The Aquanaut: A Graphic Novel (Paperback)

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The Aquanaut: A Graphic Novel By Dan Santat, Dan Santat (Illustrator) Cover Image

The Aquanaut: A Graphic Novel (Paperback)

By Dan Santat, Dan Santat (Illustrator)


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(Graphic Novels)

March/April 2022 Kids Indie Next List

“When an aquanaut breaks into the marine research center where Sofia’s uncle works, she’s shocked to find the suit is manned by goofy sea creatures. They may have a plan to save the park’s sea creatures in this delightful graphic novel.”
— Rae Ann Parker, Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN

Staff Reviews

A really sweet story about some endangered sea critters learning to pilot an antique diving suit to find help on the surface. They make friends with an excitable little girl and her hard working uncle and attempt to save more than just themselves while they try their hardest to maintain a low profile on land.

Wonderfully illustrated with really great character designs!

(Graphic Novel, ages 8+) — Find more Staff Picks by Apollo

— Apollo

Dive in to this whimsically adventurous graphic novel from Caldecott Medalist and National Book Award Winner Dan Santat!

Ever since her father was lost at sea, Sophia has been moping around Aqualand, the marine theme park her dad and uncle created. But Sophia's world is turned upside down when an "aquanaut" breaks into the park's research lab.

To her amazement, Sophia discovers that the aquanaut is not what it seems -- inside lives a band of four goofy sea creatures! And when they all realize that Aqualand has evolved into something much darker than Sophia's dad had envisioned, Sophia is determined to help the aquanaut crew free the park's captive marine life before it's too late.

Dan Santat is the New York Times bestselling author and illustrator of The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend, which won the prestigious Randolph Caldecott Medal in 2015. He is also the creator of the acclaimed graphic novel The Aquanaut, and his graphic memoir, A First Time for Everything, was the 2023 National Book Award Winner for Young People's Literature. His art is featured in numerous children's books, including Dav Pilkey's Ricky Ricotta series as well as picture books by Henry Winkler and Jake Gyllenhaal. Dan lives in Southern California with his wife, two kids, and pets. Visit him online at

Product Details ISBN: 9780545497619
ISBN-10: 0545497612
Publisher: Graphix
Publication Date: March 1st, 2022
Pages: 256
Language: English

An American Library Association Best Graphic Novel for Children

★ "Kinetic panel artwork impresses throughout, with smart pacing that swings between hilarity and suspense." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review

"The art in this graphic tale is something special... Santat's vividly expressive visuals are, even more than usual, riveting." -- Kirkus Reviews

"An endearing tale of love, loss, and the value of family -- biological and found." -- School Library Journal

"Poignant and often funny, The Aquanaut is Santat's triumphant return to the graphic novel genre." -- NPR

"A spirited and thrilling story." -- Shelf Awareness

"A humorous and heartwarming tale." -- BookPage

Praise for Sidekicks:

"Hilarious and heartfelt... a charming and well-told tale about friendship." -- Kazu Kibuishi, creator of Amulet

"The lovable menagerie of crime-fighting pets offers lots of laughs and a boisterous and exuberant storyline; Santat's illustrations are clear, engaging, and neatly stacked into easy-to-read panels." -- Kirkus Reviews

"Lively, insightful, and just plain fun, this convergence of capes and creatures will find a wide audience in animal lovers and superhero fans alike." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books