2015 Ezra Jack Keats Book Award Winners Honored
The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation in partnership with the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection at The University of Southern Mississippi has announced the winners of the 29th annual Ezra Jack Keats Book Award. Each year, a new writer and new illustrator are celebrated. The 2015 award ceremony was held on April 9 during the Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. The winners receive a gold medallion as well as an honorarium of $1,000.
“The Ezra Jack Keats Book Award celebrates and inspires exceptional new writers and illustrators, who are seldom recognized in the early stages of their careers,” said Deborah Pope, Executive Director of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation. “These new artists have created books of beauty in the spirit of Keats that portray the universal qualities of childhood, a strong and supportive family and the multicultural nature of our world.”
“It is a privilege to administer the Ezra Jack Keats Book Award. The de Grummond Collection’s holdings of Keats’ work remind us of the unique contributions he made to the world of children’s literature. We enthusiastically embrace the 2015 EJK Book Award winners, whose own books may one day join Ezra’s in the de Grummond Collection,” said Ellen Ruffin, Curator of the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection.
Deborah Wiles, the 2002 recipient of the Ezra Jack Keats Book Award for new writer for her picture book Freedom Summer, was guest presenter; renowned illustrator Paul O. Zelinsky, recipient of the 2015 University of Southern Mississippi Silver Medallion, delivered the keynote.
The 2015 Ezra Jack Keats Book Award winner for new writer is:
Chieri Uegaki for Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin (Kids Can Press; illustrated by Qin Leng)
The 2015 Ezra Jack Keats Book Award winner for new illustrator is:
Chris Haughton for Shh! We Have a Plan
The 2015 Ezra Jack Keats Book Award honor winners are:
2015 New Writer Honor
Adam Auerbach for Edda: A Little Valkyrie’s First Day of School (Christy Ottaviano Books, an imprint of Henry Holt and Company Books for Young Readers)
Alan Rabinowitz for A Boy and a Jaguar (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; illustrated by Cátia Chien)
Misty Copeland for Firebird (G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers; illustrated by Christopher Myers)
2015 New Illustrator Honor
Evan Turk for Grandfather Gandhi (Atheneum Books for Young Readers; written by Arun Gandhi and Bethany Hegedus)
Mike Curato for Little Elliot, Big City (Henry Holt and Company Books for Young Readers)
For a complete list of past Ezra Jack Keats Book Award winners, visit www.ezra-jack-keats.org/ezra-jack-keats-award-winners/.
About the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation
Founded by the late Caldecott award-winning children’s book author and illustrator Ezra Jack Keats, the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation fosters children’s love of reading and creative expression by supporting arts and literacy programs in public schools and libraries; cultivating new writers and illustrators of exceptional picture books that reflect the experience of childhood in our diverse culture; and protecting and promoting the work of Keats, whose book The Snowy Day broke the color barrier in mainstream children’s publishing. For more about the Foundation, please visit the www.ezra-jack-keats.org/.
About the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection
The de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection at The University of Southern Mississippi is one of North America’s leading research centers in the field of children’s literature. The Collection holds the original manuscripts and illustrations of more than 1,300 authors and illustrators, as well as 180,000+ mostly American and British published books dating back to 1530. Since 1985, the de Grummond Collection has been the home of the Ezra Jack Keats Archive, which includes manuscripts, typescripts, sketches, dummies, illustrations and proofs for Ezra Jack Keats’ books.