Children's picture book nerds have a few saints; Eric Carle, Leo Lionni, Trina Schart Hyman -(don't get me started. What about the Petershams and Tomie DePaola and Frank Asch?...Of course, I am showing my age.)
But chief among them, for his groundbreaking work in diversity, is Ezra Jack Keats. (Is that not a most poetic name?) His books about Peter and Peter's neighborhood brought the children of Keats' neighborhood,- black children, brown children, tan and white children - into mainstream publishing.
Everybody knows The Snowy Day. Now thank to Andrea Davis Pinkney, and illustrators Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher, we get the story behind that book's creation - the story of Ezra Jack Keats. A Poem for Peter hits the shelves on November 1st. I can't wait to read it.
Check out the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, while we wait for this book to arrive.