Michele Wood is an illustrator, painter, and designer living in Indianapolis. Her first book, Going Back Home, was honored with an American Book Award. Wood’s second book, I See the Rhythm, written by Toyomi Igus, received the Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration. After illustrating Cynthia Grady’s I Lay My Stitches Down, Wood was honored with the Ashley Bryan Award for Illustration and in 2016, she was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for the book Chasing Freedom. Her most recent work, BOX: Henry Brown Mails Himself to Freedom, won a Newbery Honor. Wood’s work continues to be exhibited in major art spaces across the country.
What was your favorite book when you were a child?
Harriet Tubman. It was in paperback. Also, Sleeping Beauty. My mother bought me pop–up books and I loved them.
What’s your favorite line from a book?
“My heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast.” Pslams 22:14 NIV Bible
Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?
Tom Feelings, Dr. Allan Boesak (Dare We Speak of Hope?), A. Elaine Brown Crawford (Hope in the Holler), Toni Morrison
Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?
I did not want to become an illustrator. It was an opportunity. Why it chose me? This is what I am to do in this world. I believe I am providing important, historical, educational, and entertaining material for children and adults. I found it to be a bridge of youth to the elderly. I started by asking my grandmother questions of her heritage. Now, I choose to create books that will be here long after I am gone. I hope to contribute to literacy in a bigger way in the future.
Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?
Dare to create your path in the children’s book world.