Happy 100th Birthday Ezra Jack Keats

by Danielle

Celebrated children’s book illustrator and author Ezra Jack Keats (March 11, 1916 – May 6, 1983) would have celebrated his 100th birthday earlier this month. Keats is known for his 1963 Caldecott-winning boohi catThe Snowy Day as well as Whistle for Willie, Peter’s Chair and Googles! Many of his picture books centered around Peter and his life growing up in New York City. My personal favorite of the Peter books is Hi, Cat! which I just introduced msnowyy toddler son to.

Keats was one of the first children’s book authors to tackle real-life problems and an urban setting. His illustrations also helped set him apart. Keats mixed collage and marbled paper with acrylics and watercolor, pen and ink and even photographs. His use of bold colors in the illustrations (like Peter’s iconic red snowsuit in The Snowy Day and Peter’s red and yellow shirt in Hi, Cat!) are still vibrant in my mind from when I read them as a child.

What was your favorite Ezra Jack Keats picture book? Why?




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