Louisiana author and musician Johnette Downing will receive the 18th annual Louisiana Writer Award, the Louisiana Center for the Book in the State Library of Louisiana announced last week.
The award is given in recognition of Downing’s contributions to Louisiana's literary and cultural life.
Downing is the author of 22 books for young readers, including "Petit Pierre and the Floating Marsh," "Why the Crawfish Lives in the Mud" and "How to Dress a Po' Boy."
“It is the privilege of children’s book writers to create these stories as sparks for young minds,” Downing says.
She has been awarded a 2017 Grammy Participant Certificate, eight Parents’ Choice Awards, four iParenting Media Awards and four National Parenting Publications Awards.
Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser and State Librarian of Louisiana Rebecca Hamilton will present Downing with the award on Oct. 28 during the opening ceremony of the Louisiana Book Festival at the State Capitol.
Nungesser praises the multiaward-winning musician and author for her dedication to sharing Louisiana’s culture through her books and music.
“Johnette Downing has a special gift for making Louisiana’s unique culture come alive for children around the world," he says. "We are proud to call her one of our own.”
“I have had the honor of knowing Johnette throughout her nearly 30-year career,” Hamilton says. “She has been committed to sharing Louisiana roots music and literature with our youngest citizens from day one. Songs and books such as 'Today is Monday in Louisiana' will be passed down to generations to come.”
“It is a testament to the commitment to sharing the power of books with children across urban and rural Louisiana that the State Library of Louisiana and the Louisiana Center for the Book have selected a second children’s book author for the Louisiana Writer Award,” Downing says.
Downing adds that she is “humbled to be among such esteemed past recipients as Ernest Gaines, Darrell Bourque, Christine Wiltz, Tom Piazza, John Biguenet, Tim Gautreaux and fellow children’s book author William Joyce."