Nikki Grimes on Choosing the Right Artist
From the NewberyTart Podcast
NewberyTart is a podcast about kids’ books, for adults, and is recorded in Atlanta, Georgia, by two friends who approach the Newbery thing from very different, but surprisingly complementary, directions.
On today’s episode, Jennie and Marcy continue their series of 2020 mini-episodes with renowned author and poet Nikki Grimes.
From the episode:
Nikki Grimes: I’m always involved in the selection of artists for my books, but it’s a conversation. Many of my publishers outright will come to me and say, do you have anybody in mind? Other times, it’s more because I don’t usually have a particular artist in mind. I have a particular sensibility that I know is going to marry well with the sensibility of my story, and that’s what I’m looking for. There can be, and there usually are, a number of artists who work in that particular style, that particular frame. So sometimes it’s a question of going back and forth with the editor. What about this person? We sort of go back and forth until we find someone on whom we both agree. At other times, it’s right off the bat. They name an artist, and I’m like, yes! Or I named an artist, and they’re like, yes, that’s the person will do it. So it works both ways, but I’m always involved in that decision because it is a critical decision and I’m well aware of that. The wrong art just takes a book. No one will even open it to find out what’s inside.
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New York Times best-selling author Nikki Grimes is the recipient of the Children’s Literature Legacy Award, the Virginia Hamilton Literary Award, and the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. Her books include the ALA Notable Book and NCTE Notable Novel in Verse Garvey’s Choice, Coretta Scott King Author Award winner Bronx Masquerade, and Coretta Scott King Author Honor books Jazmin’s Notebook, Talkin’ About Bessie, Dark Sons, Words with Wings, and The Road to Paris. She is also the creator of the popular Meet Danitra Brown.