Spirit of Ezra Jack Keats
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In this colorful tale, Yum plays with the color and size of her images to capture the emotional highs and lows of both a 5-year-old and his parent as the child prepares to start kindergarten. “
My book is based on a true story,” Yum says. “My son was going off to kindergarten, and I was a new mommy. I felt like the 5-year-old—he wasn’t afraid, but I was nervous. I thought it was better to draw what we were feeling, so I drew the mom in the book small and blue at first and the son large and rosy. Their colors and sizes change as they each get more and less brave throughout the day. My own son said, ‘Mom, that’s not how you are!’ He didn’t even notice how nervous I was.”
The awards are presented by the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation in partnership with the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection at The University of Southern Mississippi. The winners each receive a gold medallion as well as a $1,000 honorarium.
“The Book Awards was created to bring attention and recognition to new artists who carry on in the spirit of Keats,” says Deborah Pope, executive director of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation. “The jury looks for new books of beauty that portray the universal qualities of childhood, a strong and supportive family, and the multicultural nature of our world.”
For a complete list of Ezra Jack Keats Book Awards winners, visit ezra-jack-keats.org.