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2012 Ezra Jack Keats Awards


On March 6th the Ezra Jack Keats Awards for new Writer and Illustrator for 2012 were announced. Beginning in 1985, the Ezra Jack Keats Book Award has been awarded 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.

The award for new writer is Meg Medina for Tía Isa Wants a Car
Publisher: Candlewick Press
In Tía Isa Wants a Car, first-time picture book author Meg Medina tells the story of Tía Isa, who dreams of buying a car, and the niece who helps her save. As hard as they work, money is tight—especially since everything goes into two piles: one for here and one for family members far away so that they too can come to the U.S. one day. Medina’s idea for the book began with memories of her family’s first car. “My aunt’s car was a light-blue Wildcat that stalled everywhere and was awful to park on crowded streets,” she said. “But that car could take us anywhere we wanted in this new country. It was freedom.”

The award for new illustrator is Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw for Same, Same but Different
Publisher: Christy Ottaviano Books, Henry Holt and Company
Through vivid illustrations and an inviting point-of-view, Kostecki-Shaw introduces readers to two pen pals—Elliot, who lives in America, and Kailash, who lives in India. By exchanging letters and pictures, the boys learn that they both love to climb trees, have pets and ride a school bus. Their worlds might look different, but they are actually similar. Same, same but different!

In addition to the awards, for the first time honor awards were given this year. They are:

2012 New Writer Honor:
Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw for Same, Same but Different, Henry Holt & Company

2012 New Writer Honor
Nicola Winstanley for Cinnamon Baby, Kids Can Press, Ltd

2012 New Writer and New Illustrator Honor
Anna Witte (writer) and Micha Archer (illustrator) for Lola’s Fandango, Barefooot Books

2012 New Illustrator Honor
David Ercolini for Not Inside this House!, Orchard Books/Scholastic

Congratulations to the winners and honor recipients!

My own good news is that my picture book on animal teeth is finally finished and in the mail! Thanks to my critique groups, especially my group in NW Indiana who has been there with me on this project from the start, for all of your help. My reward—I’m going to take a break and read some books!  Read More 
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