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Ezra Jack Keats: A Biography with Illustrations

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Keats's entire life and career are chronicled in this book. His early years struggling as an inker for Five Star Comics right up through the days as an award-winning author and illustrator are told with an understanding that could only be conveyed by those who knew him well. Dean Engel and Florence Freedman were friends with Keats for much of his life. The story is enhance Keats's entire life and career are chronicled in this book. His early years struggling as an inker for Five Star Comics right up through the days as an award-winning author and illustrator are told with an understanding that could only be conveyed by those who knew him well. Dean Engel and Florence Freedman were friends with Keats for much of his life. The story is enhanced by 18 pieces of Keats's original work.


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Keats's entire life and career are chronicled in this book. His early years struggling as an inker for Five Star Comics right up through the days as an award-winning author and illustrator are told with an understanding that could only be conveyed by those who knew him well. Dean Engel and Florence Freedman were friends with Keats for much of his life. The story is enhance Keats's entire life and career are chronicled in this book. His early years struggling as an inker for Five Star Comics right up through the days as an award-winning author and illustrator are told with an understanding that could only be conveyed by those who knew him well. Dean Engel and Florence Freedman were friends with Keats for much of his life. The story is enhanced by 18 pieces of Keats's original work.

30 review for Ezra Jack Keats: A Biography with Illustrations

  1. 4 out of 5

    Vee

    Every once in a while I re-discover the magic, the charm, the purpose of public libraries. I didn't know there was Ezra Keats biography and I'm glad I picked up this book. The chapter titled Newspaper Clippings is heartwarming and tragic. The chapter titled A Place of His Own revealed my ignorance and reminded me that I'm am not smart or well-informed. Admission: I did not know that newspapers help wanted ads openly discriminated against Jews. Really? I don't know why but that pissed me off. Th Every once in a while I re-discover the magic, the charm, the purpose of public libraries. I didn't know there was Ezra Keats biography and I'm glad I picked up this book. The chapter titled Newspaper Clippings is heartwarming and tragic. The chapter titled A Place of His Own revealed my ignorance and reminded me that I'm am not smart or well-informed. Admission: I did not know that newspapers help wanted ads openly discriminated against Jews. Really? I don't know why but that pissed me off. The history of New York City and the treatment of the Jews, Irish, Italians and of course African Americans is still a little shocking. I enjoyed Keats Katz's biography. And I'll always be a fan of Snowy Day!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    I read this with my children for the Redeemed Reader challenge, and I loved it - a wonderful account of a fantastic children's author and illustrator. It certainly has inspired me to pick up more of Keats' books. And after reading this book, I discovered it would fit the 2020 Challies reading challenge too. Serendipity! I read this with my children for the Redeemed Reader challenge, and I loved it - a wonderful account of a fantastic children's author and illustrator. It certainly has inspired me to pick up more of Keats' books. And after reading this book, I discovered it would fit the 2020 Challies reading challenge too. Serendipity!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Denise Lauron

    I picked this up as part of the series of Ezra Jack Keats children's books that I was reading. I was expecting it to be a children's book, but it wasn't really. It told the story of Ezra Jack Keats from childhood to death. It's really too long to be a children's book, but it was written like one. I am glad I read the book, and I will be working my way through more of the books that feature the artist's work. I picked this up as part of the series of Ezra Jack Keats children's books that I was reading. I was expecting it to be a children's book, but it wasn't really. It told the story of Ezra Jack Keats from childhood to death. It's really too long to be a children's book, but it was written like one. I am glad I read the book, and I will be working my way through more of the books that feature the artist's work.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kelsey Klaus

    An author we all love and know, this book tells the story of his life. Kids will be drawn to the name they have seen on some of their favorite picture books. The illustrations in this book are outstanding! This is a great book for the class to read aloud and then for kids to be able to explore on their own. A great introduction to the world of biography.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Cara Byrne

    A loving biography written by friends of Keats. It's categorized as a children's book, but I wouldn't necessarily classify it as such. _A Poem for Peter_ is a better work for children that honors Keats. A loving biography written by friends of Keats. It's categorized as a children's book, but I wouldn't necessarily classify it as such. _A Poem for Peter_ is a better work for children that honors Keats.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Margot Note

