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Tony DiTerlizzi

Article posted on Wednesday, November, 17th, 2010 at 4:28 pm
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Interviewed by Kaye Cloutman

The Search for WondLa honors traditional children’s literature with a totally original space-age adventure: one that is as complex as an alien planet but as simple as a child’s wish to belong. When an intruder destroys the underground sanctuary that Eva Nine was raised in by her robot, Muthr, the twelve-year-year-old girl is forced to flee aboveground: somewhere she’s never been before. Eva Nine is searching for anyone else like her, for she knows that other humans exist, because of an item she treasures, a scrap of cardboard on which is depicted a young girl, an adult, and a robot, with the strange word,  “WondLa.” This fantastical story is enriched with two-color two-page spreads plus spot illustrations throughout that reveal even more of DiTerlizzi’s vision, and, for those readers with a webcam, the book also features “Augmented Reality” in several places.

Tony DiTerlizzi says, “I’m thrilled to mark a decade of making books with Simon & Schuster with the launch of my newest novel, The Search for WondLa. When I first conceived of The Spiderwick Chronicles, I imagined a story from the past coming forward to the present. In The Search for WondLa, I am bringing a story back in time from the future. My vision is to create a twenty-first-century fairy tale.

The Search for WondLa is an amazing, page-turning science-fiction adventure series,” says editor David Gale. “ Enriched by a thorough understanding and empathy for a child’s desire to belong, Tony’s narrative and illustrations are rooted in classic children’s literature, but only someone of his enormous talent could meld historical tradition with a futuristic vision to create an original and fantastic new world. It has been a delight to work on The Search for Wondla.”

  • Tony truly is a dynamo and beloved by adults and children alike.  He was inspired by strong female heroines in books like Alice Little, Dorothy Gale, and Wendy from Peter Pan – all searching for their “home.”  He takes the past and combines it with an interesting future…
  • Called “the new middle grade book of the season,” The Search for WondLa is one of the most anticipated books coming out this fall.
  • The Search for WondLa has already been optioned to be made into a major motion picture by Paramount Pictures and with translation rights sold for five languages.
  • Book has cutting edge technology (*Augmented Reality) embedded into the book that will enhance the reader’s experience.


Tony DiTerlizzi has written and illustrated G Is for One Gzonk!, Ted, and Jimmy Zangwow’s Out-of-This-World Moon-Pie Adventure. He is also the illustrator of Tony Johnston’s Alien & Possum series and his work on The Spider and Fly was published to widespread critical and commercial acclaim. Additionally, he is also half of the team that created the number one New York Times bestselling series, The Spiderwick Chronicles. DiTerlizzi’s novel Kenny & the Dragon, also a New York Times bestseller, was published in Summer 2008 to critical acclaim. Tony resides in Western Massachusetts with his wife and daughter. Visit him at

At Pixar Studios in Emeryville CA

Tony at South Hillsborough Elementary, Hillsborough CA

Tony DiTerlizzi at Books Inc. Laurel Avenue Store Manager (L) Ingrid Nystrom and (R) Summer Laurie, Books Inc. Laurel Village children’s book specialist

After a full day touring schools, Tony DiTerlizzi still had the wit and energy to charm a room full of people – children and adults alike – at his recent event at Books Inc. Laurel Village. DiTerlizzi entertained the crowd with stories (and drawings) of his dorky childhood and with a reading from The Search from Wondla. Members of the store’s Wild Girls book group were especially excited at the possibility of posing questions in person to the author of their monthly read.” – Ingrid Nystrom, Books Inc. Laurel Village

Tony was one of the most driven students I’ve ever had. He was always drawing something. He took every art course offered by the school so I set him up to come in during my lunch and planning time to work as an independent studio student. Tony came up with the idea of re-illustrating Alice in Wonderland using his own caricatures of Elton John and Tony’s creations of the other various characters. It is one of my most treasure pieces of art. Tony had and still has a unique sense of humor and a passion for creating fantasies. He has been a great inspiration to my students as well. He occasionally returns to South Fork High School to demonstrate and talk to the art students about how he creates his work. He is one of the most giving people I know.” – Tom Wetzl, Elementary Art Teacher at South Fork High School

I’m so proud and honored to have been a small part of Tony’s life. Tony was in his Jurassic period of life when he was in my 5th grade class. He loved drawing dinosaurs. To encourage art, I gave extra credit to my students if they drew a picture to go along with their book reports. Needless to say, Tony earned a lot of extra credit.” – Ray Strassburger 5th Grade Teacher at Hobe Sound Elementary


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