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When Caldecott Medal-winning author and illustrator Dan Santat launches “Are We There Yet?” children won’t be the only readers who are delighted by the concept.

Santat, author and illustrator of “The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend” and creator of the Disney animated hit, “The Replacements,” said his new book expands on a child’s notion of the relativity of time. He will be in Greenville April 14 at Fiction Addiction to discuss and sign the new book.

“The idea is that is plays on a child’s perception of time,” he said. “When they are bored, everything slows down.”

In this new story, a car trip seems to take forever – an idea to which parents and children can relate.

“The boy gets so bored that time starts to slow down and he gets so extremely bored that he goes back in time,” Santat said. “There’s an interesting dynamic where you have to interact with the book. I wanted it to be an interesting experience.”

The idea for the interactive part of the book – the book turns upside down for several pages – came to Santat when he was reading a Japanese comic book to his son. He also included some bits that parents can explore.

“There are little Easter eggs that don’t directly lend to the story,” he said.

(Parents, notice the QR code on the robot.)

There’s even a family connection hidden within the book, which is dedicated to the author’s 7-year-old son.

“The birthday party in the book in on his birthdate,” Santat said.

While he is still known for his work on the “The Replacements,” Santat said it is a bit surprising when he interacts with the now young adults who were fans of the show when it first aired. When speaking at a college recently, some students told him the show inspired them to go to art school.

“It’s been a full circle moment,” he said.

Fans of “Beekle” will be excited to know that the imaginative book is being turned in to a film by Dreamworks.

With big things on the horizon, Santat stays grounded by his current inspiration: his children. Santat said “Beekle’ was a metaphor for the birth of his first child, while “Are We There Yet?” is in response to his youngest child’s rush to be older.

“Earlier in my career, I was trying to remember what it was like to be a kid,” he said. “I look at my kids now and realize I was a little off the mark. I write to how they perceive the world.”

You can go

All elementary school children and their parents are invited to a free event at 6 p.m. April 14 at Fiction Addiction, 1175 Woods Crossing Road, Greenville. Santat will be on hand to talk about his new book and sign it for readers.

This event is free and open to the public, but a purchase of “Are We There Yet?” from Fiction Addiction is required in order to join the signing line. Santat will sign other books as long as they are accompanied by at least one copy of the new book. Books will be available for sale prior to and at the event. Books may be purchased at http://www.fiction-addiction.com, at the store or by calling Fiction Addiction at 864-675-0540.

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