Author Aaron Reynolds and illustrator Dan Santat visited students at Lowell and Wade King elementary schools on April 25. The two collaborated most recently on the children’s book, Dude! Dan Santat is a Caldecott-winning illustrator of The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend and author Aaron Reynolds has written a number of award nominated books including Nerdy Berdy and Creepy Carrots!
During the presentation, Reynolds and Santat took turns talking about their childhood, their families and what the kids really got excited about, their pets. Each shared a slide with pictures and names of their cats and dogs.
Santat then shared a story about his first visit to Bellingham when he was a child and the family car broke down. He said a mechanic in town used a hanger to fix the car and told Santat’s father the car would be fine as long as he didn’t open the hood. Santat said the memory was so vivid from his childhood that he uses the license plate number of that car in every one of his books. He thanked Bellingham for the memory.
Reynolds and Santat then took time talking about their new book, Dude! and how it came to be. Reynolds said he was brainstorming original book ideas. He said he thought of writing a book with no words, or a book with no pictures. He said since both of those ideas were already taken, he decided to write a book with just one word, dude! The book Dude! is about a platypus and a beaver who are friends and want to go surfing, but there is a shark in the water.
The author visit was made possible through a partnership with Village Books.