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Peggy's Pages Blog 

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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Food for the Heart, Soul, and Mind

My husband and I returned mid-week from a wonderful week in northwest Indiana. It was good to be back home.

We celebrated the marriage of our son and his new wife along with family, old and new. Special congratulations and blessings to Dan and Leslie! Later, we visited with more family and old friends. Their warmth and generosity made my heart full.

During the week, I was a visiting author at Edison Elementary and Lincoln Elementary schools in Hammond, and a guest author for the Beta Delta Chapter of DKG Society. My praises go out to the teachers and parents who plan these events and encourage their students to read and to write their own stories. I could tell that they had been talking about writing. Questions from adults and the students’ interest and questions fed my soul.

Another highlight of the week was to attend a meeting with my Indiana critique group at the Michigan City Library. We continue to meet via Skype every other month, but there’s nothing like getting together as a group. Karen and I have conspired together about writing for children for many years. When we finally met Peggy and Mary Ann at an Indiana SCBWI conference in Brown County, we decided that traveling an hour or more to get together was worth the drive. Later we were joined by Katie and Fred, and sometimes Judy. We go quite a long way back now, sharing our stories, poetry and articles, our good news, marketing tips and conference notes, and our lives. As always, I got helpful comments on the writing that I brought along. The group’s experience, insight and dedication was food for my mind.

We’re making ties here in Missouri, too. We have family and grandchildren nearby, good for my heart. I’ve met librarians and booksellers and am slowly making contact with teachers and schools, which feeds my soul. And I’ve met some wonderful, dedicated children’s writers, feeding my mind.

And it’s good to be back home.  Read More 
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