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Ezra Jack Keats Award 2017-2019

The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation has created many programs that support children and educators as well as public libraries, schools and other institutions. Dedicated to highlighting the importance of diversity in children’s illustrated literature, the Foundation presents the EJK Book Award to up-and-coming children’s book writers and illustrators whose work continues in the spirit of Keats. The Foundation funds scholarships in art and music, and has endowed fellowships in the field of children’s literature. In addition, it protects the quality of production for Keats’s books and administers all business connected with the books and characters. The Foundation is also responsible for the Keats Archive, which resides at the eminent de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. And, 50 years after the publication of Keats’s first, groundbreaking book, the Foundation continues to offer educators and parents ways to enrich children’s lives with the simplicity, empathy and beauty of his work.

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      Kitten and the Night Watchman

      by John Sullivan

      Jan 2019

      Pre-Kindergarten Plus

      2019 Winner, Writer
      The night watchman hugs his wife and kids and drives to work.
      All night he is alone.
      Every hour he makes his rounds.

      He sees the stars twinkling. He hears the sounds of the night:
      ki-DEE ki-DEE ki-DEE
      shhhhheeeeeEEEERRRROOOOooooommmmmm
      Woof! Woof! Woof!

      Meeeoooow.

      When he is joined by a stray kitten, the night suddenly seems different. Has the kitten found a new home?
      Kitten and the Night Watchman is inspired by the true story of author John Sullivan meeting a stray cat while working as a night watchman. The cat, Beebe, was John’s companion for seventeen years.
      Full-color illustrations created using digital and hand-printed textures.

      Alma y cómo obtuvo su nombre (Alma and How She Got Her Name)

      by Juana Martinez-Neal

      Aug 2018

      Primary Spanish

      2019 Honor Book
      What's in a name? For one little girl, her very long name tells the vibrant story of where she came from—and who she may one day be.
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