We here at GeekDad HQ are huge fans of Dan Santat. We’ve not made a secret of that fact. From his art for the Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot series to his phenomenal graphic novel Sidekicks to his Caldecott Medal-winning picture book The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend, we’re been shouting his name (and his work) from the rooftops.
I also chatted with Dan over on The Great Big Beautiful Podcast about the Disney animated show The Replacements (which he created); illustrating books for other people’s words versus his own; and how winning the Caldecott Medal changed his career, his creative approach, and his (and other people’s) expectations.
So it’s an absolute treat to share with you all today the cover to Dan’s newest picture book, After the Fall, which is due out this fall (October 3, to be exact) from Macmillan’s Roaring Brook Press imprint.
The book follows the aftermath of Humpty Dumpty’s terrible accident. Humpty is put back together again, but he’s still missing one piece of his shell–which happens to be back up on top of the wall. To get it back and become whole again, Humpty is going to have to overcome his fears and climb back up on the wall. In the end, he learns that when you fall, you have to learn to pick yourself up again.
After the Fall is the first title in a four-book deal with Macmillan, and it certainly looks like Dan’s off to a great start. The other three books include another picture book he’ll both write and illustrate, a book he’ll illustrate for Aaron Reynolds about a surfing platypus and beaver, and a graphic novel memoir (for First Second Books) based on Dan’s experience as an only child in a Thai-American family.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. According to Dan,
“Thank you so much for sharing the cover. You guys have been amazingly supportive of me and my work over the years, and I truly appreciate it. So, about After the Fall…
Humpty Dumpty is a character who is literally known for having been in an accident, and the story I share is the aftermath of how he overcomes his fears to get back up the wall. It relates to kids in helping them overcome their fears. Maybe they fell off a bike? Maybe they have a constant fear of something that they try to avoid in life (like the dark).
On a personal level, this story is a metaphor about my wife and her personal struggles with anxiety and her courage to finally overcome it by seeking the help she needed. The story is dedicated to her.”
So without further ado, here’s the gorgeous cover for After the Fall, scheduled to release this October from Macmillan and Roaring Brook Press…