The 36th Annual Ezra Jack Keats / NYC Department of Education Bookmaking Competition The 36th Annual Ezra Jack Keats / NYC Department of Education Bookmaking Competition

Every year students, grades 3 to 12, in public schools throughout New York City’s five boroughs, are invited to participate in the Ezra Jack Keats Bookmaking Competition. Children, many of whom represent countries around the world, are recognized for their outstanding ability to write and illustrate their own original stories. Winners include students in gifted and special education programs, in traditional classrooms, and in alternative learning spaces.  

This exciting program is the result of the longstanding partnership between the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, Brooklyn Public Library and the New York City Department of Education. Over the course of this 36 year collaboration, New York City public schoolchildren have written and illustrated enough books to fill a medium sized library.  

We, at Brooklyn Public Library, are proud to host the 2022 EJK Bookmaking Exhibition and we hope, after seeing the student’s incredible work on this page, you’ll visit the Youth Wing to see the books in person! 

To learn more about the 2022 Ezra Jack Keats Bookmaking Exhibition please click here.

To learn more about the Ezra Jack Keats Bookmaking Competition please click here.

City Wide Winners

The Tree on My Block by Hannah Karten, Grade 4

Building a Friend by Gloria He, Grade 8

Pigeon's Passions by Ines Donnelly, Grade 10

Voyage by Isabel Lee, Grade 12 


Borough Winners | Grades 3 - 5 

Back Off COVID! I’m Going to Have a Baby Sister! by London Sims and Naomi Tom, Grade 4

Birds of a Feather by Bella Zhang and Olivia Huang, Grade 5

Faded with the Minute’s Breeze by Suhala Hassan, Grade 5

The New Cow on the Farm by Ihotu Adoyi, Grade 5

Two Black Balls by Jamielyn Chin, Grade 5


Borough Winners | Grades 6 - 8

All the Different Animals I See by Jeremiah Wilson and Sevinch Olimjonova, Grade 8

The Adventures of Harper and Friends: The Doggy Beach by Lena Goings, Grade 8

The Adventures of Whale Guy and Normal Guy by Anthony Borschevskiy and Anthony Pareja, Grade 6

The Seasons With Fernando: Las Estaciones con Fernando by Stella Cereola, Grade 8

Yuan’s New Year by Ally Zhao, Grade 8


Borough Winners | Grades 9 - 12

Candle Light by Jaidyn Romero and Jazmin Marrero, Grade 11

Invisible by Hellen Reyes Abreu, Grade 11


Virtual Awards Ceremony Featuring Katie Yamasaki





Ezra Jack Keats FoundationAbout the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation:
The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation has actively fostered children’s creativity and love of reading since 1985. The Foundation awards 70 EJK Mini-Grants annually to public schools and libraries, for arts and literacy programs, across 50 states; administers the EJK Bookmaking Competition, grades 3-12, in the nation's largest school system, for 34 years running; and, with the EJK Award, has encouraged over 90 exceptional early career authors and illustrators to create children’s books that reflect our diverse culture. In celebration of the 35th Anniversary of the EJK Award, the Foundation launched a year-long public awareness and educational campaign in June 2020.

For information about the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, please visit

From the NYC Department of Education:
Creating a picture book involves higher ordered thinking skills, well developed organizational abilities, perseverance, and an independent spirit of creativity. These are the qualities of a successful individual. The New York City Department of Education is pleased to collaborate with the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation on an initiative that addresses what we value in a well-rounded education.

For more information about the DOE, please visit