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Carmela D'Amico Biography

Personal, Addresses, Career, Honors Awards, Writings, Adaptations, Work in Progress, Sidelights

children: Olivia.


Agent—c/o Author Mail, Arthur Levine Books, Scholastic, Inc., 557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012.


Children's book author and freelance writer.

Honors Awards

Washington State Book Award, Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal, Child magazine Best Book of the Year award, and Book Sense pick, all 2004, and Pacific Northwest Bookseller's Association Book Award, 2005, all for Ella the Elegant Elephant; Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal award, 2005, for Ella Takes the Cake.


Ella the Elegant Elephant, illustrated by husband, Steve D'Amico, Arthur Levine (New York, NY), 2004.

Ella Takes the Cake, illustrated by Steve D'Amico, Arthur Levine (New York, NY), 2005.

Ella Sets the Stage, illustrated by Steve D'Amico, Arthur Levine (New York, NY), 2006.

Contributor to periodicals.


Ella the Elegant Elephant was adapted as a video with book, Spoken Arts, 2005.

Work in Progress

A young-adult novel; an adult novel; more books for children.


Working with her husband, illustrator Steve D'Amico, Carmela D'Amico introduces readers to an engaging animal character in the books Ella the Elegant Elephant and Ella Takes the Cake. Ella, the smallest pachyderm on Elephant Island, is facing the first day of school with some nervousness. However, the gift of a beautiful red hat that once belonged to her grandmother gives the shy youngster the confidence to face the unknown. Wearing the hat to school, Ella takes some teasing from school bully Belinda Blue, but sticks to her right to be different, earning the respect of her fellow students and the nickname Ella the Elegant Elephant. Praising the picture book as "winsome," a Kirkus Reviews writer added that "the true message" of Ella the Elegant Elephant "is Ella's remarkable ability to remain true to herself." "With its charming and whimsical cartoons and simple design, this offering seems like a picture book from an earlier era," noted Rachel G. Payne in School Library Journal, citing as comparisons the "Babar" books by Jean de Brunhoff and Ludwig Bemelmans' "Madeleine" stories.

Ella also stars in Ella Takes the Cake, as well as in Ella Sets the Stage, both of which return readers to Little Village, on Elephant Island. The precocious young elephant helps her mother at the family bakery in Ella Takes the Cake, as the task of delivering a special layer cake in her wagon draws Ella into adventure. Praising Featuring illustrations by husband, Steve D'Amico, Ella Takes the Cake presents Carmela D'Amico's engaging story about a little elephant who wants to help. (Copyright © 2005 by Carmela and Steven D'Amico. Reprinted by permission of Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.)Steve D'Amico for his "detailed, richly colored" illustrations, Booklist contributor Ilene Cooper added that "take-charge" Ella is a "charming" protagonist who "makes the story her own." Praising the story for its focus on resolve and responsibility, School Library Journal contributor Donna Cardon cited Ella Takes the Cake for its "personality and charm," and its "sunny Mediterranean" setting.

Biographical and Critical Sources


Booklist, November 1, 2004, Shelle Rosenfeld, review of Ella the Elegant Elephant, p. 488; August, 2005, Ilene Cooper, review of Ella Takes the Cake, p. 2022.

Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2004, review of Ella the Elegant Elephant, p. 804; August 15, 2005, review of Ella Takes the Cake, p. 912.

Publishers Weekly, October 4, 2004, review of Ella the Elegant Elephant, p. 87.

School Library Journal, November 1, 2004, Rachel G. Payne, review of Ella the Elegant Elephant, p. 96; September, 2005, Donna Cardon, review of Ella Takes the Cake, p. 168.


Scholastic Web site, http://books.scholastic.com/teachers/authorsandbooks/ (May 18, 2006), "Carmela D'Amico."

Additional topics

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