Latest Obsession: Ezra Jack Keats
I wan't aware of Ezra Jack Keats until this past Winter when I found The Snowy Day at the bookstore and grabbed it for Lenny. Written in 1962, The Snowy Day was the first children's book of it's kind. It depicted an African American kid, in an urban setting. It received the Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished picture book for children in 1963. The story follows a very young boy named Peter as he spends a day playing in the snow. He is African-American, although his race is never mentioned. Peter was inspired by a Life magazine clipping from 1940. Keats wrote, “Then began an experience that turned my life around — working on a book with a black kid as hero. None of the manuscripts I'd been illustrating featured any black kids — except for token blacks in the background. My book would have him there simply because he should have been there all along.
There are six more books featuring the character of Peter all featuring Keats' amazing artwork. That's what first caught my eye about him. His collages are so captivating. Don't you feel like you could jump right into them?
Funnily enough, that's something Lenny and I have been having lots of conversations about lately. How she wishes she could jump into books. Man, kids are awesome. I think Mr. Keats thought so too.
Visit the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation.
Check out my Ezra Jack Keats Board on Pinterest
Labels: latest obsession