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 is passionate about promoting positivity through her work, and her ultimate goal as a picture book author and illustrator is to teach children how to live their dreams. Her style is a whimsical blend of reality and imagination, and she loves to create stories that children can see themselves in. Shadra currently teaches illustration at Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore and online at craftsy.com.