Ezra Jack Keats Foundation and de Grummond Children's Literature Collection at The University of Southern Mississippi to Present Awards at Fay B. Kaigler Children's Book Festival on April 11thNEW YORK, March 4, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation in partnership with the de Grummond Children's Literature Collection at The University of Southern Mississippi announced today the winners of the 27th annual Ezra Jack Keats New Writer and New Illustrator Book Awards. The 2013 awards ceremony will be held on April 11th during The University of Southern Mississippi's Fay B. Kaigler Children's Book Festival. The winners receive a gold medallion as well as an honorarium of $1,000. Wendell Minor, a noted children's book illustrator who has worked with, among others, Charlotte Zolotow, Buzz Aldrin and Diane Siebert, will be guest presenter. "The Book Award was created to bring attention and recognition to new artists who carry on in the spirit of Keats," said Deborah Pope, Executive Director of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation. "The jury looks for new books of beauty that portray the universal qualities of childhood, a strong and supportive family and the multicultural nature of our world." "The Ezra Jack Keats Book Award is an exciting extension of our work as guardians of important children's literature," said Ellen Ruffin, Curator of the de Grummond Children's Literature Collection. "Ezra's legacy lives on in the offerings of these fine new authors and illustrators, whose own books may one day join Ezra's in the de Grummond Collection." The 2013 Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award Winner Is:Julie Fogliano for And Then It's Spring Published by: Neal Porter Books/Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of Macmillan Children's Publishing Group First-time author Fogliano shares the excitement that goes hand in hand with planting the first seeds of spring. After months of snow, a boy and his dog agree that enough is enough, and decide to plant a garden. They dig, plant, play and wait…and wait…until at long last, shades of green begin to replace the brown. Spring is in the air!