Ezra Jack Keats Book Award

The Ezra Jack Keats Book Award for New Writer was established in 1985 to recognize and encourage authors starting out in the field of children's books. The Ezra Jack Keats Book Award for New Illustrator was added in 2001, and for Honor Books, in 2012. Many past winners of the EJK Book Award have gone on to distinguished careers creating books beloved by parents, children, librarians and teachers across the country.

The Ezra Jack Keats Book Award is given annually to an outstanding new writer and new illustrator of picture books for children (age 9 and under) and is presented by the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation. A distinguished selection committee of early childhood education specialists, librarians, illustrators and experts in children’s literature reviews the entries, seeking books that portray the universal qualities of childhood, a strong and supportive family, and the multicultural nature of our world. Since 2012, the EJK Book Award has been co-presented by the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection during the Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival. The New York Public Library served as co-presenter from 1986 to 2011.

To be eligible, writers and illustrators must have previously published no more than three books. The EJK Book Award and a prize of $3,000 are given to each of the winners.

For more information on this award and the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, visit the website of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation.


Past Ezra Jack Keats Recipients 

 New Writer 
1986Valerie Flournoy 
1987Juanita Havill 
1989Yoriko Tsutsui 
1991Angela Johnson 
1993Faith Ringgold 
1995Cari Best 
1997Juan Felipe Herrera 
1999Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen 
2000Soyung Pak  New Illustrator
2001D.B. Johnson 2001Bryan Collier
2002Deborah Wiles 2002Jerome Lagarrigue
2003Shirin Yim Bridges 2003Sophie Blackall
2004Jeron Ashford Frame 2004Gabi Swiatkowska
2005Janice N. Harrington 2005Ana Juan
2006Mary Ann Rodman 2006Yunmee Kyong
2007Kelly Cunnane 2007Kristen Balouch
2008David Ezra Stein 2008Jonathan Bean
2009Stian Hole 2009Shadra Strickland
2010Tonya Cherie Hegamin 2010Taeeun Yoo
2011Laurel Croza 2011Tao Nyeu
2012Meg Medina 2012Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw
2013Julie Fogliano 2013Hyewon Yum
2014Ame Dyckman 2014Christian Robinson
2015Chieri Uegaki 2015Chris Haughton
2016Don Tate 2016Phoebe Wall
2017Jeri Watts 2017Micha Archer