You may not know the name Dan Yaccarino, but, if you have young children, you’ve likely seen The Backyardigans on Nickelodeon or encountered their ubiquitous image on toys and bedding at stores. Yaccarino is the famous author, illustrator and TV producer who designed the characters for The Backyardigans, and he came all the way from his home in NYC to visit with Merriman Park students Friday, April 13th.

Yaccarino is an award-winning artist whose work has been featured in animation, advertising, magazines and books worldwide, and he’s written and illustrated more than 50 books of his own. His large-scale paintings and sculptures have been shown in galleries in Tokyo, New York and Rome. His popular show Willa’s Wild Life airs on NBC and Qubo, while his show Oswald is on Nick Jr.

Yaccarino was invited by MPE librarian Mindy Albert, who admits to being a big fan. She says he shared is love of drawing with the kids, and inspired them to see the power of their own creativity.