INTERVIEW | Nicole Tadgell

Nicole, describe yourself for our visitors.

I enjoy hiking, birdwatching, gardening, quilting, and of course, reading.

Who are your favorite authors? Favorite books?

When I was a child, my favorite books were: “Big Sister, Little Sister” “What’s in the Dark?”, and “Rain Makes Applesauce”. When I was a little older, I loved books by Laura Ingalls Wilder and Anne McCaffery. Now that I’m grown up, I enjoy reading books by Grace Lin, Holly Black, Richard Peck, Sharon Creech, Jacqueline Woodson and many others.

Tell us about your journey to publication.

I’ve always enjoyed drawing and painting so I knew I wanted to be an artist when I grew up. I also knew children’s picture books were my favorite kinds of art to make. So I practiced and made lots of samples, and learned as much as I could about publishing. I met a wonderful art director at a children’s book conference, who liked my work. Not long afterwards, she contacted me with a book manuscript and asked if I’d like to illustrate it. That was “Fatuma’s New Cloth”.

Tell us about your current book?

My most recently published book is “Josias, Hold the Book” by Jennifer Elvgren. I’m happy to announce that it was awarded the Americas Award from the Center of Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

How did you come up with ideas for this book?

I did LOTS of research. The author’s text describes what I needed to draw, who the characters are, etc. I looked at many photos of Haiti, I met Haitian people, interviewed them about what Haiti is like, and I used a wonderful boy as a model for the main character in the story.

List your three most recent books.

  • “Jammin’, Rockin’, Toe Stompin’ on the Rooftop”
  • “Lights Out!” by Angela Shelf Medearis
  • “A Day with Daddy” by Nikki Grimes.

What’s next for you?

I’m currently working on illustrations for a book with Lee and Low.

Where can visitors find you online? and