2022 Ezra Jack Keats Award Winners Announced

This content contains affiliate links. When you buy through these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.



Always books. Never boring.

The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation and the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection at the University of Southern Mississippi have announced the Ezra Jack Keats Award winners and honors. The award has been granted each year since 1985 to emerging talents in children’s literature. Book selection is carried out by a committee of librarians, early childhood education specialists, illustrators, and other children’s literature experts. Those on the committee are looking for books that “portray the universal qualities of childhood, a strong and supportive family, and the multicultural nature of our world.” The award goes to an emerging writer as well as an emerging illustrator. There are also two writers and two illustrators that are given award honors.

Here are this year’s winners and honors!


Writer Paul Harbridge won for Out into the Big Wide Lake

Illustrator Gracey Zhang won for Lala’s Words


Writer Joanna Ho for Playing at the Border

Writer Anne Wynter for Everybody in the Red Brick Building

Illustrator Marta Bartolj for Every Little Kindness 

Illustrator, Kenesha Sneed for Many Shapes of Clay

Award winners have gone on to have successful careers in the world of children’s literature. Here is a list of past winners. If you’re more of a visual person, here is an award poster. To learn more about the award, visit the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation website.

Find more news and stories of interest from the book world in Breaking in Books.