Dear Google Doodle,
Below you will find are some of the iconic images created by Ezra Jack Keats for a few of his classic illustrated books for children. Beautiful and Beloved by generations of families around the world, these beautiful illustrations are but one reason Keats is considered one of among this country’s the greatest children’s book authors and illustrators of the 20th century and the grandfather of diversity in American children’s literature.
March 11th will be his Keats’s 102nd birthday, and we’d love to see Keats him fittingly celebrated with a Google Doodle!
In 1963 Ezra Jack Keats won the prestigious Caldecott Medal for The Snowy Day, the first book written by the renowned illustrator. He went on to create over 20 more books, many featuring a diverse group of children in a gritty, urban neighborhood, including such popular titles as Goggles!, A Letter to Amy, Peter’s Chair and Jennie’s Hat.
Keats’s work continues to inspire. Last year Amazon produced an animated holiday special of The Snowy Day, which was nominated for five Emmys and won two, including Best Pre-School Animated Children’s Program. The special was also nominated for a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Children’s Award. And the USPS honored Keats by creating four stamps with images from The Snowy Day.
A theatrical production, A Snowy Day and Other Stories by Ezra Jack Keats, one of several recent works based on Keats books, has been staged by some ten regional theatre companies over the past two years, with six more scheduled for 2018. A retrospective of his illustrations toured major museums across the country between 2011 and 2014. In addition, a statue in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park of the Keats characters Peter and his dog, Willie, was declared an Honorary Literary Landmark.
Many children’s books are considered classics, but few have changed our culture as Keats’s have, to the extent that the Library of Congress tapped it as one of 88 “books that shaped America.” Writers from Sherman Alexie to Andrea Davis Pinkney have said that seeing non-white children like themselves in his books profoundly affected the way they envisioned themselves as they grew older. Keats’s books remain the gold standard for what multicultural literature should be.
We would be happy to answer any further questions you might about the importance of Ezra Jack Keats, and we look forward to seeing what you can do with his glorious illustrations as part of a Google Doodle.
P.S.: For more information and a host of Keats’s illustrations please visit our website: http://www.ezra-jack-keats.org/