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A poem for Peter : the story of Ezra Jack Keats and the creation of The snowy day

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[ 2017 博客來外文年度選書 ]
   季茲理想國的美麗化身─ 彼得
   以大時代為經,季茲高潮迭起的人生際遇為緯,作者Andrea Pinkney為我們勾勒出20世紀最重要繪本作家的生平故事。作者文筆優美,用重複的句法、富有節奏感的文字,讓此書讀來層次感鮮明。選擇用跳躍不羈的散文詩去演繹,既大膽又具匠心。自成一格的詩句和音韻,如傳家百衲被的拼布,片片訴說著季茲的祖國、失落、創作與夢想。
  《A Poem for Peter》的故事發生在一百多年前,季茲(Ezra Jack Keats)出生的紐約布魯克林街頭。季茲家是在紐約掙扎求生的波蘭移民,儘管很有天份,但季茲的父親還是擔憂地覺得,季茲想成為藝術家的心願是一個遙不可及的夢想。
  但季茲不畏艱難,下定決心朝藝術家之路邁進。高中時,他贏得獎學金,工作隨著接踵而至。在季茲筆下,一個穿著紅色雨衣的可愛非洲裔男孩化身為彼特(Peter),在下雪天享受白雪皚皚的戶外世界。這本書就是季茲著名的創作《下雪天》(The Snowy Day),一出版就獲得凱迪克金獎(Caldecott Medal),這本書也是第一本將焦點放在非洲裔兒童的繪本著作。
  《A Poem for Peter》講述的正是季茲精彩的創作生涯,透過抒情的敘事手法,述說一個男孩追求夢想的故事,而這個故事,也鼓勵了我們這一世代許多想要踏出勇敢第一步的夢想家。(文/博客來編譯)
A celebration of the extraordinary life of Ezra Jack Keats, creator of The Snowy Day.
The story of The Snowy Day begins more than one hundred years ago, when Ezra Jack Keats was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. The family were struggling Polish immigrants, and despite Keats's obvious talent, his father worried that Ezra's dream of being an artist was an unrealistic one. But Ezra was determined. By high school he was winning prizes and scholarships. Later, jobs followed with the WPA and Marvel comics. But it was many years before Keats's greatest dream was realized and he had the opportunity to write and illustrate his own book.
For more than two decades, Ezra had kept pinned to his wall a series of photographs of an adorable African American child. In Keats's hands, the boy morphed into Peter, a boy in a red snowsuit, out enjoying the pristine snow; the book became The Snowy Day, winner of the Caldecott Medal, the first mainstream book to feature an African American child. It was also the first of many books featuring Peter and the children of his -- and Keats's -- neighborhood.
Andrea Davis Pinkney's lyrical narrative tells the inspiring story of a boy who pursued a dream, and who, in turn, inspired generations of other dreamers.

Andrea Davis Pinkney says, “As an African American child growing up in the 1960s, at a time when I didn’t see others like me in children’s books, the expressiveness of Keats’s illustrations had a profound effect.”  

  Today, Ms. Pinkney is the distinguished and bestselling author of many books for children and young adults, including picture books, novels, and non-fiction. Her books have received multiple Coretta Scott King Book Awards, Jane Addams Honor citations, nominations for the NAACP Image Awards, the Boston Globe/Horn book Honor medal, and many other accolades. In recognition of her significant contributions to literature for young people through her body of work, she was selected to deliver the May Hill Arbuthnot Lecture.

  Andrea Davis Pinkney lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and frequent collaborator, Brian Pinkney, and their two children.

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