April 25, 2018  

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Ezra Jack Keats Book Award Recipients Recognized at Children’s Book Festival

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Ezra Jack Keats Book Award winners and honorees for 2018 on hand for the Keats Awards Luncheon at Southern Miss include, from left: Gordon James, E.B. Goodale, Bianca Diaz, Evan Turk, Derrick Barnes, Elaine Magliaro, and Jessixa Bagley (Southern Miss photo by Kelly Dunn).

The 2018 Ezra Jack Keats Book Award winners are creating a legacy in accord with that of the honor’s namesake.

The Keats Book Award, presented since 2012 at the Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival at The University of Southern Mississippi, recognizes promising new authors and artists in children’s literature and is given by the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation.

The winning new writer and new illustrator each received $3,000, triple the amount awarded in previous years, and a bronze medallion. The recipients were announced at the 2018 festival’s Keats Awards luncheon April 12. They include:

*The 2018 Ezra Jack Keats Book Award winner for New Writer is Derrick Barnes, for Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut, illustrated by Gordon C. James and published by Agate Bolden/Denene Millner Books.

*The 2018 Ezra Jack Keats Book Award winner for New Illustrator is Evan Turk, for Muddy: The Story of Blues Legend Muddy Waters, written by Michael Mahin and published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers.

In addition, the 2018 Ezra Jack Keats Book Award honor winners include:

New Writer Honors

*Rachael Cole, for City Moon (illustrated by Blanca Gómez, published by Schwartz & Wade)

*Jessixa Bagley, for Laundry Day (illustrated by Jessixa Bagley, published by Roaring Brook Press)

*Elaine Magliaro, for Things To Do (illustrated by Catia Chien, published by Chronicle Books)

New Illustrator Honors

*Gordon C. James, for Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut (written by Derrick Barnes, published by Agate Bolden/Denene Millner Books)

*Bianca Diaz, for The One Day House (written by Julia Durango, published by Charlesbridge)

*E.B. Goodale, for Windows (written by Julia Denos, published by Candlewick Press)

New Writer Honor & New Illustrator Honor

*Bao Phi (writer) and Thi Bui (illustrator), for A Different Pond (published by Capstone Young Readers)

“Through their excellent work, these writers and artists capture the joy in the small moments we all share, and show the spirit of the children of our country and hope they give us for the future,” said Dr. Deborah Pope, executive director of the Ezra Jacks Keats Foundation.

The de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection at Southern Miss has since 1985 been the home of the Ezra Jack Keats Archive, which includes manuscripts, typescripts, sketches, dummies, illustrations, and proofs for Ezra Jack Keats’ books. Since 2012, the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection at USM has co-presented the award with the Keats Foundation at the Children’s Book Festival.

About the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation
Founded by the late Caldecott award-winning children's book author and illustrator Ezra Jack Keats, the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation fosters children's love of reading and creative expression by supporting arts and literacy programs in public schools and libraries; cultivating new writers and illustrators of exceptional picture books that reflect the experience of childhood in our diverse culture; and protecting and promoting the work of Keats, whose book The Snowy Day broke the color barrier in children's publishing.

Recently, The Snowy Day was adapted by Amazon as a holiday special, which earned two Daytime Emmys®, including Outstanding Preschool Children's Animated Program; and is the theme of a set of Forever stamps issued by the United States Postal Service. To learn more about the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, visit www.ezra-jack-keats.org.
Keats. Imagination. Diversity.

About the de Grummond Children's Literature Collection
The de Grummond Children's Literature Collection at The University of Southern Mississippi is one of North America'sleading research centers in the field of children's literature. The Collection holds the original manuscripts and illustrations of more than 1,300 authors and illustrators, as well as 180,000+ mostly American and British published books dating back to 1530. Since 1985, the de Grummond Collection has been the home of the Ezra Jack Keats Archive, which includes manuscripts, typescripts, sketches, dummies, illustrations and proofs for Ezra Jack Keats' books. For more about the de Grummond, visit www.degrummond.org.