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Kids Reading Across RI Program

Announcing KRARI 2023

Cover for the book: The Aquanaut by Dan Santat
The Aquanaut book cover

The Aquanaut

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.

Portrait of "The Aquanaut" author, Dan Santat
Dan Santat's photograph

Dan Santat

Dan Santat wrote and illustrated the graphic novel Sidekicks, and has also illustrated many acclaimed picture books, including The Guild of Geniuses and The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend, which won the Caldecott Medal. He lives in Alhambra, California, with his family.


Request Book Sets

Sets of the 2023 KRARI selection The Aquanaut are available to schools and public libraries planning to lead a KRARI book discussion this spring and summer. Please use the appropriate form below to request a book set. Requests must be made using the appropriate form by March 31, 2023. Book sets will be delivered mid-April - May.

Questions about book distribution may be addressed to:
Danielle Margarida
Youth Services Coordinator, RI Office of Library and Information Services

Dan Santat
Dan Santat speaking at the KRRAI kickoff


2023 Kickoff Event

Kickoff Event Passport

The kickoff event for Kids Reading Across Rhode Island 2023 held at the State House on May 13th was a great success, attracting a crowd of more than 125 enthusiastic attendees. The event revolved around award winning-author, Dan Santat, and his graphic novel, The Aquanaut.

The festivities were a true collaboration, with 19 public libraries and organizations hosting activity tables that brimmed with excitement and learning opportunities. Adding to the magical ambiance, the Jr. Tones from the East End Theatre & Performing Arts group performed their original song, "Have You Read This Book?"

Dan Santat himself graced the event, delighting attendees with his insights into the inspiration and creative process behind The Aquanaut. Families had the chance to meet the author and have their books signed, while he was presented with a formal recognition from Lt. Governor Sabina Matos for his invaluable contribution to the Kids Reading Across Rhode Island program.

We extend our heartfelt appreciation to all the participants who made this event a resounding success. Special thanks to the Barrington Public Library, the Community Libraries of Providence, the East Providence Public Library, the Middletown Public Library, the North Providence Union Free Library, the Rogers Free Library, the Warwick Public Library, the RI Children's Book Award committee, the RI Latino Books Award committee, and the RI Middle School Book Award committee. We are also grateful for the support of our partners at Rhode Island PBS, Big Nazo, ScubaTrainors, East End Theatre & Performing Arts, and CollegeBound Saver.

We would like to express our deep gratitude to the hardworking KRARI committee members, including Andrea Hutnak, Babs Wells, Brandi Fong, Diane Walsh, Lisa Lesinski, Lynda LaCava, Mel Fricchione, Patrick Tierney, and honorary committee member Anne McLaughlin, for their exceptional coordination in bringing back this in-person event.

If you are interested in joining the KRARI committee to select the 2024 book and plan related activities, please reach out to Danielle Margarida at Your involvement can help shape the future of this remarkable program that celebrates the joy of reading among children across Rhode Island.



2023 KRARI Program Guide

KRARY Library Guide Screenshot
KRARI Library Guide Website screenshot

 Find all KRARI resources on the online KRARI guide at Included on the guide:

  • virtual event recordings
  • discussion guide
  • book lists
  • hands-on activities
  • related web sites



About Kids Reading Across RI

Kids Reading Across Rhode Island, Rhode Island's One Book, One State community read program for kids, is kicking off its 14th year! This program, offered by the Rhode Island Office of Library and Information Services in partnership with the Rhode Island Center for the Book, encourages students across the state in grades 4 through 6 to read the same book, and engage in community discussions and programs. The 2023 selection is The Aquanaut by Dan Santat.

Learn about the 2020, 2021 and 2022 programs on the KRARI LibGuide.


Major Support for Kids Reading Across Rhode Island 2023