2013 Ezra Jack Keats Book Award

Ceremony Highlights

Associate Director Margot Abel’s first impressions:

I’d been told not to miss the bread pudding.

I hadn’t attended an Ezra Jack Keats New Writer and New Illustrator Award ceremony since the awards were moved to the University of Southern Mississippi last year, and I was eager to see the Keats Archive and the rest of the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection. So this year I joined Executive Director Deborah Pope, Foundation board member Patty Bayer Troup, and Selection Committee Chair Rita Auerbach at the Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival for three days of presentations, workshops and conversations.

The EJK Book A2013-winnersward ceremony is one of the high points of the Festival, and we were thrilled that Honor Book medalists Don Tate and Jennifer Lanthier were present to join New Writer Award winner Julie Fogliano and New Illustrator Award winner Hye-won Yum. In fact, smack in the middle of Jennifer’s speech, a nearby tornado caused all 350 or so guests to be evacuated to the stairwells, where everyone partied until the all-clear sounded 30 minutes later. Many communities were not so lucky.

2013_ba_ceremonyMy favorite moment was an impromptu tour of a gallery of original illustrations in the de Grummond Collection, led by Curator Ellen Ruffin (right), enhanced by the recollections of renowned illustrator Wendell Minor, this year’s de Grummond Lecturer (wearing cap). I also loved meeting a few past Minigrant recipients, each of whom told me how much the award meant to them. Hearing firsthand about the benefit of our work is especially gratifying.

It was a joy to spend time among children’s book luminaries, librarians and teachers whose dedication and passion is remarkable. (And the bread pudding was delicious.)

2013 Winners’ Acceptance Speeches

2013_BAwinner_folgianoNew Writer
Julie Fogliano

“I was the kid who sat under a tree and waited for a gnome to run by….I was the kid who collected bright orange newts by the bucketful in hopes that a few of them would fall in love. And this is the kind of thing I had to offer.”
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2013_BAwinnerYunNew Illustrator
Hyewon Yum

“Since I was a little kid, I’d thought that people who make books, stories and pictures were some other kind of people, who make magic happen, like elves in the in the North Pole.”
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KTEzra Jack Keats Lecturer K.T. Horning
Children’s literature scholar K.T. Horning gave a fascinating talk on early Caldecott winners and multiculturalism.