The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, in partnership with the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection at The University of Southern Mississippi, announced today the winners of the 31st annual Ezra Jack Keats Book Award. Each year a writer and an illustrator are recognized early in their careers for their outstanding work. The 2017 award ceremony will be held on April 6th 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 2017 Ezra Jack Keats Book Award winner for new writer is:
Jeri Watts for A Piece of Home
Published by Candlewick Press
The 2017 Ezra Jack Keats Book Award winner for new illustrator is:
Micha Archer for Daniel Finds A Home
Published by by Nancy Paulsen Books, a Penguin Random House imprint
The 2017 Ezra Jack Keats Book Award honor winners are:
New Writer Honor
- Stacy McAnulty for Excellent Ed (illustrated by Julia Sarcone-Roach, published by Alfred A. Knopf)
New Illustrator Honor
- Daisy Hirst for The Girl With The Parrot On Her Head(written by Daisy Hirst, published by Candlewick Press)
New Writer Honor & New Illustrator Honor
- Francesca Sanna for The Journey (published by Flying Eye Books)
The Ezra Jack Keats Book Award Criteria
To be eligible for the 2017 Ezra Jack Keats Book Award, the author and/or illustrator had no more than three children’s picture books published prior to the year under consideration.
The selection committee is comprised of nationally recognized early childhood education specialists, librarians, illustrators and experts in children’s literature: K.T. Horning, Chair; Rita Auerbach, Jason Chin, Angela Johnson, Claudette McLinn, Sean Qualls, Caroline Ward, Junko Yokota and Paul O. Zelinsky.
Ex officio members are: Deborah Pope, Executive Director, Ezra Jack Keats Foundation; and Ellen Ruffin, Curator, de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection.
For a complete list of past award winners, visit www.ezra-jack-keats.org/ezra-jack-keats-award-winners. For information about submissions, visit www.lib.usm.edu/degrummond/ezra_keats.html.
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. Keats. Imagination. Diversity.
For more about the Foundation, please visit www.ezra-jack-keats.org.