The winners of the 30th annual Ezra Jack Keats Book Award were recently honored at the Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) in Hattiesburg. The award is given in two categories, new writer and new illustrator.
As reported in the March issue of Hispanic Outlook, this year’s winners for these categories were writer Don Tate for “Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton,” and illustrator Phoebe Wahl for “Sonya’s Chickens.” The winners received a gold medallion and a prize of $1,000. Lois Lowry, two-time winner of the Newbery Award for “Number the Stars” and “The Giver,” presented the awards at the Ezra Jack Keats Book Award ceremony.
This year’s new writer and new illustrator honorees are:
- Julia Sarcone-Roach (writer) – “The Bear Ate Your Sandwich,” which was illustrated by Julia Sarcone-Roach and published by Knopf Books for Young Readers.
- Megan Dowd Lambert (writer) – “A Crow of His Own,” which was illustrated by David Hyde Costello and published by Charlesbridge.
- Ryan T. Higgins (illustrator) – “Mother Bruce,” which was written by Ryan T. Higgins and published by Disney • Hyperion.
- Rowboat Watkins (illustrator) – “Rude Cakes,” which was written by Rowboat Watkins and published by Chronicle Books.
"Today, we look for books that reflect our diverse population, and with increasing success we find them. We look for stories that take the reader to places they recognize or should learn about, and we find those as well,” said Deborah Pope, the Executive Director of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation who was invited to the festival to deliver a lecture in honor of the late author-illustrator Ezra Jack Keats’ 100th birthday.
The winners and honorees of the 2016 Ezra Jack Keats Book Award displayed their awards following a ceremony at the Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival.