12 Days of Christmas – Dan Yaccarino

It is a delight for me to begin the 2013 edition of the 12 Days of Christmas (memories of Christmas from friends who just happen to be  creators of children’s books) with the super Dan Yaccarino. I often catch up with Dan at the New York SCBWI Winter Conferences for a quick chat and sometimes a refreshment and, of course, he is fun!

Here is his memory of a Christmas gathering that became very large very quickly!


Dan Yaccarino

I can still recall a very special Christmas when I was 7-years old. My dog Terry was expecting and I was very excited to be playing with a few newborn puppies any day now. I waited and waited, but still no puppies. No matter, Christmas was coming and I was soon distracted with decorating our house, having a week off from school, and of course, the promise of presents.

After midnight mass on Christmas Eve, I went to bed and fell asleep immediately. The next morning I was woken by my brother, who told me to come down to the basement – quick! There was my family surrounding Terry, who was lying on a blanket. I heard a strange yelping coming from a big cardboard box and I peeked in. There were so many puppies I couldn’t count them all! I saw the last of them being born and my mother told me that Terry had eleven. All of them lived and all of them were healthy.

I can’t quite remember what was under the tree that year. I’m sure it was good, but it wasn’t as good, or memorable, as eleven puppies.


Dan Yaccarino is an acclaimed author and illustrator of many children’s books including Doug Unplugged, Unlovable and The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau; the creator and producer of the animated series Oswald and Willa’s Wild Life, as well as the character designer behind the Emmy-winning The Backyardigans. Dan lives with his family in New York City.

You can visit him online at http://www.yaccarinostudio.com/ys/. And do check out the trailer for Dan’s  book Doug Unplugged.

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