This week I'm beginning my focus on Children's book illustrators, beginning today with Dan Yaccarino. Yaccarino is an illustrator who both pens his own work and lends his art to other children's book authors. I first came across his work in I'm sorry to admit not a book at all, but on television with Oswald, the cartoon based on his book by the same name. If you're not familiar with Oswald, it involves a blue 1940's style octopus wearing a bowler hat and his squirmy group of friends (one voiced by Squiggy of Laverne and Shirley fame, I don't know his real name so forgive me on that Mr. Squiggy...)
Fast forward to the fabulous Every Friday, a simple tale of a boy and his dad going to a diner every Friday. The illustrations and purely 40's, early 50's inspired, full of retro texture and drawing style. They remind me of (pop culture reference alert) the billboard in Back to the Future for Marty's neighborhood (Pine something, wasn't it?)...not to veer too far off the track, though!
Another favorite is If I Had a Robot, anyone who knows me knows I am a sucker for old-fashioned robots and anything related to them, and this book is pure eye candy if you love primary colors, vintage style drawings, and clever text.
I'm super excited about Yaccarino's newest, Go Go America. Inspired by childhood road trips, he provides educational trivia with route-66 flair. State birds + Dan Yaccarino = stylish and droll pop art that disguises itself as a kids book.