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About Nikki Grimes
Nikki Grimes dabbles in watercolors and collage (she created one of the illustrations for One Last Word!), she crafts handmade books, cards and beaded jewelry, is a textile artist, and once sang, danced and acted her way down the east coast of China. Her primary passion, though, is writing books for children and young adults. Her complete bibliography of trade and mass market books number close to 100. Her trade titles include historical fiction, biographies, chapter books, and novels in prose. However, poetry and novels-in-verse are her genres of choice.
A bestselling author, Grimes is the recipient of the 2017 Children's Literature Legacy Award, the 2016 Virginia Hamilton Literary Award, and the 2006 NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. Other awards include the Coretta Scott King Award for Bronx Masquerade; CSK Honors for Jazmin's Notebook, Talkin' About Bessie, Dark Sons, The Road to Paris, and Words With Wings; the NAACP Image Award for New York Times Bestseller Barack Obama:Son of Promise, Child of Hope; The Myra Cohn Livingston Award for Poetry; Arnold Adoff Poetry Award for One Last Word; Claudia Lewis Poetry Award; the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award; the Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor; Horn Book Fanfare for Talkin' About Bessie; The Horace Mann Upstanders Book Award; the VOYA Non-Fiction Honor; The Lion & The Unicorn Award for Excellence in North American Poetry; International Youth Library White Ravens List; ALA Notables for What is Goodbye? and Words With Wings; Notable Books for a Global Society, and more.
The novel Growin' marked Grimes' entry into children's literature. In addition, her books include Something on My Mind—her first book of poetry—A Dime a Dozen, From A Child's Heart, A Girl Named Mister, Planet Middle School, Aneesa Lee & The Weaver's Gift, Chasing Freedom, the popular Dyamonde Daniel chapter book series, the beloved Meet Danitra Brown, Wild, Wild Hair, and Welcome Precious.
A much anthologized poet, her own collections include Pocketful of Poems, Poems in the Attic, Thanks a Million, When Daddy Prays, Come Sunday, Voices of Christmas, When Gorilla Goes Walking, and Shoe Magic. Check the bibliography on her website for a full listing.
In addition to her work for children, Grimes has written articles for such magazines as Essence, Horn Book, Today's Christian Woman, Book Links, English Journal, and Image: Journal of Arts & Religion, among others.
Those who follow her on social media know that Grimes is also a photographer and avid gardener with a special penchant for roses. They also know that a new poem is apt to pop up on her wall at any given time, especially if something heavy is on her heart, usually in response to a report of social injustice.
Social justice is one of the themes readers find in books written by Grimes, often set against an urban landscape. Her themes, though, are wide-ranging: bullying, friendship, foster care, forgiveness, gratitude, empathy, identity, mental illness, loss, sexual assault—all find a place in her work. Whether the themes are light or heavy, the consistent thread of hope, in stories laced with humor, are hallmarks of books written by Nikki Grimes.
Her most recent titles include the much-acclaimed novel-in-verse Garvey's Choice the groundbreaking poetry collection, One Last Word, and the picture book The Watcher. Her much anticipated memoir, Ordinary Hazards, releases October 8, 2019.
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Titles By Nikki Grimes
Dyamonde loves eating her mom's pancakes. Free loves eating . . . period. But lately Damaris just pushes her food around her plate, and Dyamonde suspects it has something to do with the mean things classmates have been saying about people's weight. Damaris wonders if they might be talking about her too. Dyamonde knows that Damaris doesn't have a weight problem and is perfect just the way she is--so now it's time for her to make sure Damaris knows that, too.
In this fourth installment of the award-winning series, Coretta Scott King Award winner Nikki Grimes's lovable Dyamonde Daniel is back, with a timely message about self-acceptance and healthy eating habits--delivered with her trademark spunk.
Darrian dreams of writing for the New York Times. To hone his skills and learn more about the power of words, he enrolls in Mr. Ward’s class, known for its open-mic poetry readings and boys vs. girls poetry slam. Everyone in class has something important to say, and in sharing their poetry, they learn that they all face challenges and have a story to tell—whether it’s about health problems, aging out of foster care, being bullied for religious beliefs, or having to take on too much responsibility because of an addicted parent. As Darrian and his classmates get to know one another through poetry, they bond over the shared experiences and truth that emerge from their writing, despite their private struggles and outward differences.
Nikki Grimes, Coretta Scott King Award winning author, and acclaimed illustrator Elizabeth Zunon's latest children's masterpiece is a whimsical adventure and rollicking celebration of playtime fun.
"Time to get to work, little one," I tell you.
"What work?" you ask.
you pretend not to understand.
"Your job is called Play," I say.
Mom needs to wake up her child whose job is to play. From dancing in puddles to jumping in leaves, and swinging high enough to almost reach the sun, there's so much to do in a fun-filled day.
For those seeking children's books about diversity, this loving depiction of everyday shenanigans is sure to become a story time favorite. Playtime for Restless Rascals is an African American children's book that celebrates imagination, playful moments, and the love between parents and child.
