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Fall 2017 Publishers’ Preview: Five Questions for Dan Santat

Publishers' Previews: Special advertising supplement in The Horn Book Magazine

This interview originally appeared in the September/October 2017 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Fall Publishers’ Preview, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions.

Sponsored byMacmillan

So it turns out the king’s men did manage to put Humpty Dumpty back together again — but now he’s afraid of heights. After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again puts a new spin on the old nursery rhyme.

1. What are you most afraid of?

I’m terrified of sitting in the middle seat on an airplane. You neither get to see clouds nor go to the bathroom without someone being in your way. It’s the most helpless situation a human being can face, in my honest opinion. Also, spiders.

2. Are you good at taking your book’s advice about perseverance?

I think so? My very first picture book review was less than flattering. As a result, I became too scared to write another one. For years I settled on illustrating books by other people. Watching my friends publish book after book and seeing their willingness to put their work out there inspired me to get back on the writing horse. Ten years later, my second picture book was Beekle. Reviews still make me nervous, though.

3. Sugary cereals, yea or nay?

100% yes. My parents deprived me of sugary cereals when I was a kid because they were worried I would get fat. Well, I showed them! I got fat despite all their attempts. Now that I’m an adult I’m playing catch-up by eating all the sugary cereals I was curious about when I was a kid. You’re telling me that a bowl of cookies with milk poured into it constitutes breakfast? Shut up and take my money.

4. So which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Egg, of course. I’m sure some dinosaur laid an egg, and when the egg hatched and out came something that slightly resembled a chicken, she thought, “Ugh, that’s a hideous dinosaur baby.” Then that ugly dinosaur baby had even uglier babies with another ugly dinosaur, and so on and so forth until, millions of years later, we ended up with chickens. The real food connoisseur should say, “It tastes like dinosaur.”

5. Any plans for Miss Muffet?

Let me reiterate that spiders terrify me.

Sponsored byMacmillan




  1. So, Dan, you’re saying that sitting in the middle seat on an airplane between two large spiders eating granola is not your thing?

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