May 20, 1965
Oswald creator; Children's book writer; illustrator
Dan Yaccarino (born May 20, 1965) is an American author, illustrator and television producer known for his animated television series, children’s books and award-winning imagery. He is the creator of Oswald and many other literature. Growing up with no children’s books in his home in Montclair, NJ, Yaccarino was influenced by a combination of advertising, package design, comic books, vintage animation, toys and old films. However, the one children’s book illustrator whose books he would get from the library was Robert Tallon. Dan’s particular favorite was The Thing In Dolores’s Piano. "I’m not really inspired by other children’s book authors and illustrators," Yaccarino was quoted in saying. "But rather people from other fields. I’d much rather meet the director Henry Selick, Tim Delaughter of The Polyphonic Spree, the science fiction author William Tenn, or the Dalai Lama."
Yaccarino has written and illustrated dozens of books for children, most notably Every Friday, The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau, Unlovable and Good Night, Mr. Night. He has worked with some of the most prestigious names in children’s literature, including Margaret Wise Brown, Jack Prelutsky, Kevin Henkes, and Naomi Shabib Nye. Yaccarino’s work in children’s literature has garnered many glowing reviews and a worldwide following. He has been invited to the White House to share his books and participate in the annual Easter festivities.
Yaccarino is the creator and producer of the animated series Oswald, notable for its gentle stories and surreal universe. Oswald, a gentle blue octopus, lives in a whimsical world with his best friends, a hot dog named Weenie, a fussy penguin named Henry and an energetic flower named Daisy.
Yaccarino also designed the characters for the hit animated Nickelodeon series The Backyardigans.
Yaccarino's new animated series, Willa's Wild Life, based on his popular children’s book An Octopus Followed Me Home, chronicles the adventures of an impetuous little girl who lives with her long-suffering father and all manner of exotic wildlife. The series is currently airing on NBC and Qubo.
Yaccarino's illustrations have graced the pages of such publications as The New York Times, BusinessWeek, and New York Magazine. He has created images for a wide variety of corporate projects and advertising campaigns as well, including Cotton Inc, AT&T and Gardenburger. His work is widely received in Japan, and he has worked extensively for clients such as Sony and Nikkei.
In addition to his steady output of picture books, Yaccarino is developing several animated television projects, as well as a “goofy sci-fi based chapter book series”. Yaccarino stated in his keynote speech at the SCBWI Conference in Los Angeles in 2009 that he was developing a feature film based on one of his books with a major studio, but was not at liberty to say which one.
Bam Bam Bam
One Hole in the Road
If I Had a Robot
Zoom Zoom Zoom! I’m Off to the Moon!
Good Night, Mr. Night
An Octopus Followed Me Home
Five Little Pumpkins
Little White Dog
Deep in the Jungle
Blast Off Boy and Blorp: First Day on a Strange New Planet
Blast Off Boy And Blorp: New Pet
Blast Off Boy And Blorp: The Big Science Fair
Come With Me
Surviving Brick Johnson
The Good Little Bad Little Pig
The Lima Bean Monster
Dan Yaccarino’s Mother Goose
Where the Four Winds Blow
The Birthday Fish
Who Will Sing a Lullaby?
Go Go America
Little Boy With a Big Horn
The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau
Lawn to Lawn
Cooking With Henry and Ellibelly The Sorrento Shovel (working title)