Taking advantage of available resources was a great place to start for one hands-on librarian. Working closely with a neighborhood school and a local artist-musician, she created a stellar community arts program for special-needs children. Then all it took was a group of excited kids to make it a success.
Peter is not happy—there’s a new baby in the house whose very existence is disrupting his life. How he comes to terms with this unwanted development is the story of Peter’s Chair, told and illustrated with sympathy and humor. Plus: Tots and their babies, designing chairs, and why pink and blue are baby colors.
The award ceremony of the third EJK Bookmaking Competition in San Francisco is taking place on March 15, and this year there’s even more to celebrate! The Contemporary Jewish Museum, which brought the competition to the West Coast and hosts it each year, has been recognized for its EJK Bookmaking program by the state of California! Congratulations to the CJM on receiving the State Superintendent’s Award for Excellence in Museum Education!
In A Letter to Amy, Peter wants to invite a girl to his birthday party, but it’s not as simple as it seems. Things don’t go according to plan, and Peter can only wonder if he’s ruined everything.
Plus, parrots, pencil and paper, and the Pony Express!
For Ezra’s 99th birthday, on March 11, we’re giving you a present! This eight-page biography, written for kids and illustrated with Keats artwork and vintage photographs, is perfect for a classroom author study or to enrich a bedtime story hour. Just click, print and shout, “Happy birthday!”
Our 2015 Book Award winners, Chieri Uegaki and Chris Haughton, spoke to us about language, art and their roundabout paths to picture books. See why the talents behind Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin, and Shh! We Have a Plan won over our jury.
Children’s Book Makers We Love
Last month on social media we paid tribute to some of the children’s book writers and illustrators we admire—and we barely scratched the surface! Now you can revisit old favorites and discover new ones on our website. Check back every so often as we add luminaries—and tell us who you love!
Great Mini-Grant Programs
The Concord, New Hampshire, school district was determined not to let its new arrivals, young refugees from Africa and Asia, fall through the cracks. So its summer program for those students conceals an ulterior motive: to improve the children’s literacy, academic, social and behavioral skills while they were busy having fun!
REMINDER: Mini-Grant applications are now due by March 31, 2015!
Ezra Jack Keats Foundation and de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection at The University of Southern Mississippi to Present Awards at Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival on April 9th
Press Release: EJK Mini-Grant Program Call for Proposals–Common Core, Special Project Submissions Welcome
NEW YORK—February 17, 2015—The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation is calling for proposals for Mini-Grant awards of up to $500 each to qualifying teachers and librarians at public schools and libraries across the United States. Decisions will be emailed to all applicants by May 1. ALERT: Because of severe weather across the U.S., we pushed back the Mini-Grant deadline. Applications are now due by March 31, 2015!
Great Mini-Grant Programs
The library in a small North Carolina town started with a list of classic children’s books and launched a StoryWalk series on the local YMCA fitness trail. Among the benefits: a big boost in library attendance, reading-related family activities and new community projects. A tradition was born!
Great Mini-Grant Programs
The library in a small North Carolina town started with a list of classic children’s books and launched a StoryWalk series on the local YMCA fitness trail. Among the benefits: a boost in library attendance, reading-related family activities and community projects. A tradition was born!
Activities & More
All About John Henry
Three ways to discover an American legend: the new, 50th-anniversary edition of Keats’s thrilling retelling of John Henry; our animated read-aloud, with Ezra’s powerful narrative and bold graphics; and our collection of songs and source material about the facts and the fable of the steel-driving man.
Celebrate Black History
Want more diverse reading all year round? Find new stories about the civil rights movement of the 1960s on our expanded list of great picture books about African-American lives, click on the top websites for more multicultural reading, and rediscover the EJK Award-winning children’s books and authors you love.
EJK Book Award
Announcing the 2015 EJK Book Award Winners
Meet the winners of the 2015 EJK Book Award: Congratulations to Chieri Uegaki, New Writer for Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin; and Chris Haughton, New Illustrator for Shh! We Have a Plan. And three cheers to the five Honor Book Award recipients—they had stiff competition. Check back in the coming weeks for more information, interviews with the winners, media coverage and Twitter activity!
Mark your calendars on January 27, a national celebration of diversity, with the mission “to not only raise awareness for the kid’s books that celebrate diversity, but to get more of these books into classrooms and libraries.” Click through to learn about the MCCBD, co-hosts and events.
Great Mini-Grant Programs
The public library in rural Gorham, New Hampshire, created a children’s art program based on Keats books. It began with reading a story, led to a public art show and will become a popular event on the library’s calendar.
Reminder: Mini-Grant applications are due by March 15!
Quotes on Keats
When The Snowy Day turns 50 a few years ago, some famous folks told us why it was their childhood favorite and why it still resonates for them. During Snowy Day Month, we are reminded about about what makes this book so special.
Chilly January is the perfect time to share the story and remember when you first encountered Peter. Then go beyond the book and watch our animated beatbox read-aloud…play a bracing round of our popular, snowy game…and browse our book activities for snow-day crafts and videos.
January is Snowy Day Month
Celebrate with us! As a great children’s book, The Snowy Day stirs young readers’ imaginations and empathy. The solitary boy at the story’s heart is their friend, and a reflection of themselves. The artwork rouses the eye, the sound of the words perks up the ears—and there’s more to discover, if you care to look. Ezra’s masterpiece is a first step toward a book-loving life.
How They Made History
In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, Executive Director Deborah Pope recommends an assortment of picture books that tell the stories of Dr. King and others who fought for civil rights in the 1960s. These different stories depict that heroic era on a wonderfully human scale.
’Tis the Season
Check out our Shopping Guide for Keats gift ideas, from stuffed toys to DVDs. This year we recommend a trio of books to warm up bedtime on a chilly night:
• The Snowy Day, forever the perfect winter’s tale
• The Little Drummer Boy, Ezra’s illustrated lyrics of the immortal song
• God Is in the Mountain, Ezra’s illustrated selection of wise words from the world’s spiritual paths.
John Henry Days
It started with a statue, by the old railway tunnel. Then a summer music festival sprang up, and recently, a museum was born. Now a 26-acre county park is being developed, and a little West Virginia town is becoming a road-trip destination. Read more about how a community banded together to honor its history—and put itself on the map.