“The recognition of this Ezra Jack Keats Writer Award brings me hope that many more children and their grown-ups will be inspired to get their hands in the dirt, try to grow food, honor our observations and questions, and cultivate our relationships with our living community.”
How to Say Hello to a Worm
Illustrated by Kari Percival
RISE X Penguin Workshop, an imprint of Penguin Random House
How do you plant peas? When will the peas sprout? How do you make mud? This delightful romp through making a garden grow is full of the questions all children ask as they contemplate the wonder of growing things. Without missing a beat it will engage young readers with lighthearted text and delightful illustrations in which all children will recognize themselves.
“Hot Dog came from reflecting on the common, everyday sensory experiences that we navigate and the inner emotions that result from them. It is my hope that this full range of feelings will ring true to young readers. For Hot Dog to be recognized for portraying these universal experiences is a tremendous honor.”
Written by Doug Salati
Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Penguin Random House
Hot day, summer in the city! What’s a pup to do? Hot pavement, sticky air and cranky people. He does what we all want to do. He sits, refuses to move, and insists on getting away from it all. With whimsical illustrations and minimal text this book creates a diverse world and shows how everyone, including pets, can get along despite the heat.
Pauline David-Sax for Everything in its Place (illustrated by Charnelle Pinkney Barlow, published by Doubleday, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books)
Nicky loves to read, especially poetry. She loves the library where everything has an exact right place to be. But being around other kids is not nearly as simple. Happily, a break in her schedule allows Nicky to find out that being a bookworm isn’t at all unique.
Juliana Perdomo for Sometimes All I Need is Me (illustrated by Juliana Perdomo, published by Candlewick)
Our little heroine bounces through her day, at times with family and friends and at other times in a safe and secure world she builds inside herself. Yes, we need warmth and support from those we love, but sometimes, maybe, we can entertain and comfort ourselves.
Chioma Ebinama for Emile and the Field (written by Kevin Young, published by Make Me a World, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books)
An exuberant naturalist, Emile is still a little boy. He explores the beauty of his beloved field delighting in the changes brought by each season. But Emile has to learn, with help from his dad, that he doesn’t lose the field when he shares it with others.
Zahra Marwan for Where Butterflies Fill the Sky (written by Zahra Marwan, published by Bloomsbury)
Moving to a different house is hard, but what if you have to move to a different country, leaving your aunts, friends and language behind? This warm, accessible story presents the impact of these challenges in a non-threatening way, inspiring empathy and hope, but not fear.