2019 Ezra Jack Keats Award
While writing yesterday's blog, I realized that there is another award I failed to blog about earlier this year. An EPIC fail on my part! The Ezra Jack Keats Award is presented each year to an outstanding writer and illustrator who have created an extraordinary children’s book that reflects the diverse nature of our culture. It is named in honor of the author/illustrator who gave us 1963 Caldecott Medal-winning The Snowy Day. I absolutely adore the two 2019 winners! Read them, then read their reactions to winning the EJK.
Kitten and the Night Watchman by John Sullivan, illustrated by Taeuun Yoo
The story gently weaves the work a night watchman does with the poetry of a sleeping construction site, the warmth of a new kitten and the pleasure of going home at sunrise to a loving family. Inspired by the true story of the author meeting a stray cat while working as a night watchman. The cat, Beebe, was John’s companion for seventeen years.
Thank You, Omu written and illustrated by Oge Mora
In the busy city who would think that Omu’s fragrant and tasty stew could bring people together as if they lived in a small town? This is a playful kind of stone soup tale, but told in reverse! The bright illustrations, reminiscent of Keatsian collage, show us that kind human connections form intimate support groups amidst any kind of bustle.