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Children’s Lit Commish: Eric Carle, Tomie dePaola, and Barry Moser Actually the Same Person

The following is a work of fiction.

In a shocking revelation, the International Children’s Literature Commissioner announced today that beloved picture book creators Eric Carle, Tomie dePaola, and Barry Moser are all actually the same guy.

In front of a packed house of reporters and photographers, the commissioner appeared contrite.

“This is a joke that has gotten way out of hand, and it ends today.”

To audible gasps from those in attendance, a grey-haired, bearded man walked from behind a curtain up to the podium.

“Hello. You may recognize me from the scores of classic children’s books I’ve created. But I stand before you today not as “Eric Carle”, “Tomie dePaola”, or “Barry Moser”, but as lone person Tomislav Tsvetanov”, said the man, punctuating the name of each alias with air quotes.

The commissioner then provided some details of the hoax.

“We went to great lengths to keep up the ruse, including masks, makeup, and strange coincidences where “Tomie” would leave the room and “Barry” would show up. We even had an expensive wax sculpture of Eric Carle created for the photo on the back cover of Dream Snow.

I don’t even want to mention how much that elaborate wax replica of Eric Carle cost. But I will say this – an Eric Carle wax replica will run you hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

“We are very sorry”, the comissioner concluded. “This will never happen again. But we have fooled you all and it was pretty awesome while it lasted.”

Click the links below to read previous Children’s Lit Commish posts:

Children’s Lit Commish: ‘Caldecott to be Selected by Supercomputer

Children’s Lit Commish: ‘Hunger Games Details Wanted’

Children’s Lit Commish: ‘All Picture Books to be 80s Film Adaptations’

Children’s Lit Commish: ‘Don’t Look at Me’

Children’s Lit Commish: ‘No More Fancy Covers’

Children’s Lit Commish: ‘All Books Will Actually Just Be Videos By 2012’

Children’s Lit Commish: ‘No Blogging Allowed at Blog Conference’

Children’s Lit Commish: ‘No More Non-Famous Authors’

Children’s Lit Commish: ‘No More Adaptations’

Children’s Lit Commish: ‘No More Non-Series Books’

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. Loved this! Could you add Terry Pratchett?

  2. Ha! You got me again (and I am still waiting by my phone).

  3. Sam Bloom says

    Nice! I would add Norton Juster to the list…

  4. This made me laugh out loud.

  5. Hilarious! I would also add Norton Juster to the list. Last week when he stopped by my bookstore, three different customers asked him to autograph their Eric Carle books!

    • Wow, very true.

    • Eric Carle says

      I completely agree. One time Norton, Barry, and I had a ball when we worked next to each other, Norton pretending to be Eric or Barry, Barry claiming to be Norton or Eric, Eric to be Barry or Norton. Too bad this was not filmed.The Marx Brothers would have bee proud of us. Eric Carle

  6. Ah, so it’s as I always suspected . . .

  7. Wonderful website. A lot of helpful info here.
    I am sending it to some buddies ans also sharing in delicious.

    And certainly, thanks on your sweat!