Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Ezra Jack Keats





Brooklynite, Ezra Jack Keats was one of the first artists whose work I could identify on sight in childhood. There was an undeniable charm in his portrayal of urban life and multiculturalism. After reading the books, I remember sitting and writing my own stories based on the pictures. His work resonated deeply with me as a child, but even more now as an adult. Alongside urban life and multiculturalism is the overall innocence of childhood that I still find quite comforting, hence the children's book collection.




Favorite Guy bought this vintage (1970) first print, library issue of Hi Cat! for me this Christmas and I am in love! Check it out.



I am too excited to add Hi Cat! my collection of children's books. Who were some of your favorite childhood artists, authors and illustrators?

13 comments:

Cecile/DreamCreateRepeat said...

The Snow Queen and other Tales, translated by Marie Ponsot with illustrations by Adrienne Segur.

http://segur.artpassions.net/

This was a Christmas gift was I was 7 years old. My childhood was not a particularly happy one, and I remember escaping into the crystalline beautiful of her pictures. There is a sadness and longing for escape that underpins many of these stories, which I found both familiar and comforting.

Jewelry Rockstar said...

My favorite childhood author was Judy Blume. I love the pictures of Hi Cat! Innocence and urban living are two things that don't get paired enough, but they should. Thanks for sharing this. I feel very good right now.

High Desert Diva said...

Must ponder the question on favorite artists/authors/illustrators...

Just read the term 'retro fabbiness' on Cicada Daydream's blog and find it very fitting for this post as well.

Kathy said...

I loved The Snowy Day. It was one of mu favorites to read to my kids. It is sitting in a box along with hundreds of other children's books waiting for the day my kids have their own kids and I can sit and read to them!

Darius T. Williams said...

I love this art...never heard of Ezra though.

casserole said...

I remember as a kid whenever I saw Ezra Jack Keats name on a book, I knew that it would be a good one and I'd make sure it got in my "check out" stack. Now, ask me to actually name one of those books and I can't do it. But the mere mention of his name evokes that warm, comfortable feeling associated with good childhood memories.

MBB Founder and Editor Denene Millner said...

Oh man, when I was a kid, I'd spend all day sitting in my room reading... Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary were favorites, but the two books I read OVER AND OVER again were Francis Hodgson Burnett's "The Secret Garden," and "The Little Princess." Those books were MAGICAL. I can't tell you how many stories I made up--how many fantasy lands I escaped into--every time I read those two books.

I, too, am a HUGE Ezra Jack Keats fan, but I didn't discover him until I had babies of my own. The first book in my now ginormous children's book collection was Keats' The Snowy Day. It's STILL a favorite around here. What a WONDERFUL Christmas gift from favorite guy... so thoughtful!

Weith Kick said...

"Where the Sidewalk Ends" by Shel Silverstein was one of one of my favorites as a kid. But there are 2 books that have stayed with me. One was called "The Iceberg Hermit" about a guy that gets stranded in the artic and raises a baby polar bear into an adult. The other was called "Peter Perfect." It was about a boy who was perfect. The ending scared the crap out of me.

A Cuban In London said...

What I like about these images is how simple they are and yet the message they convery is so intense. The colours help towards that, too. I can see why you remembered this book so vividly. Thank you very much indeed.

Greetings from London.

shiborigirl said...

Francis Hodgson Burnett, Tasha Tudor, and Marguerite de'Angeli were my favorites as a child - I still read them today, especially when I'm sick and want my mother.

The de'Angeli's were old family friends and I got to meet Marguerite at the age of 6, when she autographed my favorite book at the time: Thee, Hannah.

Thanks for asking us to dig up those memories. :-)

Happy 2009!

Kate

Relyn said...

Oh! I love Ezra Jack Keats, but have somehow missed Hi Cat. As soon as I finish here, I'm off to my library website to search for this. I've loved your comments, too. And reading about which books other people love. I'm a teacher in love with books. So you can bet I could go on and on about favorite books for children. On and on, I tell you. I'll try to keep it brief. What I was about 7 I checked The Lonely Doll by Dare Williams out of our library until our librarian wouldn't let me check it out anymore. She said other children needed a chance. After that I only got to check it out every three weeks. Do you know the book? It is all black and white photographs. I still adore it. Recently I found the companion books had been reissued. For her 7th birthday my daughter, Sloane, got her own copies.

My {S.T.U.F.F.} :: said...

Oh the memories that this author brings back...
Thanx for the memories :-)

Black Rose said...

Gosh! we never had books like this at primary level school when I was there (er....many moons ago) we had Janet and John books here in the UK

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