Ezra Jack Keats

About Ezra

Ezra Jack Keats was an American writer and illustrator of children's books.

He won the 1963 Caldecott Medal for illustrating The Snowy Day, which he also wrote.

It is considered one of the most important American books of the 20th century.

As we can see from the illustrations, Ezra's audience is young children. He wrote children's literature and made implications to the real world. His stories are brought to life through his illustrations in every book. These illustrations are what really make his books stand apart from every other piece of child literature.
These illustrations are so important because they show how Ezra was more focused on capturing a mood than developing a plot.
His preferred format was the horizontal double-page spread, which freed him to alternate close-up scenes with panoramic views.
In his illustrations, Keats makes broken-down urban settings beautiful through his mastery of collage as well as his dramatic use of color.

EJK books in the classroom...

Ezra's books can be very useful to teachers in their classrooms. His books can be used for teaching reading comprehension, inferencing with usage of the illustrations, teaching emotion in art, and almost every content area across the curriculum.

Why are they important?

There are four main reasons for the importance of Ezra’s books.

  • First and foremost, his books are fun to look at and read over and over again.
  • Second, his books help kids think about and deal with problems and feelings they experience as they grow up.
  • Third, the artwork in Ezra’s books gives parents and teachers a chance to expose their kids to illustrations of the highest quality.
  • And last but not least, Ezra’s books are populated by children whose families are far from wealthy and who are of different ethnicities. The experiences these children have are shared by many children, so they can see themselves in the pages of his stories.

ELD 307 A Letter to Amy Ezra Jack Keats Book Trailer