26 Fairmount Avenue



Amusing tales from author's childhood.

What parents need to know

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the vignettes will have readers roaring with laughter, and the author's signature illustrations -- comical and often tender -- highlight the humor and action.

What's the story?

"I guess 1938 was a special year. Not only because of the hurricane, but because it was the year we started building 26 Fairmount Avenue." Popular picture-book author/illustrator Tomie dePaola tickles reader's fancies with funny tales about his precocious childhood. Warmly drawn black-and-white illustrations bring the rich assortment of characters to life.


Is it any good?


This debut short chapter book from an author known for his picture books is a success. Tomie dePaola has a gift for retelling his experiences with a child's perspective and innocence, creating a narrative voice young children can easily relate to. His tales are peppered with historical references and events, but with details that appeal to kids, such as his memorable account of how an umbrella-wielding child became briefly airborne. Through all the stories, dePaola conveys a real sense of community, a traditional neighborhood where family and friends pull together to help each other.

Sketches arranged to resemble a photo album in the front pages of the book portray the key people in the stories. Readers can see what the familiar characters looked like, from dePaola's mom, Floss, to Nana Fall-River to his best friend, Carol Crane.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what stories from their lives they would put together into a book.

Book details

Author:Tomie dePaola
Illustrator:Tomie dePaola
Genre:Family Life
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Penguin Group
Publication date:January 1, 1999
Number of pages:64
Award:Newbery Medal and Honors

This review of 26 Fairmount Avenue was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 16 years old Written bymichaelDJ12 May 18, 2009


Adult Written byilikebooks May 22, 2009

A book for all ages!!

26 Fairmount Avenue is a fun, must read book for all ages. Tomie dePaola writes his autobiography in a creative way with his distinct drawings known to many of his fans. Tomie, the main character in the story describes his flash back to 1938 during his childhood in Meriden, Connecticut where his family who lives on Columbus Ave decides to make a move and build a new home on Fairmount Ave. Tomie in the story explains his life experiences with the hurricane that ripped through his town, outings, with Nana, and the movie trips with his mom. Tomie is 5 at the time just starting kindergarten ready to make his move to the new home. dePaola continues to use his creative drawings which can be seen throughout 26 Fairmount Ave. This is the first book of his 5 book series. His use of flashbacks during his childhood help readers draw pictures in their mind of childhood memories they might have during that age. The use of simple words and descriptions allow readers to understand easy making it enjoyable to all. I would compare his writing styles to those of Kevin Henkes, another author who enjoys illustrating his stories to keep readers interested. dePaola's autobiographies are not like many others of that genre his are at a easier level with fun pictures. Again if you have a chance check out 26 Fairmount Avenue and you won't be disappointed.


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Special Needs Guide