16th Annual Ezra Jack Keats New Writer & New Illustrator
Awards to be Presented at the Donnell Library Center on April 24
Winners are Shirin Yim Bridges and Sophie Blackall,
Author and Illustrator of Rubys Wish
York, NY, March 11, 2003 -- The New York Public Library and the Ezra
Jack Keats Foundation are pleased to announce that author Shirin
Yim Bridges and illustrator Sophie Blackall
have won the 2003 Ezra Jack Keats New Writer and New Illustrator Awards
for their picture book Rubys Wish, published by Chronicle
The Awards will be presented on April 24 at 5 p.m. at a ceremony open
to the public at the Central Childrens Room of the Donnell Library
Center, 20 West 53rd Street in Manhattan. The awards recognize and celebrate
new children's book authors and illustrators, and encourage talented artists
to address their efforts to books for children, in the spirit and tradition
of Ezra Jack Keats, who wrote and illustrated the Caldecott winning book,
The Snowy Day.
Rubys Wish tells the story of a young girl growing up in
pre-revolutionary China whose most fervent desire is to be freed from
the narrow path prescribed for girls and to be allowed to study, attend
university, and learn about the world. The details of the story are conveyed
with warmth and elegance and accompanied by illustrations that are at
once contemporary and classical. This book is a tribute to all of our
grandmothers and grandfathers.
Author Shirin Yim Bridges comes from a family of writers and artists.
She has lived in many countries around the world and now lives in Northern
California. Rubys Wish is her first book for children. Illustrator
Sophie Blackall has illustrated two books, A Giraffe for France
by Leith Hillard and 20 Party Tricks published by Chronicle Books.
She currently lives in New York with her husband and two small children.
Both honorees will receive an Ezra Jack Keats bronze medallion and a $1,000
cash prize, made possible through the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation. The
winning books publisher will also affix an adhesive medallion to
the cover of each book, identifying Rubys Wish as the 2003
Ezra Jack Keats Award Winner.
About the Awards
The Ezra Jack Keats New Writer and New Illustrator Awards are given annually
to an outstanding new writer and illustrator of picture books for children
and are presented jointly by The New York Public Library and the Ezra
Jack Keats Foundation. The selection jury for the 2003 Awards was chaired
by Caroline Ward, Coordinator of Childrens Services at the Ferguson
Library in Stamford CT, and included Margaret Tice, Coordinator of Childrens
Services at the New York Public Library; Paul Zelinsky, author/illustrator;
Pat Cummings, author/illustrator; Karen Breen, Juvenile Book Review Editor
for Kirkus Review; Judith Rovenger, Youth Consultant for the Westchester
Library System; Leonard Marcus, scholar/author; Diane Person, Professor
in School of Education at Long Island University; Rita Auerbach, School
Librarian, Port Washington; and Cari Best, author.
The Award Committee for the 2004 Awards seeks books that portray the goals
and values of Ezra Jack Keats, as expressed in his multicultural books
including: the universal qualities of childhood, a strong belief in family
and community, and creativity and love of learning. To be eligible, writers
and illustrators must have published no more than five books. For additional
information on how to apply for next years award, publishers may
contact The New York Public Library at 212-340-0906.
Past winners of this award include Deborah Wiles and Jerome Lagarrigue
for Freedom Summer, Bryan Collier for Uptown, Faith Ringold
for Tar Beach, and Juanita Havill for Jamaicas Find.
Contact: Jennifer Bertrand, 212.704.8600