 books and sold nearly 25 million copies.
The stamp features artwork from “Strega Nona,” the picture book series for which he is probably best known.
The “Strega Nona” stories read like bygone folktales, as do many of dePaola’s other works.
Whatever the subject, dePaola’s illustrations are instantly recognizable. Characterized by bright but muted tones and charming, two-dimensional perspectives, they offer a distinctive mix of Romanesque painting styles and traditional folk art.
Joining Monteith were Dr. Susan Lynch, former first lady of New Hampshire and Currier Museum board member; Judie dePaola Bobbi, sister of Tomie dePaola; Erin Fehlau, WMUR-TV anchor; Jon Anderson, president and publisher of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing; Sarah Mackenzie, founder of Read-Aloud Revival; and Kathleen McCaffery, English language arts consultant at the New Hampshire Department of Education.
Bruce McColl, director of engagement at the Currier Museum, served as master of ceremonies.
Derry Noyes, an art director for USPS, designed the stamp with dePaola’s original art.
The stamp is available in panes of 20 at Post Offices and usps.com.