The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation recently announced that The Ezra Jack Keats New Writer and New Illustrator Book Awards have moved to the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection at The University of Southern Mississippi Libraries from the New York Public Library. Known collectively as The Ezra Jack Keats Book Award, the 2012 ceremony will be held in conjunction with The University of Southern Mississippi's Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival on April 12, 2012.
“As the major repository for Ezra’s work and a leader in the world of children’s literature, the de Grummond is a natural partner for us to further Ezra’s legacy through the Book Award,” said Deborah Pope, Executive Director of The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation. “Over the years, this Book Award has continued the work Ezra began 50 years ago when he forever changed the world of children’s literature with his Caldecott award-winning book, The Snowy Day—the first book in mainstream literature to feature a child of color.”
Since 1985, the Ezra Jack Keats Book Award has been given annually to an outstanding new writer and new illustrator of picture books for children (age 9 and under) by The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by the late Keats and dedicated to enhancing the love of reading and learning in all children.
“We are delighted to be co-presenting the Book Award with The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation,” said Ellen Ruffin, Curator of the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection. “Through his writing and art, Ezra broke down racial barriers to include all children in picture books—a first in the genre. We look forward to supporting the next generation of fine authors and illustrators who will make a difference in children’s lives in their own way, just as Ezra did.”
The Book Award was created to recognize and encourage budding children’s book authors and illustrators who share Keats’ values—the universal qualities of childhood, a strong and supportive family, and the multicultural nature of our world.
For more information about submissions, visit the USM Library website
. For a complete list of Ezra Jack Keats Book Award winners, visit the award website