Nikki Shannon Smith

Nikki Shannon Smith is the author of 20 published and forthcoming books, ranging from board books to middle grade. Her most recent titles include OUR BEAUTIFUL COLORS (Little Golden Books/Random House), and LOVE IS ALL AROUND, a Bank Street Books Best Children’s Book of 2022 and the first title in her board book series called Brown Baby Parade (Crown Books/Random House). Nikki’s work includes the AZALEAH LANE chapter book series and five titles in Capstone’s middle grade historical fiction series, Girls Survive. Her 2022 title, LENA AND THE BURNING OF GREENWOOD: A TULSA RACE MASSACRE SURVIVAL STORY, received the Oklahoma Book Award. Her forthcoming titles include five more titles in the Brown Baby Parade series, and her middle grade novel, STRANDED (Scholastic, 2024). Her writing is informed not only by her research, but by her child-like curiosity and nearly thirty years of elementary school teaching.

“Nikki was amazing! I learned so much about picture book writing from her. She kept the work interesting and read mentor texts that help to connect the dots.”

“Loved Nikki elaborating on so many affirming points: no need for history clarification; reading like a writer – I would love a course on how to build this skill more; speaking to the space for non conventional storytelling… And warm gratitude.”

“Nikki’s wonderful big questions gave space for me to question my own writing and be in relationship with my own creativity. Affirming spaces are wonderful for creative abundance!”

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The Highlights Foundation positively impacts children by amplifying the voices of storytellers who inform, educate, and inspire children to become their best selves.  Learn more about our impact.