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January 02, 2024


Chasing Dreams: A Q&A with Author Kobi Yamada and Illustrator Charles Santoso

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What dreams have captured your imagination recently? What possibilities are asking for your attention? Through their latest book collaboration, Chasing Dreams, author Kobi Yamada and illustrator Charles Santoso are encouraging readers to move toward their wants and wishes by adding more daring to their doing. It features the same irresistible cuteness of their first two illustrated books, Finding Muchness and Feeling Grateful, with powerful messages sure to awaken the dreamer in you.

Chasing Dreams is an invitation to make something beautiful of your one, miraculous life. Throughout the pages, an adventurous raccoon leads readers on a journey to discover the beautiful places our dreams can take us. It’s a celebration of courage, and a reminder that wonder awaits just on the other side of fear.

We asked Kobi and Charles to share a bit about their creative process for this uplifting illustrated book. Here is what they had to say…

Chasing Dreams is the third addition to the beloved Add More Goodness book series. Can you tell us a bit about the inspiration and how this book fits in?

Kobi: Yes, Chasing Dreams is the latest title in the series. Charles brings such a delicate, yet energetic, fine art quality to his illustrations. I think his style of art pairs perfectly with these books of encouragement that are intended for people ages 99 and under.

The first book we created together, Finding Muchness, focused on living fully. During the second book in the series, Feeling Grateful, we explored appreciation and gratitude. The inspiration for Chasing Dreams was to expand the series into bold thinking, goal setting, overcoming obstacles, and embracing new challenges. We wanted to encourage readers to be brave, reach for the stars, and stretch what’s possible.

Charles, your pencil drawings so masterfully depict for readers what it looks like to pursue dreams passionately. As readers are moving through the pages, what do you hope they will notice?

Charles: I hope readers can read the book at a slower pace and let each spread sink in. Kobi's words might seem simple. However, they are very powerful, and I always try my best to transfer as many feelings to the subtle expressions and body language of each moment in the illustration.

I hope readers experience meaningful pauses every time they finish savoring each spread of this book.

Do you have a favorite spread?

Charles: One of my favorite spreads is one where the raccoon is reading in public. It's all about being brave and trying to put yourself out there. This feels really personal, familiar, and something that is still a work-in-progress for me.

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How do you connect to the message of the book?

Charles: I believe everyone has an artistic side. It can be as broad as our ability to enjoy beautiful scenery, music, or stories. I also believe that each of us has dreams. These can be as big as we can imagine or as specific as creating something small for ourselves. I want the young raccoon to represent and cheer on readers who wish and work to try to realize their dreams. Progress and hard work are challenging but also beautiful.

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How do you hope readers will find themselves within these pages?

Kobi: It’s my hope that kids and adults will not only read this book but feel it deeply as well. I hope that readers will see a bit of themselves in these words and adorable illustrations. I think we all have hopes and aspirations that we dream of, and these are very important because they help us to find our courage to stretch and expand the possibilities for our lives.

There is tremendous joy and energy in having a dream. Chasing Dreams is about realizing that life is in the living, the pursuing, the striving for what you love.


Chasing Dreams holds nuggets of wisdom for readers of all ages. Give it to a friend who is starting a new job, a graduate who is contemplating what the future holds, or add it to a child’s library to remind them that their passions matter. You can also gift it to yourself and read the words like daily affirmations to fuel your own pursuits. Find this spirited book here.

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