Ezra Jack Keats Award Winning and Honored Books

The Newbery Medal or Honor Seal

The Ezra Jack Keats Award was established in 1985 and the New Illustrator Award in 2001 to recognize and encourage emerging talent in the field of children’s books. Many past winners have gone on to distinguished careers, creating books beloved by parents, children, librarians and teachers around the world. The EJK Award is given annually to an outstanding new writer and new illustrator by the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation. A distinguished selection committee of early childhood education specialists, librarians, illustrators and experts in children’s literature reviews the entries, seeking books that portray the universal qualities of childhood, a strong and supportive family, and the multicultural nature of our world. To be eligible, writers and illustrators must have had no more than three books previously published. The award includes a prize of $3,000 for each winner. Learn more about this award at Ezra Jack Keats Foundation.

Below are the Ezra Jack Keats Award Winning, or Honored, Books Featuring Black Main Characters


2 Books Recieved The Ezra Jack Keats Award or Honor in 2020

Illustrator – Winner

Layla’s Happiness
by Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie, Illustrated by Ashleigh Corrin

Publication Date:
List Price: $17.95
Format: Hardcover, 48 pages
Classification: Fiction
Target Age Group: Picture Book
ISBN13: 9781592702886
Imprint: Enchanted Lion Books
Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books
Parent Company: Enchanted Lion Books
Borrow from Library

Read a Description of Layla’s Happiness


Book Description: 

Winner Ezra Jack Keats Award for Illustration and 2020 Ezra Jack Keats Writer Honor Book for 2020!

Seven-year-old Layla loves life! So she keeps a happiness book. What is happiness for her? For you?

Spirited and observant, Layla’s a child who’s been given room to grow, making happiness both thoughtful and intimate. It’s her dad talking about growing-up in South Carolina; her mom reading poetry; her best friend Juan, the community garden, and so much more. Written by poet Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie and illustrated by Ashleigh Corrin, this is a story of flourishing within family and community.

Illustrations by Ashleigh Corrin and quote review


Writer – Honor

Layla’s Happiness
by Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie, Illustrated by Ashleigh Corrin

Publication Date:
List Price: $17.95
Format: Hardcover, 48 pages
Classification: Fiction
Target Age Group: Picture Book
ISBN13: 9781592702886
Imprint: Enchanted Lion Books
Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books
Parent Company: Enchanted Lion Books
Borrow from Library

Read a Description of Layla’s Happiness


Book Description: 

Winner Ezra Jack Keats Award for Illustration and 2020 Ezra Jack Keats Writer Honor Book for 2020!

Seven-year-old Layla loves life! So she keeps a happiness book. What is happiness for her? For you?

Spirited and observant, Layla’s a child who’s been given room to grow, making happiness both thoughtful and intimate. It’s her dad talking about growing-up in South Carolina; her mom reading poetry; her best friend Juan, the community garden, and so much more. Written by poet Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie and illustrated by Ashleigh Corrin, this is a story of flourishing within family and community.

Illustrations by Ashleigh Corrin and quote review