presenting:  n i c o l e  T A D G E L L


Nicole Tadgell was born in Detroit, Michigan. Frequent moves only increased her natural shyness, especially because she was sometimes the only black kid in the class or even the whole grade. Feeling different drew Nicole further into her own created worlds on paper, art was both fun and an escape.

While studying studio art at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, she recalled how much fun it was to draw her own stories - illustrating children’s books could be the right path. “I knew I always wanted to be an artist,” Nicole says. “But it wasn’t until after college when I realized there was a lack of books with kids who looked like me.”  Her growth as an artist included becoming comfortable with herself, her shyness, being the new kid, and being black.

Encouraged to develop her art in a more realistic direction, Nicole created a portfolio showing lively characters with an authenticity that was uniquely hers.

Today, Nicole has over twenty books and numerous educational pieces published. “I love working on children’s books,” Nicole says. “Sometimes I pretend I’m the kid in the book, and do the things they do in the story to really get a feel for each book.”  Nicole also visits schools, gives lectures and conducts workshops.

Nicole's work has been honored by the Children's Africana Book Award, the Americas Award, the Arkansas Diamond Primary Book Award, and Growing Good Kids Award.

Many of her books have been selected to be among: the Bank Street Best College of Education, the Smithsonian Notable Books for Children, Cooperative Children's Book Center Choices Annual List, New York Public Library's Best 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing, Eastern Washington University Excellent Choice, Maine’s A Capital Read, and Rutgers University Top 5.


Notable Books:

+ With Books and Bricks: How Booker T. Washington Built a School, by Suzanne Slade (Charlesbridge) - Publisher's Weekly Starred Review

Friends for Freedom: The Story of Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass, by Suzanne Slade (Charlesbridge) - Publisher's Weekly Starred Review

+ First Peas to the Table, by Susan Grigsby - Selected by the Nebraska Farm Bureau's as the 2012 Children's Agricultural Book of the year for grades K-3 & 2013 Learning Magazine's Teachers Choice Award.

+ In the Garden with Dr. Carver, by Susan Grigsby - 2011 Growing Good Kids - Excellence in Children's Literature Award, 2012-2013 Children's Crown Gallery Nominee & 2011 Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People.

+ Lucky Beans, by Becky Birtha - Named one of the CCBC Choices 2011, the annual best-of-the-year list of the Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC), named one of the 2010 Notable Books for Children list, & named one of the New York Public Library's Best 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing, 2010. It was also honored with the Arkansas Diamond Primary Award.

+ No Mush Today, by Sally Derby - Best Children's Books of the Year, Bank Street College of Education.

+ Josias, Hold the Book, by Jennifer Riesmeyer Elvgren - Recipient of the America's Award, as well as the Growing Good Kids Award.

+ Fatuma's New Cloth, by Leslie Bulion - 2003 Children's Africana Award.