2015 Ezra Jack Keats Award Winners

2015 Writer Award Winner

Chieri Uegaki

Like her heroine, Chieri Uegaki is very persistent. The Japanese-Canadian author, who learned English as a second language, parlayed her childhood love of writing into a university degree in creative writing. Years later, she reworked a story from her school days to submit to writing contests. It caught a publisher’s eye and became her first book. Her stories feature lively girls whose independent spirit is inflected with their Japanese heritage. Chieri lives in British Columbia.

Photo credit: Paul Mears

Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin

Kids Can Press

Inspired by her grandfather, a violinist, Hana signs up for a talent show–even though she’s a beginner. Despite her doubts and stage fright, hard work and imagination save the day!

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2015 Illustrator Award Winner

Chris Haughton

An Irish illustrator and designer now living in London, Chris Haughton comes by his desire to tell stories visually from teaching young children in Asia without a shared language. Containing few but well-chosen words, his three award-winning books have been widely translated. In Shh! We Have a Plan, Chris’s masterful use of elements like color, rhythm and slapstick humor will delight children in any language.

Photo credit: Courtesy Walker Books, London

Shh! We Have a Plan

Candlewick Press

Four friends want to capture a colorful bird. They have a plan–which fails comically. They try again, and again, until the littlest friend–the one who gets shh’d–shows that his gentler way works best.

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2015 Award Honorees

Writer Award Honoree

Adam Auerbach

Edda: A Little Valkyrie’s First Day of School

Christy Ottaviano Books

On the first day of kindergarten, a Valkyrie from Aasgard has trouble adjusting to human rules. Can she learn to make friends? 

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Writer Award Honoree

Alan Rabinowitz

A Boy and a Jaguar

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

How struggling with a stutter helped an animal-loving boy find his voice as a wildlife conservationist.

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Writer Award Honoree

Misty Copeland


G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Poetically, a prima ballerina shows young dancers how to take on, and be transformed by, great ballet roles.

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Illustrator Award Honoree

Evan Turk

Grandfather Gandhi


The 12-year-old grandson of a hero to millions fears that he can’t measure up.

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Illustrator Award Honoree

Mike Curato

Little Elliot, Big City

Henry Holt

The adventures of Elliot, a small, polka-dotted elephant—from Brooklyn!

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