Which well known illustrator created Sant the Ant?

May 5, 2023
Which well known illustrator created Sant the Ant?
Did you know that the person who illustrated Sant the Ant was the same person who also illustrates for Anh Do’s books and many other children’s books?

Sant the Ant is an original character from our much loved SPELD SA Phonic Book Series.  We asked Dave Atze what his inspiration was for creating Sant and this is what he said:


Dave Atze illustrator

“Hi there! I'm Dave, a freelance Illustrator from country SA.

I create all kinds of creatures and characters for cartoons, comics, toys, kids' books, video games and advertising.

During my time as an Illustrator, I have worked for some fantastic clients. Some of which include Anh Do, Scholastic, Moose Toys, Zuru Toys, EB Games and many more!

I also designed a character you might know called Sant the ant.

Sant is based on a honey ant, which is mainly found in desert areas of the Northern Territory and Western Australia.

And people eat them!!!! What?! (Don't tell Sant.)

When designing an animal character for a kids' book my first decision is always, will they be anthropomorphic (stand up like a person, and be able to do things people can do) or will they keep their animal traits? eg: in the SPELD SA Title: Tig naps a lot.

Sant the ant

Sant needed to be able to experience human emotion and tasks, so he is anthropomorphic.

Next up, look at lots of photos of honey ants, learn about them and incorporate distinct features into the design. (Sant's big honey bottom) or abdomen for the more proper word.

I sketch out many different ideas for Sant, working out which design best suits the character.

Once a design is picked I get to work on colours and poses for the different stories you have been reading.

I think Sant is a pretty cool dude, I hope you like him too.”

Sant features in our SPELD SA Phonic Books in titles such as: Sant the ant gets sick, Sant the ant is mad and Sant the ant has lunch

You can download Sant’s stories and many more for free here.

You can purchase SPELD SA Phonic books in both Jolly Phonics and Sounds-Write Initial Code from our online shop.

Sant likes to hide in and around the SPELD SA Centre and Sant has even made it into 3D form, look out for him when you next visit us!


Thank you to Dave Atze for sharing this story.

If you want to know any more information about Dave Atze, and his books or to download some free activity books go to