Nikki McClure

Nikki McClure


B.A./B.S., The Evergreen State College, 1991


Nikki McClure
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Biographical Note

Nikki McClure was born in Kirkland, Washington in 1968. She moved to Olympia, Washington in 1986 to attend The Evergreen State College. In 1991, she received a BS and BA with a focus in Natural History and Writing.

She conducted bird research in the mountains and spent a year at the Washington State Department of Ecology as a Wetland Educator but soon realized that she could communicate science better through art and started making music and books. She toured the country several times as a solo performer. Eventually visual art mixed with text became her work. It garnered a wider audience with less stage fright.

Nikki made her first papercut in 1996 for a self-published book “Apple”. She has been making papercuts ever since. She has self-published many books and has published a yearly calendar since 1998. She is a writer and/or illustrator of four children’s books published by Abrams Books, including the New York Times Bestseller “All in a Day” by Cynthia Rylant. Sasquatch Books and Chronicle Books also publish her work. 

Nikki collaborates with her husband, Jay T. Scott making lamps, and with her son making fern gardens and large holes in dirt.  In addition to all this work, she shops at the Olympia Farmers Market, picks berries, swims in wild lakes, and makes an occasional pie.

How to Be a Cat

Publication Type

Children's Books

Latest Publication Title

How to Be a Cat, Abrams, 2013

Publication Overview

Nikki McClure’s latest book is here! In it, a kitten practices the basics of feline behavior over the course of a day. A single word of text per spread teaches readers “how to be a cat”—how to stretch, clean, pounce, feast—while the striking paper cuts illustrate the kitten’s attempts to imitate an adult cat’s mastery of each skill. At times the kitten triumphantly succeeds, and at other times the kitten struggles, in vignettes that range from whimsical to profound.

Other Publication Titles

All in a Day (by Cynthia Rylant), Abrams, 2009 (NY Times Bestseller);
Apple, 1996, 2012 (Abrams);
Awake to Nap, Sasquatch Books, 2006; C2C, 2001;
Collect Raindrops, Abrams, 2007; Conmigo, 2001;
The first 1000 Days, Sasquatch Books, 2006;
Embrace, Sasquatch Books, 2011;
Endeavour calendar 2011;
The Great Chicken Escape, 1998;
Handmade Nation (featured artist), Princeton Architectural Press, 2008;
Home, 2014 calendar;
How to be a Cat calendar, 2000;
How to Cook the Perfect Day, Sasquatch Books, 2010 and 1997 self-published;
Hunt and Gather, 1998;
Inherit, 2012 calendar;
Manual for Modern Living calendar, 2001;
Mama, Is It Summer Yet?, Abrams, 2010 (PNBA Bestseller, SoCal Indie Bestseller);
Papercutting (one of the artists included), Chronicle Books, 2011;
PUSH: Paper (one of artists included), Lark Books, 2011;
To Market, To Market, Abrams, 2011;
Sent Out on the Tracks They Built, text by Sarah Dougher, 1998;
Solitude, 1998;
Ten First  Graders, monotype, 2000;
The Next 1000 Years, calendar, 2006;
The Time is Now, calendar, 2007;
Things to Make and Do for the Next 1000 Years calendar, 2000;
This Yearning, 2002;
Wetlands, 1991;
Wishes and Dreams, calendar, 2005;
Work With Care calendar, 2002.
Additional books to be published.