GBBP 54: Dan Santat

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The Great Big Beautiful Podcast, Episode 54: Dan Santat

You can listen on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, and YouTube; you can follow the RSS feed; or you can listen right here!


This week, we sit down and chat with children’s book author and illustrator Dan Santat, who is probably most well known for his book The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend, which won the 2015 Caldecott Medal.

But Beekle is far from his only book. Dan has illustrated the Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot series (written by Dav Pilkey), Because I’m Your Dad, and Picture Day Perfection, among many others. He also wrote and illustrated the stellar graphic novel Sidekicks, and his forthcoming book Are We There Yet? looks all kinds of awesome.

In this episode, we chat about the Disney animated show The Replacements (which he created), illustrating books for other people’s words versus his own, and winning the Caldecott Medal. We also talk about how that medal changed his career, his creative approach, and his (and other people’s) expectations.

Oh, and we also touch on his amazing series of Star Wars alphabet fighters. Seriously, go check them out.

Also, this episode needs to come with a Bird Disclaimer. Dan was in the same room as a particularly noisy pet bird, so when you hear the squawking – that’s what it is.

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Jamie is a publishing/book nerd who makes a living by wrangling words together into some sense of coherence. When he's not knee deep in a convoluted grammatical mess of a sentence, he's likely on an adventure with his two adorable ragamuffins. You can check out more of his ramblings on The Roarbots, StarWars.com, and Babble.