Top 10 secrets Van Learned About Your Favorite Authors

Top 10 secrets Van Learned About Your Favorite Authors

Blog post by Devo
Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Did you know Austin Public Library has its own talk show? It is called The Van Show, and our little blue puppet has learned all kinds of things about your favorite authors over the years. As we celebrate his 100th episode here are some of Van’s favorite fun facts about his most popular authors.


  1. Caldecott winner and screenwriter Dan Santat had such a crazy busy schedule he made his own coffee brand “Surly Asian Guy” coffee. For 10 years of his life he slept an average of 4 hours a night.

  2. Newbery award winner Kate DiCamillo did not start writing until she was 30. Prior to being an author, she worked for Disney World! Her best line was “please keep your hands and feet inside the vehicle at all times”.

  3. 2018 Bluebonnet winner Max Braillier’s favorite book of all time is “Bart Simpson’s Guide to Life”. His latest series “Last Kids on Earth” will be a Netflix show next fall.

  4. French cartoonist and author Penelope Bagieu hates for her work to be called “chick lit”. Penelope’s interview with Van has reached over 1400 views! I think people will start to get the picture soon.

  5. Newbery award winner Grace Lin made her whole family angry with her first book.She did not put her two sisters in “The Ugly Vegetables” so now she has to put them in anytime she writes about her family.

  6. Caldecott and Nebula winner Jane Yolen celebrated her 365th book with us by sharing her dad’s reaction to her first book.Jane wrote her first poem when she was in 1st grade.

  7. Author of the “I Survived” series Lauren Tarshis had such a difficult time reading she never thought she would be an author. She successfully read her first book when she was 14 years old.

  8. Gold Medal award winner Will Hillenbrand of Bear and Mole fame has dyslexia and was not diagnosed until he was in college. He considers his dyslexia a gift.

  9. Bluebonnet award winner Tom Angleburger based his book “Poop Fountain” on an actual poop fountain he wrote about when he was a journalist. His other books in the series – “Rat with a human face” & “To kick a corpse” are also based on his life.

  10. Pura Belpre award winner Carmen Agra Deedy has a secret passion for firetrucks.Her favorite audience to write for are the rotten, stinky kids.

Take a few minutes out today to celebrate with us by checking out our 100th episode and one of our favorite authors Dan Santat. Dan has a new book coming out this year with another favorite author Tom Angleburger. Two of the funniest authors you are likely to see and they are both on The Van Show.