Shadra Strickland studied design, writing, and illustration at Syracuse University, and completed her M.F.A. at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. She won the Ezra Jack Keats Award and Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent in 2009 for her work in her first picture book, Bird, written by Zetta Elliott. Shadra’s ultimate goal as a picture book author and illustrator is to teach children how to live their dreams. Shadra travels the country conducting workshops and sharing her work with children, teachers, and librarians. She currently teaches illustration at Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore.