Academy Alum Continues to Build on His Recipe for Success

When Academy Art U News interviewed David McBride last spring, he had just finished writing and illustrating his first children’s book, Dimitri Has His Head in the Clouds. Dimitri is a young boy with a rich fantasy life who doesn’t always fit in with his peers at school and sometimes gets in trouble with his teachers. But at home, his imagination is allowed to flourish and takes him on exciting adventures. 

McBride, who earned an M.F.A. in animation through the Academy of Art University’s online program, was also enjoying success with his animated short film, David and Dax False Reality. A spoof of reality TV, the film was featured at this year’s Animfest in Athens, Greece.

We caught up with McBride to find out what he’s been up to lately. In addition to continuing to promote Dimitri Has His Head in the Clouds at events such as a recent reading at a local library, the New Jersey resident is busy with a number of other projects. 

He’s especially proud of collaborating with his mother, Maria McBride, on a new cookbook called Bringing Them Home. “My mother is a wonderful chef,” said McBride. “She put together a book of recipes and memories of her days in the kitchen with her mother and I did all the photography.” 

The book is filled with recipes of delicious Italian dishes passed down from generation to generation in her family. McBride was happy to help his mother, who, in addition to being a fantastic cook, also nurtured the creativity and self-confidence that inspired his book.

According to McBride, giving back to others, whether through her cooking, encouragement or helping her community has always been his mother’s way. “My mom created a warm, compassionate environment for us to grow up in and allowed us to be whoever we wanted,” he explained. She also taught us the importance of giving back to people.”

When McBride’s grandfather, a World War II veteran and Bronze Star recipient, died from Alzheimer’s in 1997, his mother founded an organization called Sharing Life in his honor. Until 2007, Sharing Life brought children into senior homes to sing Christmas carols and do other activities that brightened the residents’ lives.


David McBride. Courtesy of David McBride.

“When my grandfather couldn’t remember who my mom and his wife were, being around children still made him happy,” said McBride.


The cover of 'Bringing Them Home,' David McBride’s collaborative project with his mother, Maria McBride. Courtesy of David McBride.

In 2009, his mother combined her love of helping the elderly and her passion for cooking to start Pasta Tuesday, a service that brings her homemade fare to senior homes. McBride assists her in preparing and delivering the meals. Some of the proceeds from “Bringing Them Home” will support Pasta Tuesday. McBride’s mother dedicated the book to her parents. It was published on September 14, their wedding anniversary.

McBride is also working on his second children’s book. Although he couldn’t reveal the title as it’s in the process of being copyrighted, he said that it focuses on teaching children to not only tolerate different cultures, but to appreciate them. 

“One of my interests is learning about other cultures,” said McBride. “It’s good for my art and sparks my imagination. I wanted to write this book to help kids be open to learning about different cultures and trying new things.”

McBride hopes to publish the book by next spring. He is also working on an action-adventure graphic novel that explores the value of self-confidence in making good life decisions.

He anticipates completing that book by next summer. In addition, McBride is putting the finishing touches on an animated short film for Halloween featuring his irreverent frog character, Dax. 

Along with his mother, McBride credits the Academy with his success. “I got to work with professionals like David Nethery, who are celebrities to me, and who were so nice and supportive,” he remarked. “I feel fortunate to have had that experience.”

McBride’s book can be purchased on his website,, and his mother’s cookbook is available on her blog,