Andrea Davis Pinkney

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Andrea Davis Pinkney is an author and Coretta Scott King Award-winner who strives to create books geared toward children that display pride in the African-American culture and its achievements.


Andrea Davis was born September 25, 1963 in Washington D.C. and was raised in Connecticut. Her father was a great storyteller and her mother worked as a teacher so they bestowed in their daughter a love of books and learning at a very young age. Her parents were also very involved in the civil rights movement and exposed Andrea to the cause from early on, even taking her to the annual conference of the National Urban League during many of her summer vacations. These early influences inspired Andrea to become a writer. Pinkney did not originally plan to be an author of children’s books. Her original goal was to work as a writer for magazines. She graduated from Syracuse University in 1985 with a degree in journalism and began working as an editor at Mechanix Illustrated. She then went on to work as a senior editor at Essence, as well as an editor for the book publishers Simon & Schuster and Scholastic [1]

While working at one of these early editing jobs, Andrea met Brian Pinkney, a Caldecott Honor-winning children’s book illustrator and the man who would become her husband. It was Brian’s work that inspired Andrea to switch from magazines to book editing, and eventually to begin writing her own books for children. The two have even collaborated on a number of books including Sit In: How Four Friends Stood Up By Sitting Down, Duke Ellington, Seven Candles for Kwanzaa, and Dear Benjamin Banneker ([1]

Pinkney went on to become an award-winning author of books for children of all ages. After noticing that there was a lack of African- American literature geared toward and available to children, she decided to create books that were an accurate account of the cultural heritage and achievements of African Americans. Pinkney currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.[2]

Selected bibliography[edit]


Ella Fitzgerald: The Tale of a Vocal Virtuosa (2002)

Mim's Christmas Jam (2001)

Dear Mr. President: Abraham Lincoln: Letters from a Slave Girl (2001)

Let it Shine! Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters (2000) – Winner of Coretta Scott King author award

Silent Thunder: A Civil War Story (1999)

Raven in a Dove House (1998)

Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and his Orchestra (1998)

Watch Me Dance (1997)

Shake Shake Shake (1997)

Solo Girl (1997)

Pretty Brown Face (1997)

I Smell Honey (1997)

Bill Pickett, Rodeo Ridin' Cowboy (1996)

Hold Fast to Dreams (1995)

Dear Benjamin Banneker (1994)

Alvin Ailey (1993) with Tylania Moore

Sit-in: How Four Friends Stood Up By Sitting Down (2010)

  • "Bird in a Box"
  • "Boycott Blues"

Honors/ Awards[edit]

Best Arts Feature award Highlights for Children Foundation, 1992

Parenting Publication award, 1993

Pick of the List designation-American Booksellers, 1993, for Seven Candles for Kwanzaa

Notable Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies

National Council for the Social Studies/Children's Book Council, 1994, for Dear Benjamin Banneker

Notable Book citations, Society of School Librarians International, and American Library Association Notable Book, both 1996, both for Bill Picket: Rodeo Ridin' Cowboy;

Coretta Scott King award, 1999, and Caldecott Honor citation, both for Duke Ellington.


Additional Reference[edit] Page provides information on individual books

External links[edit]