On one very special, very beautiful day, an imaginary friend--who will one day be named Beekle--is born on an island far away. Here, he and other imaginary friends play everyday, and each night, they sit beneath the stars, hoping and waiting for their turn to be picked and imagined by a real child--and be given a special name. Beekle waits patiently, but it seems like it's just never his turn. After waiting a long time and worried that his perfect friend has forgotten about him, Beekle sets off on an epic journey, taking him to stranger places than he could ever have imagined (including an urban setting that looks very much like New York City). In the city, he searches high and low for his friend, only to come up empty. But when he's just about to give up, he meets a shy, bookish girl named Alice, and gradually, they discover that they are perfect each other. Beekle and Alice embark on adventures of their own, and soon, Alice develops the courage to seek out real (and imaginary) new friends.
While Dan Santat has illustrated many celebrated books, this is only the second picture book he has both written and illustrated. His artistic and storytelling talents take center stage in this humorous and thoughtful tribute to friendship and imagination, culminating in an unforgettable story about finding your perfect half.
Praise for The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend:
"How does an imaginary friend feel before he's been imagined? In Santat's sweet, mind-bending gumdrop of a tale, Beekle lives on a rainbow-hued island, 'hoping for his turn to be picked by a child.' Eventually, like Max in'Where the Wild Things Are,' he takes to the seas and soon lands in the real world - which looks a lot like Manhattan. Though this island seems awfully drab, Beekle and his friend find each other at last. She's everything he's ever dreamed of, and the feeling is mutual."
—The New York Times Book Review
"Dan Santat is one of the hardest working people in the industry today. And while his immense talent was always evident, Beekle takes his artistry to a new level. The story (which is just bursting at the seams with charm) begins on an island of colorful creatures, each waiting to be imagined by a special child and thus transported to the real world.... As with all great books, Beekle has an air of inevitability about it. As if somewhere out there is an island of perfect stories just waiting for the right person to come along and imagine it into being. We should all be grateful that Santat, with his brilliant use of color and humor, was here to bring Beekle to life."
The Huffington Post
Dan Santat is the Caldecott Medal-winning and New York Times bestselling author and illustrator of The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend, as well as the illustrator of many other picture books, including Crankenstein by Samantha Berger. Dan lives in Southern California with his wife, two kids, and various pets.