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November 04, 2021


The Candy Dish: Behind the Scenes with Author Kobi Yamada

From the author of the New York Times best-selling What Do You Do With… series comes a captivating tale about the magic of gratefulness. Kobi Yamada’s latest children’s book, The Candy Dish, follows a young girl and her encounters with a curious little dish, which dispenses one delicious treat each morning. But when the girl goes to retrieve more, she discovers the lid is sealed shut until the next day. A story of patience and perspective, The Candy Dish was inspired by a conversation Kobi had with his own daughter. It’s filled with lessons on savoring life’s simple delights—and its whimsical watercolor illustrations unlock the beauty of approaching every day with a grateful heart.

We asked Kobi to share a bit about his creative inspiration and the book’s timeless message.

What inspired you to write The Candy Dish?

I wanted to write a book about appreciating what a gift each day is, and how each day brings so much wonder, magic, and possibility. Many of us find ourselves constantly wanting more of something, but that desire for more can often get in the way of recognizing and appreciating what we have. This book is a reminder that just to wake up, and have a brand-new day, is the greatest gift of all.

Adelina Lirius’s detailed illustrations are packed with color and curiosity. How do you see her art contributing to the storytelling?

Adelina did an amazing job bringing the tale to life. She was able to amplify the energy, the unexpected joy, the unbridled magic of this book. There is so much to look at and enjoy in her vibrant work. It leaves you inspired, uplifted, appreciative of the gift each day brings, and grateful for everyday wonders in our lives.

Do you have a favorite spread?

I think my favorite spread is when our girl finally starts to really see and appreciate the beauty of the unique piece of candy she has received, when she really takes the time to examine it and to look at it for what it is. Adelina brilliantly captured the magic of the moment with so much style, whimsy, creativity, extensive color, and expansive imagination.

What do you hope this book will inspire more of in the world?

Many of us find that life feels like something to acquire, or achieve, or to strive for. We can lose the perspective that life is also about taking time to slow down, to appreciate, to take in all the wondrous, magical, seemingly ordinary little delights and experiences.

My hope is that this story will be an inspiring reminder to see the beautiful gift that life is, and to enjoy each and every day as it comes. Gratitude is transformative, and the more we are mindful of the things we are grateful for, the more gratitude we bring into our lives.


Discover The Candy Dish and empower a child in your life with the gift of gratitude. Find the book and its companion, a FREE art print, here.

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