Danna (Dan-ah) Smith

Danna Smith is the award-winning author of over twenty books for children, including The Hawk of the Castle (Candlewick), a 2018 Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Books of the Year, Swallow the Leader (Clarion), a number of Little Golden Books, the forthcoming Wake Up, Freight Train! (Little Simon, March 2022), One Blue Gnu (Amicus Ink, March 2022), Rooftop Garden(Barefoot Books sing-along, May 2022), The Thank You Book (Little Simon, Fall 2022), and Peek-A-Boo Haiku (Little Simon, 2023). The Complete Book of Aspen is her debut novel based on her true DNA experience.

When she was young, a pen was her favorite toy. She grew up weaving words into silly poems or stories that sparked emotion. She wrote her first poem when she was six, her first short story when she was ten, and her first picture book when she was seventeen. It took years of practice and perseverance before she sold her first manuscript to Disney-Hyperion in 2004.

Born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, Danna was exposed to all sorts of creatures through her father who trained, bred, and rehabilitated animals.  It was not uncommon to find bobcats, alligators, monkeys, hawks, or even vultures at her home.  A love of animals and nature has spilled over into her love of writing.  

Today her favorite toy is a keyboard. She lives and creates in beautiful northern California wine country. You can find her books at http://www.dannasmithbooks.com and pop over to her poetry blog at http://www.poetrypop.com


Danna is represented by Tracy Marchini at Bookends Jr. Literary Agency.

Published by

Disney-Hyperion, Henry Holt, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (Clarion), Random House Doubleday, Little Golden Books, Amicus Ink, Simon & Schuster, Arbordale, Candlewick Press, and Barefoot Books.

Book Awards and Honors
  • Starred Review School Library Journal: Peek-A-Boo Haiku
  • Starred Review Publishers Weekly: The Hawk of the Castle
  • Starred Review School Library Journal: The Hawk of the Castle
  • A Junior Library Guild Selection: The Hawk of the Castle
  • Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People 2018 
  • A 2018 Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Book of the Year
  • Chicago Public Library’s list of Best Informational Books for Younger Readers 2017 
  • Reviewed in the New York Times
  • Reviewed in The Wall Street Journal
  • Featured in Parenting Magazine: The Early Years
  • SCBWI (The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) Crystal Kite Award Finalist 2017
  • Missourian Baby Buzz Pick
  • An Amazon Best Children’s Book of the Month selection
  • Scholastic Book Fair Selection
  • Nominee for the Colorado Libraries of Early Literacy 2016 CLEL Bell Picture book award
  • A Missouri Building Block Picture Book Award nominee
  • Finalist in Florida Reading Association Book Award
  • Gold Medal winner / Florida Authors and Publishers Association President’s Book Award
  • Selected in Alaska Association of School Librarians’ Battle of the Books.
  • 2014 New Books for Missouri Students Selection
  • Literati’s Best 25 Books of 2017
  • A Raising Reader special edition board book
  • Children’s Literary Classic Seal of Approval
  • Creative Child’s Magazine top Creative Toy Award-Seal of Excellence
Author Interviews