Nahson, Claudia J. Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats. Ezra Jack Keats, Illus. Jewish Museum/Yale Univ., 2012. 92p. $27.50. 978-0-300-17022-1. HIGH ADDITIONAL PROFESSIONAL
City scenes and city kids populated Ezra Jack Keats’ books at a time when both were rare in children’s books. The son of Jewish immigrants, Keats grew up in an impoverished area of Brooklyn and never forgot the neighborhood. He found beauty in the scruffy children and trash-strewn alleys and was able to capture it in his art. Published to accompany a special Keats exhibit, this book features a section of well-reproduced plates that reflect the range of his art. Two essays with extensive notes accompany the illustrations. One provides an overview of his life, art, and career as an illustrator. The other addresses the portrayal of African-American children in his books—both criticism and appreciation. An annotated timeline is also included. Of interest to children’s literature fans, this will also be of special interest to Jewish and urban communities. The Keats exhibit will be coming to the San Francisco Contemporary Jewish Museum from November 15, 2012 to February 24, 2013.
Linda Perkins, Independent