Nana Upstairs & Nana Downstairs.
Tomie points us toward this particular code through his website, Tomie.com. Of all his books, Mr. dePaola says that this is his favorite. So we can assume it also offers the most important code.
Ask yourself, Who is missing amid Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs? Answer: Nana in the Middle, of course. Rearrange those letters to reveal our first clue. Amend Ninth Ideal. And what is the ninth commandment we should ideally follow? Thou shalt not lie. But what if we can't stop lying? Good question! Read on...
Delete all the repeated words in Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs, thereby tightening the sentence...a key rule in writing for children (one Tomie would not break unless it was intentional!). We are left with Nana Upstairs and Down. Rearrange those letters for our second clue. Satan Unwinds Pandora. Spooky? We know. But what happens when Pandora is fully unwound? Good question! Read on...
Look closer at the only other words on the book's cover: the author/illustrator's name. By long-ago altering the spelling of his name, Mr. deP. thrusts attention upon it (and Tomie is a master wordsmith!). If we spell Tomie the traditional way--Tommy--and rearrange the letters in Tommy dePaola, we learn our third clue...and our destiny...which is best understood in light of all we have learned so far.
1. Amend Ninth Ideal (play loose with the truth)
2. Satan Unwinds Pandora (and all Hell breaks loose)
3. Playmate: Doom (so stop lying!!!)
Did we learn a simple truth today? Yes. But who holds the key to our future? Who holds the hope for our world? The children, of course. And there is no better way to teach children the importance of telling the truth than with a good story...told by a great storyteller.
Thank you, Tomie.
The world thanks you!
Stay tuned for our next installment of...The dePaola Code!