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Growing up in his home in Clifton, NJ, Yaccarino was influenced by a combination of advertising, package design, comic books, vintage animation, toys and old films. “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, singer-song writer Brian Wilson, 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 the autobiographical, "All the Way To America: The Story of A Big Italian Family and A Little Shovel. He has worked with some of the most prestigious names in children’s literature, including Margaret Wise Brown, Jack Prelutsky, Kevin Henkes, and Naomi Shihab 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 Nick Jr. 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. The series received the Cartoons On the Bay Pulcinella Award as well as the Parents' Choice Award. Time magazine chose Oswald as one of the top six shows to watch on cable. He also voiced Freddy the Teddy Bear.
Yaccarino's Emmy-winning 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.
Animation Magazine hails him as "an American original".
Yaccarino’s illustrations have graced the pages of such publications as The New York Times, Rolling Stone 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 apps, several animated television projects. 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.
- 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
- Circle Dogs
- Trashy Town
- 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
- Every Friday
- 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
- All the Way To America: The Story of A Big Italian Family and A Little Shovel
- The Belly Book
- Boy & Bot
- Kate and Nate Are Running Late
- Doug Unplugged
- Zorgoochi Intergalactic Pizza
- Billy & Goat at the State Fair
- The Happyland series
- Class Pet Squad: Journey to the Center of Town