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1985 Ezra Jack Keats Book Award An award for early-career children’s book authors of picture books that celebrate originality, diversity and family. The program was designed by the EJK Foundation’s Lillie Pope and Hannah Nuba, founder of the Early Childhood Resource and Information Center (ECRIC) of the New York Public Library. The New Writer Award was first presented in 1986, the New Illustrator Award was added in 2001, and the Honor Books category, in 2012. A move to the University of Southern Mississippi, the same year, brought the award under the stewardship of the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection. The award ceremony takes place during the annual Children’s Book Festival, in April.