by Sally Lodge • Publishers Weekly
Caldecott Medalist and five-time Caldecott Honor artist Jerry Pinkney will act as a judge and the inaugural artist mentor for the first annual Little, Brown Emerging Artist Award, recognizing new illustration talent and encouraging the development of high-quality picture books that resonate with readers of diverse backgrounds. In March 2017, the winner will be selected by a panel of jurors that includes Pinkney and three members of the Little, Brown Books for Young Readers editorial team.
Diversity is, in fact, the keynote of the initiative. The publisher expects qualifying submissions to draw from this country’s rich cultural experiences, manifested in character, theme, setting, or plot. Diversity also extends to the inclusion of characters of unrepresented ethnicity, religious belief, gender identity, class, and mental or physical disability.
“We are both proud of our long history of publishing diverse books and passionate about fostering new talent in children’s literature,” said Megan Tingley, LBYR executive v-p and publisher, in a statement. “Founding an award that brings both of these goals together has long been a goal of ours, given that many aspiring artists don’t have equal access to the resources, education, and connections that can be essential to breaking into the business.” ...