Michaela Goade
Award-Winning and New York Times Bestselling Author-Illustrator

Michaela Goade is a Caldecott Medalist and #1 New York Times bestselling author-illustrator of books for children. She is an enrolled member of the Tlingit Nation. She grew up in her ancestral homelands along the southeast coast of Alaska, where she lives today in Sitka, Alaska. TIME Magazine named Michaela Goade a 2021 Next Generation Leader. She firmly believes in the importance of empowering and inspiring young folk through the books she creates.


Also, Michaela  is the artist of a number of award-winning and bestselling books, including We Are Water Protectors written by Carole Lindstrom, for which Michaela won the prestigious Caldecott Medal in 2021. Other titles include the New York Times bestselling I Sang You Down from the Stars by Tasha Spillett-Sumner, and the Caldecott Honor book Berry Song, which she also wrote. Her latest book Remember, written by Joy Harjo, was released in March 2023.


Michaela’s work focuses on Indigenous children’s literature. She feels honored to collaborate with Indigenous authors and tribal organizations in the creation of powerful and much-needed picture books. These books aim to reflect the diverse, vibrant, and thriving Indigenous cultures of this land. She always hopes that the books she creates help Indigenous children feel seen and cherished. In addition, she hopes the books contribute to greater cross-cultural understanding across audiences.


Speaking Engagements & Central Themes

Michaela Goade has spoken to a variety of audiences, both child and adult, ranging from elementary schools to universities/colleges and conference keynotes. Her art often explores our connection to the land and to each other. Using her art as a springboard, she speaks to many themes. Themes include: the importance of Indigenous representation and land stewardship and environmental justice. Additionally, more themes include: our interconnectedness and responsibilities as human beings on this planet, as well as the power of art, storytelling, and art as activism.

Download Bio
Inspired by the many Indigenous-led movements across North America, We Are Water Protectors issues an urgent rallying cry to safeguard the Earth’s water from harm and corruption—a bold and lyrical picture book written by Carole Lindstrom and vibrantly illustrated by Michaela Goade.

Water is the first medicine.
It affects and connects us all . . .

When a black snake threatens to destroy the Earth
And poison her people’s water, one young water protector
Takes a stand to defend Earth’s most sacred resource.

Michaela Goade has made a habit of creating stunning, thoughtful, otherworldly illustrations to go with stories that need to be told and cherished. Berry Song, a Caldecott Honor recipient, is what happens when Goade writes and illustrates it all herself. Berry Song easily earns its spot in every library and bookshelf and sits naturally with her other projects such as Carole Lindstrom’s We are the Water Protectors and Joy Harjo’s Remember.

US Poet Laureate Joy Harjo’s iconic poem "Remember," illustrated by Caldecott Medalist Michaela Goade, invites young readers to pause and reflect on the wonder of the world around them, and to remember the importance of their place in it.

This unique baby book sings with Native cultural detail, while striking a universal chord in its celebration of the blossoming of love that comes with expecting and welcoming a new baby--with art by New York Times bestselling illustrator and Caldecott Medalist Michaela Goade

Climate and Environmental Justice Exploring climate and environmental justice and land stewardship themes through children’s literature and picture books. This can also include activism for children and the idea of art as activism.
Indigenous and Native Representation The importance of Indigenous/Native representation, and diversity and inclusion in a broader sense, with particular emphasis on children’s literature.
The Art of Placemaking Understanding place-making and exploring the idea of “home”.
The Art of Storytelling A process-focused discussion that appeal to artists, creatives, or whoever enjoys behind-the-scenes creative content.

Learn about Goade’s Caldecott Medal on PBS

Goade on Publisher’s Weekly

A conversation with Goade on the Horn Book

"I've always loved her illustrations and watercolor work. I didn't know much about her as a person and her talk inspired me so much to appreciate nature, our world, and our connection to each other. I'm expecting a baby in a month and I'm so excited to have a signed copy of I Sang You Down to the Stars to read with my daughter. Also, the videos and illustrations she showed were so simple yet dynamic. Her illustrator journey that included failures was also inspiring."
- Audience Member, Western Washington University

"I loved hearing more about the movement to increase awareness about and promote indigenous authors and illustrators. I already had a copy of Salmon Boy and We Ae Water Protectors and am in the process of purchasing more books by this inspiring author illustrator."
- Audience Member, Western Washington University

Incredible work, lovely presenter; I was fascinated by the interwoven history and culture of the Tlingit people through her work and presentation. I'd love to bring a more universal approach to my school in regards to First Peoples, and there's no better way than amplifying the voices and art of such folks!"
- Audience Member, Western Washington University