Hello from Malaysia, Storytellers! I arrived recently to visit my Grandpa and explore my mom’s homecountry. In case you might’ve missed the latest update, I’ve been traveling around Asia and just finished an inspiring and educational intensive tea-study program in Taiwan. (To listen to a special episode about my trip in Asia and about the tea program–my very first production of an NPR inspired narrative episode, CLICK HERE TO LISTEN!)
For today’s episode, I’m so excited and thrilled to share the much anticipated interview with 2015 Caldecott Medal winner, Dan Santat. For those that may not be familiar with the medal— it’s just about the most important award a children’s book illustrator can receive (think OSCARS in the world of children’s books). Dan is also a New York Times bestselling and award winning author and illustrator whose illustrated over 20 books for children. Dan’s book that won him the prestigious award is called “The Adventures of Beekle: An Unimaginary Friend”.
According to a Variety article published in May, “The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend” has been adapted into a DreamWorks Animation movie that will be directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Jason Reitman.
I’m such a fan of this heartwarming book about friendship, courage, and finding one’s self. It’s proudly displayed on my bookshelf, and recommended to friends time and time again.
About the 2015 Caldecott Medal Winner “The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend” by Dan Santat
This magical story begins on an island far away where an imaginary friend is born. He patiently waits his turn to be chosen by a real child, but when he is overlooked time and again, he sets off on an incredible journey to the bustling city, where he finally meets his perfect match and-at long last-is given his special name: Beekle.
What You’ll Learn From This Episode:
- How the birth of Dan’s son was the inspiration behind “The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend”
- The behind-the-scenes creation process of the book
- How The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) gave Dan a head start with illustrating children’s books as a career and how the organization can help aspiring children’s book writers and illustrators
- The importance of brevity in storytelling and how it helped Dan with his success, including winning the Caldecott Medal
- Dan breaks down his writing process
- How Dan is able to substitute text for illustration while being able to convey emotion and a storyline
- Dan’s advice on becoming a quality writer and illustrator
- How Dan forms the characters for his stories
- How being flexible in your style of work can lead to a variety of opportunities in your field
Say ‘Hi!’ to Dan
Learn More About Dan Santat
Dan Santat is the author/illustrator of SIDEKICKS and the winner of the Silver Medal from the Society of Illustrators for OH NO! (Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World) by Mac Barnett. He is also the creator of the Disney animated hit, THE REPLACEMENTS. Dan lives in Southern California with his wife, two kids, and various pets.
Dan’s Recommended Books:
How To Draw comics The Marvel Way by Stan Lee and John Buscema
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Publishing Children’s Books by Harold D. Underdown
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