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The New York Public Library Announces Winners of the Ezra Jack Keats Awards for Outstanding Children’s Books
D. B. Johnson and Bryan Collier Honored as Best New Writer and Illustrator in Award Ceremony April 26
New York City, April 20, 2001 -- The New York Public Library and the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation are pleased to announce that first-time children’s book author D. B. Johnson has won the 2001 Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award. The Award, which recognizes and celebrates promising new children’s book authors, goes to Mr. Johnson for the picture book he wrote and illustrated, Henry Hikes to Fitchburg (Houghton Mifflin Co.).
This year the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation is also pleased to announce the creation of a second award -- the 2001 Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Award. Given for distinguished artwork that creatively and skillfully embodies the essence of a story or text and for making a graphic contribution to children’s literature, this award will be presented to Bryan Collier for his captivating collage illustrations in the book he wrote and illustrated, Uptown (Henry Holt & Co.).
The awards will be presented on Thursday, April 26, at 5:00 p.m., at a ceremony to be held at the Hudson Park Branch’s Early Childhood Resource and Information Center (ECRIC), 66 Leroy Street in Manhattan. Mr. Johnson and Mr. Collier will each receive an Ezra Jack Keats silver medallion and a $1,000 cash prize, made possible through the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation. The winning books’ publishers will also receive handsome gold seals identifying them as 2001 Ezra Jack Keats Award Winners. The Award is named in honor of children’s book author/illustrator Ezra Jack Keats (The Snowy Day), winner of the Caldecott Medal. The ceremony is open to the public.
Inspired by a passage from Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, Henry Hikes to Fitchburg follows two bear friends who have very different approaches to life. When the two agree to meet one evening in Fitchburg, which is thirty miles away, Henry decides to walk while his friend plans to work all day to earn the fare for the train. Playful pictures, illustrated by D. B. Johnson, follow the progress of each, whether through a bustling small town or a countryside alive with curiosities for an inquisitive bear.
Uptown is...Harlem, New York. Chicken and waffles. A row of brownstones. Jazz. Home. Bryan Collier makes all the colors, sounds, and smells of a neighborhood come alive in this very personal tour of Harlem with a boy who lives there.
The Ezra Jack Keats Awards
The Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Award is given for excellent command of the chosen medium, enhancing and extending the story; encouraging and enhancing the playfulness and curiosity of children, displaying freshness and originality, and conveying emotional honesty and integrity. Illustrators must have their books published the year preceding the presentation of the award. For additional information on how to apply for next year’s awards, publishers may contact The New York Public Library’s Early Childhood Resource and Information Center, at 212-929-0815.
The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation
The Early Childhood Resource and Information Center
Contact: Debbie Bujosa at (212) 704-8600.