2018 Writer Award Winner
“It’s remarkable that the first literary award I win would be the Ezra Jack Keats Book Award. The first story I wrote was in 1985, the first year the award was given. It was about stray dogs looking for an imaginary bone, and my fifth-grade class was mesmerized when I read it out loud. That day, I became aware of the power of words.”
Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut
Agate Bolden/Denene Millner Books
In a tribute both stylish and timeless, Derrick Barnes’s exuberant text, along with Gordon C. James’s vivid illustrations, celebrate a cultural institution for African-American men and boys: the barber shop.
2018 Illustrator Award Winner
“It is such an honor to receive the Ezra Jack Keats Book Award! Keats’s work inspires me as an illustrator and as an artist trying to create work in a conscientious way that reflects our multicultural world. His work allowed kids to see themselves, and I hope that I can embrace that same spirit.”
Muddy: The Story of Blues Legend Muddy Waters
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
2018 Award Honorees
Roaring Brook Press
Illustrated by Jessixa Bagley
In this diverting tale, a pair of badgers, Tic and Tac, are bored, so they decide to help their mother hang laundry. The trouble is, the brothers insist on doing it their way.
Things to Do
Illustrated by Catia Chien
A poetic take on the world and the important things in it, from the sun and moon to a pink eraser, as experienced through a child’s eyes and imagination.
The One Day House
Written by Julia DurangoYoung Wilson dreams of repairing his grandmother’s home “one day.” But when their neighbors decide to help out, “one day” becomes today and a neighborhood becomes a caring community.
Illustrator Award Honoree
Bao Phi / Thi Bui
A Different Pond
published by Capstone Young Readers
A boy’s simple narration of a pre-dawn fishing trip with his father offers a glimpse into the lives of his Vietnamese family in America—of hard-working parents struggling to provide and a boy trying to understand.