Praise for Bedtime for Sweet Creatures:
"A patient mother with a healthy sense of whimsy helps prepare her headstrong toddler for bed. Zunon's art takes this book to the next level: Her portrayals of the animals mentioned in the text are colorful and full of intriguing patterns and shapes. An adventurous treat of a bedtime story."—Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW
"An adorable and imaginative bedtime story to add to collections for young children...children will engage with the pajama-clad tot's antics and be soothed by the book's positive tone. A fabulous interpretation of an everyday battle."—Booklist, STARRED REVIEW
Praise for Off to See the Sea
"Children will delight... This ebullient account of a common childhood experience bursts with love and universal appeal."—Booklist, STARRED REVIEW
Nikki Grimes, a bestselling author known for titles such as Dark Sons, Barak Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope, and Voices of Christmas has written a gripping book from the perspective of a girl named Mister (Mary Rudine) who finds herself momentarily distracted from her faith commitment to purity by a handsome boy named Trey. After one night of weakness, Mister finds her entire life has changed, even if she can’t yet accept all the changes occurring within her are real. When the emotional scars of losing her innocence are more lasting than she imagined, Mister turns to a book of her mother’s, which contains poems from Mary’s perspective. As both Mister and Mary’s voices play out in the story, a full and meaningful portrait of Christian faith, trust, and forgiveness emerges, along with the truth that God can use even the most unplanned events in our lives for his greater glory.
Barnes & Noble Best Book of the Year
Kirkus Best Book of the Year
Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
4 STARRED REVIEWS
Nikki Grimes, Coretta Scott King Award winning author, and acclaimed illustrator Elizabeth Zunon's latest children's masterpiece creates an imagination-fueled and animal-filled journey to bedtime.
"Has the feel of an all-time great bedtime picture book" — The New York Times
It's bedtime. But Mommy's little one is not sleepy.
He growls like a bear, he questions like an owl, he tosses his mane like a lion. He hunts for water like a sly wolf, and hides like a snake.
Mommy needs to wrangle her sweet creature in bed so that the whole family can sleep. From tigers to squirrels to snakes, the little boy dodges around his bedtime, until he is tired enough to finally sleep. His imaginative animal friends weave their way through the illustrations, eventually joining him in curling up for the night.
For those seeking children's books about diversity, this loving depiction of everyday shenanigans is sure to become a bedtime favorite. Bedtime for Sweet Creatures is an African American children's book that celebrates imagination, playful moments, and the love between a Black mother and child.
"The mother's loving understanding is demonstrated by how she works with her child's rich imagination, never slipping into admonishment. As such, children will engage with the pajama-clad tot's antics and be soothed by the book's positive tone. A fabulous interpretation of an everyday battle."—Booklist, STARRED review
When Kamala Harris was young, she often accompanied her parents to civil rights marches—so many, in fact, that when her mother asked a frustrated Kamala what she wanted, the young girl responded with: “Freedom!”
As Kamala grew from a small girl in Oakland to a senator running for president, it was this long-fostered belief in freedom and justice for all people that shaped her into the inspiring figure she is today. From fighting for the use of a soccer field in middle school to fighting for the people of her home state in Congress, Senator Harris used her voice to speak up for what she believed in and for those who were otherwise unheard. And now this dedication has led her all the way to being elected Vice President of the United States.
Told in Nikki Grimes's stunning verse and featuring gorgeous illustrations by Laura Freeman, this picture book biography brings to life a story that shows all young people that the American dream can belong to all of us if we fight for one another.
For centuries, accomplished women--of all races--have fallen out of the historical records. The same is true for gifted, prolific, women poets of the Harlem Renaissance who are little known, especially as compared to their male counterparts.
In this poetry collection, bestselling author Nikki Grimes uses "The Golden Shovel" poetic method to create wholly original poems based on the works of these groundbreaking women-and to introduce readers to their work.
Each poem is paired with one-of-a-kind art from today's most exciting female African-American illustrators: Vanessa Brantley-Newton, Cozbi A. Cabrera, Nina Crews, Pat Cummings, Laura Freeman, Jan Spivey Gilchrist, Ebony Glenn, April Harrison, Vashti Harrison, Ekua Holmes, Cathy Ann Johnson, Keisha Morris, Daria Peoples-Riley, Andrea Pippins, Erin Robinson, Shadra Strickland, Nicole Tadgell, and Elizabeth Zunon.
Legacy also includes a foreword, an introduction to the history of the Harlem Renaissance, author's note, and poet biographies, which make this a wonderful resource and a book to cherish.
Acclaim for One Last Word
A Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor winner
A New York Public Library Best Kids Book of the Year
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year, Middle Grade
A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, Nonfiction
A study of scripture reveals that Jesus spent a lot of time with people in the margins. As an African American, Nikki Grimes lives in the margins, and she can tell you that it's a place most of us would rather not be. And yet, she knows there is always glory to be found in the margins because of the Lord’s presence in, and with us.
As Poet Laureate of Grace Brethren Church in Southern California, it’s Ms. Grimes’ job to distill the heart of the weekly sermon into a poem. She dives into each week’s chosen scripture, viewing it from her own perspective as Black, as woman, as poet, always a little left of center, and looking for the glory to be found in the margins of life, and of the text. Of course, she says, those of us who live in the margins are not what anyone expects, and the very notion that God might speak through us, may seem a bit wild. But he does. ‘I will pour out my spirit on all flesh,’ said the Lord. God’s busy in the hearts of all who call on him.
Ever since Barack Obama was young, Hope has lived inside him. From the beaches of Hawaii to the streets of Chicago, from the jungles of Indonesia to the plains of Kenya, he has held on to Hope. Even as a boy, Barack knew he wasn’t quite like anybody else, but through his journeys he found the ability to listen to Hope and become what he was meant to be: a bridge to bring people together.
This is the moving story of our 44th President, told by Nikki Grimes and illustrated by Bryan Collier, both winners of the Coretta Scott King Award. Barack Obama has motivated Americans to believe with him, to believe that every one of us has the power to change ourselves and change our world.