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August 10, 2016


Every month, TAB editor Kristin will be sharing her thoughts on five titles from our… Read More

June 1, 2016

2014 Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Award Winner!

Do you have a favorite Ezra Jack Keatsʼs book? While I love The Snowy Day and Whistle for Willie, my absolute favorite is his illustrated version of the song “Over in the Meadow,ˮ which my mother sang to me over and over when I was little.

Back in 1985, the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation established the EJK New Writer Award to “encourage and celebrate up-and-coming authors of picture books written in the tradition of Keats—that is, with original, well-told stories that reflect the universal qualities of childhood and the multicultural nature of our world.ˮ In 2001, they added the EJK New Illustrator Award to recognize artists.

The EJK Awards have become an incredible resource for finding exceptional books by talented authors and illustrators, often before they become household names.

This is why Iʼm so excited to share this yearʼs winner of the Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Award—Christian Robinson, for his utterly charming illustrations in Rain!, written by Linda Ashman.

The story follows a young boy and an elderly man as they have very different reactions to a rainy day, reminding readers that happiness can be contagious. Since the bookʼs text is limited to short dialogue, it is Robinsonʼs expressive mixed-media illustrations that carry the storytelling load, adding texture and depth while bringing a colorful urban setting to life. A wonderful (and visually satisfying) way to start a conversation about feelings!

Find Rain! and other fun-to-read stories at scholastic.com/readingclub!


About the Author: Lori Ess is the associate director of title presentation for Scholastic Reading Club. Before coming to Scholastic, Lori was a children’s librarian in Queens, NY. She loves fantasy, mystery, mysterious fantasies, and silly picture books for toddlers.


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One Response

  1. It’s also interesting to note that Ezra Jack Keats is an alum of the Scholastic Awards. See 1934 on this timeline to read about and see his award-winning painting, Shantytown!

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