Tomie dePaola, whose picture-book tales of bullied children, Christian saints and a magically overflowing pasta pot delighted generations of young readers and sold millions of copies, died March 30 at a hospital in Lebanon, N.H. He was 85.
The cause was complications from surgery, said his literary agent, Doug Whiteman. Mr. dePaola had suffered a fall last week at his studio barn in New London, N.H.
A former art and theater teacher, Mr. dePaola published more than 200 picture, pop-up and chapter books in his five-decade career. On at least six occasions, he illustrated 10 or more books in a single year.
His illustrations of tousle-haired children and talking animals were uncluttered and uncomplicated, drawn with bold lines and soft colors in acrylic paints, watercolors, ink and collage — in almost every medium except pastel, Mr. dePaola said, which is “too dusty and makes me sneeze too much.”