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Best-Selling Children's Book Author Packs the House

February 7, 2007

The Friends of the UNH Library hosted the eighth in a series of one-on-one conversations with authors who have ties to the Granite State on Sunday, Jan. 28. Local author and humorist, Rebecca Rule, interviewed award-winning children’s book author and illustrator Tomie dePaola before a live audience of almost 300 people in the library’s 5th Floor Reading Room.

A resident of New London, New Hampshire, dePaola has been writing and illustrating children’s books for nearly 40 years. Published in more than 15 countries, his books have received virtually every significant recognition in the children’s book world, including the Caldecott Honor Award for Strega Nona and the Newbery Honor Award for 26 Fairmount Avenue, an autobiographical account of dePaola’s childhood centered on the building of his family’s new house in Connecticut during the 1930s.

Strega Nona, his most popular character, is featured in eight books. It means “Grandma Witch” in Italian, a wise, loving and gentle woman who possesses magical powers. dePaola’s newest series features the Barker Twins, twin dog characters -- inspired by his own dogs -- who face contemporary boyhood and girlhood challenges.

Three times per year, in the style of Bravo’s Inside the Actors’ Studio, Yankee humorist, book reviewer and author Rebecca Rule invites poets, fiction and non-fiction writers, and journalists with a connection to New Hampshire to share their insights and discoveries as they pursue their passion for writing. These one-on-one interviews are conducted in front of a live audience and recorded by New Hampshire Public Television for future broadcast.

The dePaola event will be broadcast on NHPTV on February 26th at 8:00 p.m. Members of the audience, including children, asked questions and although Tomie couldn’t sign books because he was recuperating from carpel tunnel surgery, he chatted with audience members and passed out bookplates.

The event was generously sponsored by EBSCO, a long time partner with UNH and a supporter of educational events. EBSCO is the provider of EBSCOhost, the world’s leading internet research service serving libraries. The company’s president and founder, Tim Collins, is a UNH graduate, and 10% of its workforce is comprised of New Hampshire residents. EBSCO’s world headquarters is just a few miles from the New Hampshire border close to route 95 in Ipswich, Mass. The company has experienced strong growth over the last 15 years, and is currently seeking candidates to join its team. We encourage anyone seeking new career opportunities and a thriving workplace to keep EBSCO in mind. For specific career information, visit the company web site at: www.ebscohost.com.

The next interview event, poet Mekeel McBride, is scheduled for Sunday, April 22 at 2:00 p.m.

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