Ryan Higgins ’06, author and illustrator of <em>Mother Bruce</em>.Ryan Higgins ’06, author and illustrator of Mother Bruce.

Each year, new writers and illustrators are celebrated by the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation in partnership with the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection at The University of Southern Mississippi.

The winners of the 30th annual Ezra Jack Keats Book Award include College of the Atlantic 2006 alumnus Ryan Higgins. Higgins’ Mother Bruce (Published by Disney • Hyperion) is one of two books to receive honorable mention for illustration.

“We are proud to present the Ezra Jack Keats Book Award to the best new talents in children’s illustrated literature each year. These are writers and illustrators whose books Ryan Higgins ’06 is a 2016 Ezra Jack Keats Book Award honor winner.Ryan Higgins ’06 is a 2016 Ezra Jack Keats Book Award honor winner.reflect the spirit of Keats, and at the same time, are refreshingly original,” said Deborah Pope, Executive Director of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation. “This year is Ezra’s 100th birthday! So we are especially delighted to celebrate him by honoring those whose books, like his, are wonderful to read and look at and reflect our multicultural world.”

The 2016 award ceremony will be held on April 7th during the Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival at The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. The winners receive a gold medallion as well as an honorarium of $1,000.

Higgins has been drawing cartoons since he was 4 years old. All through his younger years he enjoyed comics and books, and counts as inspirations the Calvin and Hobbes comic series and Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are.” He currently lives in Southern Maine.

Read more…