Telling Stories with Tomie dePaola

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Telling Stories with Tomie dePaola
Written by Jim Lewis, Kati Rocky, Craig Shemin
Directed by David Gumpel
Starring Tomie dePaola
Bill Barretta
Julianne Buescher
John Kennedy
Alison Mork
No. of seasons 1
Executive producer(s) David Gumpel
Halle Stanford
Original network Hallmark Channel
Original release August 2001 – October 2001

Telling Stories with Tomie dePaola is a children's television series from The Jim Henson Company.


This episode is about Tomie dePaola and his squirrel sidekick Gabe who present stories revolving around his storybook characters.


  • Tomie dePaola (Himself) - The main character of the series.
  • Gabe the Squirrel (performed by John Kennedy) - A mischievous red squirrel who is Tomie's friend, confidant, and muse.
  • The Animal Band - A group of woodland creatures that Gabe the Squirrel visits every episode. It consists of a rabbit on drums, a weasel on guitar (performed by Julianne Buescher), a raccoon on keytar, and a penguin on bass guitar.
  • Strega Nona (performed by Bill Barretta) - An elderly lady who always wants help from her friends Big Anthony and Bambolona.
    • Big Anthony (performed by John Kennedy) - A tall dimwitted man who is one of Strega Nona's friends.
    • Bambolona (performed by Julianne Buescher) - One of Strega Nona's friends. With Bambolona being a live-hand puppet, Julianne Buescher is assisted in performing him by James Murray who operates Bambolona's right hand.
  • Goat (performed by James Murray) - An unnamed goat that appeared in the "Strega Nona" segments. He and Bambolona don't get along very well as Bambolona claims that it doesn't really help at all, but the goat is usually shown to have more intelligence than most of the characters. The character of "Goat" was based on the designs from Tomie dePaola’s illustrated "Strega Nona" books. The design featured a departure from the traditional Muppet-look appearance as the goal was to match the water color illustrations found in the book. His puppet was built by James Wojtal working under the supervision of Rollie Krewson.




Other appearances[edit]

  • The puppet for Gabe the Squirrel later appeared in Bear in the Big Blue House as Skippy the Squirrel.
  • The puppets for Gabe the Squirrel and the Goat have been used in different Henson Alternative projects:

External links[edit]