Dallas Clayton

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Dallas Clayton
OccupationIllustrator, writer
GenreChildren's literature
Notable worksAn Awesome Book!
Years active2008–present

Dallas Clayton is an American author and illustrator best known for his children’s works in the Awesome Book series.

Early career[edit]

Clayton began his writing career by self-publishing small run short story zines which he distributed in art galleries, music venues, and on street corners throughout the U.S.[1][2]


After the birth of his son in 2003,[citation needed] Clayton wrote, illustrated, and published An Awesome Book!, a 64-page children's picture book about "dreaming big".[3] After being turned down by several major publishing houses Clayton opted to self-publish An Awesome Book! by posting the book for free online and using mostly non-traditional means of distribution, after which the book sold over 50,000 copies to date.[citation needed][when?]

Clayton was hired in 2009 as the editor-in-chief of We Love You So, an art magazine founded by director Spike Jonze, designed to tie into with Where the Wild Things Are, Jonze's adaptation of the children's book of the same title.[4]

Clayton released his next book, An Awesome Book of Thanks! (2010) through online bookseller Amazon.com's new publishing imprint, AmazonEncore.[5][6] An Awesome Book of Thanks! followed the pattern of An Awesome Book!, this time delivering a message about the importance of being thankful.

In 2011, The Hollywood Reporter announced[7] that Clayton had signed a three-book deal with Harper Collins as well a two-book deal with Candlewick Press. An Awesome Book! received a full scale re-release from Harpercollins in March 2012.[8] 2012 also saw the release of Awesome Book of Love! (Harper).[9]

Clayton released a collection of children's poetry entitled Make Magic! Do Good! (Candlewick Press) in 2012.[10]

He released a "children's book for adults" entitled It's Never Too Late through P. Putnam's Sons in 2013.[11]

Clayton's 2014 releases included A is for Awesome and Lily the Unicorn.[citation needed]

As of 2016, he's writing a film adaptation of Harold and the Purple Crayon for Sony Pictures Animation.[12]

Personal life[edit]

With actress Shannyn Sossamon, Clayton has one son who was born on May 29, 2003.[citation needed]

Clayton founded the non-profit Awesome World Foundation in 2009 with the intention of traveling the world, reading to kids, and promoting childhood literacy.[13] The foundation has donated books worldwide and supported various other children's causes.[14]


  • An Awesome Book! (November 1, 2008)
  • An Awesome Book of Thanks! (November 18, 2010)
  • Make Magic! Do Good! (November 13, 2012)
  • An Awesome Book of Love! (December 26, 2012)
  • It's Never Too Late (November 7, 2013) ISBN 9780399163081
  • A Is for Awesome (March 11, 2014)
  • Lilly the Unicorn (April 22, 2014)


  1. ^ Schwartz, Mara (June 2, 2002). "Getting Literary Buzz at the Sidewalk Level". LA Times. Retrieved 2011-03-04.
  2. ^ Lenny (March 16, 2010). "Dallas Clayton". Lodown magazine. Retrieved 2011-03-04.
  3. ^ Golsorkhi, Ali (September 2010). "Dallas Clayton talks to Ali Golsorkhi". Tank Magazine. Archived from the original on 2011-03-08. Retrieved 2011-03-04.
  4. ^ Bec, Alex (May 11, 2010). "An Awesome Book". It's Nice That. Retrieved 2011-03-04.
  5. ^ Young, Monica (November 28, 2010). "Local writer has his own ideas on marketing his children's books". Winston-Salem Journal. Archived from the original on January 27, 2013. Retrieved 2011-03-04.
  6. ^ Douglas, Nick (November 18, 2010). "'An Awesome Book!' Series by Dallas Clayton - The Internet, Drawn". urlesque.com. Retrieved 2011-03-04.
  7. ^ Lewis, Andy (August 4, 2011). "Self-Publishing Sensation Dallas Clayton Signs Deal With Harper Collins". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2012-01-27.
  8. ^ "Harper Collins Children's online catalog". Retrieved 2012-01-27.
  9. ^ "Harper Collins Publishers: Browse Inside". Retrieved 2013-10-04.
  10. ^ "Candlewick Press Catalog". Retrieved 2013-10-04.
  11. ^ "It's Never Too Late - Books by Dallas Clayton - Penguin Group (USA)". Retrieved 2013-10-04.
  12. ^ "Twitter". December 7, 2016. Retrieved June 29, 2017.
  13. ^ Tiffany (August 23, 2010). "An Awesome Book: Interview With Dallas Clayton". Neato Bambino. Retrieved 2011-03-04.
  14. ^ "Sweet Charity". DailyCandy. November 9, 2009. Retrieved 2011-03-04.

External links[edit]