NEW YORK— Chancellor Carmen Fariña joined the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation today to announce the winners of the 28th annual Ezra Jack Keats Bookmaking Competition for students in grades 3-12. The awards ceremony was held at the Brooklyn Public Library, where citywide winners received $500, and borough-wide winners received $100. The competition included a citywide and borough-wide winner for each of the following categories: elementary, middle and high school, and District 75.
“Getting kids excited about reading and writing is critical for their long-term academic success and brings joy into the classroom. I want to congratulate all of the talented student bookmakers who created such unique and creative narratives and imagery,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “I thank all the teachers and librarians who have helped to inspire these young authors and illustrators and the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation for creating and supporting this program for almost 30 years.”
“All of these talented young writers and illustrators embody Ezra’s legacy, working hard, often for months, to express themselves through their fine and creative books,” said Deborah Pope, Executive Director of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation. “We hope this award will encourage them to pursue their dreams just as Ezra did.”
“We are delighted to showcase the talent of these young writers and illustrators,” said Rachel Payne, Coordinator, Early Childhood Services, Brooklyn Public Library, and one of the judges of the Competition. “This year’s citywide winners—inspired by a New York Times article on Voyager I, a Serbian poem and even the New York City subway system—combined words with pop-ups, mixed materials and printmaking techniques to create wonderfully compelling books.”
The student work represents the culmination of a year-long writing process that began in the fall. Public school students were invited to develop an intriguing theme, create engaging text, and integrate illustrations using a range of media. Student books were created under the supervision of a teacher and/or librarian, who encouraged expressive writing and artwork. The process was integrated into classroom instruction, strongly emphasizing the study of picture books. A panel of judges comprised of New York-based librarians, artists and teachers, determine the winners by focusing on the quality of writing, illustrations, and presentation.
This year’s winners:
Grades 3-5 citywide winner:
Journey to the Stars, written by Gianluca Pellegrini and illustrated by Ping Wen Lin (Grade 5)
P.S./I.S. 229, The Dyker School, Brooklyn
Marie Dorval, Visual Arts Teacher; Tanis Coniglione, Teacher; Ann Keegan, Librarian; Robert Zappulla, Principal
Grades 6-8 citywide winner:
New York City, co-written and illustrated by Alex Trinidad and Brian Tzic (Grade 8)
P.S. 77/District 75, Brooklyn
Amie Robinson, Visual Arts Teacher; Devon O’Shanecy, Teacher; Merryl Redner- Cohen, Principal
Grades 9-12 citywide winner:
In Praise of Plants: Part V, illustrated by Aleksandra Stanisavljevic (Grade 12)
Stuyvesant High School, Manhattan
Leslie Bernstein, Visual Arts Teacher; Jie Zhang, Principal
For a complete list of citywide and borough winners, visit 2014 Bookmaking Competition Winners.
About the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation
Founded by the late Caldecott award-winning children’s book author and illustrator Ezra Jack Keats, the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation fosters children’s love of reading and creative expression by supporting arts and literacy programs in public schools and libraries; cultivating new writers and illustrators of exceptional picture books that reflect the experience of childhood in our diverse culture; and protecting and promoting the work of Keats, the preeminent author-illustrator whose book The Snowy Day broke the color barrier in mainstream children’s publishing. Keats. Imagination. Diversity.