“The images in a picture book are the driving forces that tell the story. The words tell only what the pictures can’t.” ~ Dan Yaccarino
Dan Yaccarino is an award-winning artist whose work has been featured in magazines, ad campaigns, and animation worldwide. Having written and/ illustrated over 30 children’s books, Yaccarino’s distinctly retro-style illustrations (primarily in gouache) never fail to touch your heart nor transport you back-in-time. Growing up in Montclair, New Jersey, Yaccarino was influenced by comic books, vintage animation, toys and old films. Reflecting back, he remembers spending a lot of time in the library and often checking out two of his favorite books: The Thing In Dolores’ Piano, and Rhoda’s Restaurant, both by author illustrator Robert Tallon.
Yaccarino graduated from Parsons School of Design in 1987. With his first portfolio in hand, Yaccarino started work as an editorial illustrator. A great training for conveying information visually and simply, the job also required Yaccarino to work quickly in order to meet the short magazine deadlines. He fully embraced creating conceptual illustrations for magazines, newspapers, and book covers. Yaccarino soon found his style and approach, and learned to work quickly. A few years later, he met an editor from Hyperion. Although Yaccarino had never written or illustrated a picture book, when asked if he had any picture book story ideas, his confident unwavering reply was a “YES!” The result, his first book, Big Brother Mike, was published in 1993.
Children the world over know Yaccarino from his children's books such as his Unlovable, The Fantastic Undersea Life Of Jacques Cousteau, Five Little Pumpkins, and All The Way To America. Yaccarino’s bold, stylized and vibrant illustrations also add wit and energy to the work of such prestigious authors as Margaret Wise Brown, Jack Prelutsky, Kevin Henkes, and Patricia MacLachlan. Yaccarino's books have been translated into many languages and have inspired e-books, children's musicals and video adaptations. Yaccarino has also enthralled children and parents, alike, through his Parent's Choice Award-winning animated TV series Oswald (Nick Jr). People, all over the world, enjoy Oswald, Yaccarino’s animated television series about the wonderfully whimsical world of the lovable blue octopus. Time magazine hailed Oswald as one of the top 6 shows to watch on cable! Animation Magazine heralds him as “an American original.” His creative influence for the Emmy-winning Willa’s Wild Life (NBC and Qubo), and character designs for The Backyardigans (Nick Jr) have also been highly acclaimed. Yaccarino’s work has graced the pages of countless publications, including The New York Times, Rolling Stone and Time magazine. He has also created images for a wide variety of advertising campaigns including Cotton, Inc., AT&T, and Gardenburger and has worked extensively in Japan, for clients such as Sony, Nikkei and Partner magazines.
Yaccarino's internationally recognized art style has earned him a large following in Japan, exhibits in New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, and Rome, and a visit to the White House. His work has been recognized with a host of awards including the prestigious Bologna Ragazzi, The New York Times 10 Best Illustrated, ALA Notable and the Parents Choice Award.
Dan Yaccarino lives in New York City with his wife and their two children, and creates his quirky characters in his studio, filled with vintage toys! When Yaccarino is not in his studio creating illustrations or producing one of his animated series, he travels around the country talking to school children, as well as adults, about his work.