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The New York Public Library and the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation Proudly Announce The Winners of the 2008 Ezra Jack Keats Book Awards for Excellence in Children's Literature

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Author David Ezra Stein and Illustrator Jonathan Bean will be honored at Donnell Library Center on May 15

Brooklyn-based author David Ezra Stein will receive the 2008 New Writer Award for Leaves (G.P. Putnam's Sons), a charming tale that shows the changing seasons through the eyes of a bear. The 2008 New Illustrator Award will be granted to Jonathan Bean, who illustrated The Apple Pie that Papa Baked (Simon & Schuster), by Lauren Thompson, which tells a whimsical story about apples, a pie, and the papa who baked it.

David Ezra Stein was born in Brooklyn, NY, and graduated from Parsons School of Design where he studied theater and illustration. He published his first book Cowboy Ned & Andy (Simon & Schuster) in 2006 and its sequel Ned's New Friend (Simon & Schuster) a year later. Leaves is Mr. Stein's third book. His illustrations and cartoons have appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, and American Illustration and he has also worked as a set design illustrator for VHI and MTV. Mr. Stein lives in Kew Gardens with his wife, Miriam.

A graduate of Messiah College, Jonathan Bean grew up in Pennsylvania and moved to New York in 2003 to attend graduate school at the School of Visual Arts. Other than The Apple Pie that Papa Baked he has provided the illustrations for the children's book Mokie & Bik (Henry Holt) written by Wendy Orr. In the fall of 2007, Farrar, Straus and Giroux released At Night the first children's book Mr. Bean both illustrated and wrote. Mr. Bean has also worked for The New York Times and Cricket Magazine. He lives in Manhattan.

Previous winners of the award include Kristin Balouch (New Illustrator) for Mystery Bottle, which she also wrote (Hyperion); Yunmee Kyong (New Illustrator) for Silly Chicken, written by Rukhsana Khan (Viking); Janice N. Harrington (New Writer) for Going North, illustrated by Jerome Lagarrigue (Farrar, Straus and Giroux); Gabi Swiatowska (New Illustrator) for My Name is Yoon (Farrar, Straus and Giroux); Shirin Yim Bridges (New Writer) for Ruby’s Wish (Chronicle); The first Ezra Jack Keats Award was granted to Valerie Flournoy for The Patchwork Quilt, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney (Dial) in 1986.

The 17th annual award ceremony will take place on May 15, 2008 at 5 p.m. in The New York Public Library's Donnell Library Center located on 20 West 53rd Street in Manhattan. At the award ceremony the winners are presented with the Keats Award and a check for $1,000.

About the Ezra Jack Keats Award
The Ezra Jack Keats Book Award was established in 1985 to recognize and encourage authors and illustrators new to the field of children's books. Many previous winners of the award have gone on to have successful careers writing books read by children and adults across the country.

The Ezra Jack Keats New Writer and New Illustrator Awards are given annually to an outstanding new writer and illustrator of picture books for children (age 9 and under) and are presented jointly by The New York Public Library and the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation. A distinguished selection committee of early childhood education specialists, librarians, illustrators and experts in children's literature select books that portray the universal qualities of childhood, strong and supportive families, and, like the works of Ezra Jack Keats, portray the diverse nature of the world. To be eligible, writers and illustrators must have published no more than three books.

About the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation
Ezra Jack Keats created the foundation in 1964 as a vehicle for his personal giving. When he died in 1983, his will directed that the royalties from his books be used by the Foundation for the support of programs helpful to humanity. It was at this time that Martin Pope became President of the foundation and the nature of the institution took shape under the direction of Professor Pope and his wife, Dr. Lillie Pope.

The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation is now known for its pioneering support of bookmaking and storytelling programs, art and scholarly fellowships, portrait projects, book festivals, public libraries and schools, mural projects throughout all of the United States, as well as emerging authors and illustrators of children's books. For more information, visit www.ezra-jack-keats.org.

About The New York Public Library
The New York Public Library was created in 1895 with the consolidation of the private libraries of John Jacob Astor and James Lenox with Samuel Jones Tilden Trust. The Library provides free open access to its physical and electronic collections and information, as well as to its services. It comprises four research centers – the Humanities and Social Science Library; The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts; the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; and the Science, Industry and Business Library – and 87 Branch Libraries in Manhattan, Staten Island, and the Bronx. Research and circulating collections combined total more than 50 million items, including materials for the visually impaired. In addition, each year the Library presents thousands of exhibitions and public programs, which include classes in technology, literacy, and English as a second language. The Library serves some 16 million patrons who come through its doors annually and another 25 million users internationally, who access collections and services through the NYPL website, www.nypl.org.

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Contact: Jonathan Pace 212.592.7700 |Jonathan_Pace@nypl.org

JP:04.21.08:nypl26

 

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