    Read in bed with tea on a rainy day

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mark Merz

    I couldn't help wanting to know something about this author after having fallen in love with his many beautifully sensitive books about and for children. I'd really enjoy something like the large format art books with plates that are common for other important artists, something with more detailed biography and more deeply considered analyses of the paintings. The little book I just finished will have to do until such a work appears. This little book seems to have been written for an audience of I couldn't help wanting to know something about this author after having fallen in love with his many beautifully sensitive books about and for children. I'd really enjoy something like the large format art books with plates that are common for other important artists, something with more detailed biography and more deeply considered analyses of the paintings. The little book I just finished will have to do until such a work appears. This little book seems to have been written for an audience of late elementary-middle school students. It includes a brief sketch of Keats' life that is mostly illustrated with paintings from his picture books that show the artist drawing on life experiences to inform his work as an illustrator. The tone is that of an informed adult interpreting an artist's life for an older child. It is a simple story of determination and talent overcoming adversity, and I'll use it to help my preschool students to understand something about how books arise from the real experience of human lives as we delve into the rich and beautiful worlds of Peter, Susie, Richie, Willie, Louie, ... Through the book I learned of additional picture books, films made of some of them, and of a musical setting for The Trip.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    This book was a biography about Ezra Jack Keats. I loved the book because it showed the struggles an artist goes through regarding support but in a kid-friendly manner. I know a good handful of people that have given up on their artistic dreams because people have discouraged them from pursuing their passion. I loved how easy to read yet very informational the book was. It made reading biographies fun and enjoyable and I especially loved how they included his artwork. The book gave a very good o This book was a biography about Ezra Jack Keats. I loved the book because it showed the struggles an artist goes through regarding support but in a kid-friendly manner. I know a good handful of people that have given up on their artistic dreams because people have discouraged them from pursuing their passion. I loved how easy to read yet very informational the book was. It made reading biographies fun and enjoyable and I especially loved how they included his artwork. The book gave a very good overview of his life highlighting the important details of his life. This book would be good in the classroom to introduce social studies. Sometimes it is hard for students to contextualize important people in our history and this book is a good segway to how to really take important details out of a person's life to create an overall general picture.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Michael Fitzgerald

    Wonderful book, written by people who really knew Keats. Every great children's author/illustrator should hope for a biography as good as this. Refreshingly, it lacks any trace of the more recent johnny-come-lately appropriation of Keats by the agenda-driven. From start to finish, this is a story that is fascinating - engaging, inspiring, and heartbreaking. Although A Snowy Day gets the cover (and rightly so), the eighteen illustrations chosen, some not from books, give a good idea of how talent Wonderful book, written by people who really knew Keats. Every great children's author/illustrator should hope for a biography as good as this. Refreshingly, it lacks any trace of the more recent johnny-come-lately appropriation of Keats by the agenda-driven. From start to finish, this is a story that is fascinating - engaging, inspiring, and heartbreaking. Although A Snowy Day gets the cover (and rightly so), the eighteen illustrations chosen, some not from books, give a good idea of how talented and versatile Keats was. He was by no means a one-trick-pony.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kristin Nelson

    I enjoyed this illustrated biography of Keats, especially because the illustrations were from his books or his original paintings. I learned quite a bit and found some of his books to add to my to-read list. Also, I always assumed that Keats was African-American like his characters, but nope he was actually from a Polish Jewish family.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Alondra Hernandez

    This book is about the life of Ezra Jack Keats. Would be great for older kids maybe grades 5-6 because it is a long book that would take some time to finish. The book is about how he first started with drawings. This book is also written by someone that new him supposedly.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kate Adams

    This book was told in a very interesting, narrative way that would be easy enough for 2nd-5th graders to understand. I learned a lot! For instance, did you know Ezra Jack Keats joined the army during WWII, but instead of going overseas, was assigned to design camouflage?!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    NF- Biography

  14. 4 out of 5

    Anna Youssef

    This book is a biography about the author, but in the perspective of a child. It is amazing the way that an adult can put their perspective into the eyes of a child, and come down to their level. The illustrations are so beautiful, and inspiring. He uses a lot of water colors, and the words are big enough that small children who have a hard time to read can see and sound out the words.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Great way to start to teach students about bibliographies. The illustrations keep the readers interested. I would show this to my students at a second-third grade level students if they are capable just to start getting them familiar with bibliographies as they are started to get stronger in reading.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Alfredalmond

    In large print, Engel presents the life of Ezra Jack Keats, a man a head of his time, who appreciated all people. He tells his life using his Keats illustrations. Great book to get an inside look at the man.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sandy Brehl

    Ezra Jack Keats picture books changed the face of children's literature, in every way. His art is deceptively simple, and this biography uses his own illustrations and art work to reveal the layers of talent and training that support his genius. Ezra Jack Keats picture books changed the face of children's literature, in every way. His art is deceptively simple, and this biography uses his own illustrations and art work to reveal the layers of talent and training that support his genius.

  18. 4 out of 5

    K.c.

    A sweet inspiring story about a wonderful and incredibly imaginative illustrator.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    fantastic! only wish one thing, the authors list the books Keats authored and illoed, would also have been nice to see the books he was just the illustrator for.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    A wonderful biography about one of America's most talented, but least noticed artist and authors. Simply fantastic! A wonderful biography about one of America's most talented, but least noticed artist and authors. Simply fantastic!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jill Waltz

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mindy Lewis

  23. 4 out of 5

    Haikukat

  24. 4 out of 5

    Christan Weidner Griffin

  25. 5 out of 5

    Natalie Moreland

  26. 5 out of 5

    Joelle Walter

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sue Jean

  28. 4 out of 5

    Dave

  29. 4 out of 5

    Delphine

  30. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

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