Yesterday my editor called to let me know that I am this year’s recipient of the EZRA JACK KEATS (illustration) AWARD . I am doing the happy dance. Thank you to the New York Public Library (where, ironically, I was doing research when I heard the news) for this amazing and wonderful honor!
THE EZRA JACK KEATS AND NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY
NEW WRITER AND NEW ILLUSTRATOR AWARD FOR CHILDREN’S BOOKS
The Ezra Jack Keats Book Award was established in 1985 to recognize and encourage authors and illustrators new to the field of children’s books. Many past winners of the EJK Book Award have gone on to distinguished careers creating many books beloved by parents, children, librarians and teachers across the country.
The Ezra Jack Keats New Writer and New Illustrator Awards are given annually to an outstanding new writer of picture books for children (age 9 and under) and are presented jointly by the New York Public Library and the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation.
A distinguished selection committee consisting of early childhood education specialists, librarians, illustrators and experts in children’s literature review entries, seek books that portray the universal qualities of childhood, a strong and supportive family, and the multicultural nature of our world. As of 1999, the Award is being given annually rather than with the previous biennial cycle.
To be eligible, writers must have published no more than three books, and candidates for the writer’s award need not have done the illustrations. As of 2001, an Illustrator’s award, with similar criteria, is being inaugurated. A silver medal and an honorarium of $1,000 are awarded to each of the winners.