Review: The Snowy Day

Sweet on Books

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Title: The Snowy Day

snowyday245 Author: Ezra Jack Keats

Themes: Excellent Read-Aloud, Exquisite Illustrations, Seasons

Published: 2012, 32 pages

'Sweet' book summary:
Reviewer: Melissa G.

This groundbreaking picture book is well-known for being the first to feature an African American child in the story, but it is special for many other reasons as well.

This tender story has lasted decades because it remains as relevant and appealing as it was in 1962. It captures the excitement and anticipation we feel at the sight of fresh snow, and those feelings are timeless. It also reminds us of the little things that make a snowy day such a special treat.

From the time young Peter wakes up to see the snow, to the moment before he puts his head on the pillow that evening, everything that he encounters gives him a reason to pause and take notice. His steps are worthy of interest as he discovers that the way he walks or moves his feet will cause him to leave different imprints in the snow.

Even a simple stick becomes a plaything as it brings the snow down from the trees. Peter goes on to spend this blissful day using his imagination and creating things. He builds a snowman, climbs a "mountain" and makes snow angels. If only we could capture all that happiness and take it home with us, right? Well, Peter tries. He puts a snowball in his pocket to save for later, but when he goes to check on it, he finds that it's gone. There is a moment of sadness at this realization, but as we turn the page, a new day brings fresh hope. And in this case, fresh snow!

This book is perfect for a wintry day, or really any day of the year. It is an excellent read-aloud, either at home or in the classroom. The acclaimed illustrations use vivid colors and the collage technique to leave readers with a unique and memorable image of a snowy day.



What You Need to Know:
  • In The Snowy Day, a young boy experiences the joys of a fresh snowfall.
  • It won The Caldecott Medal in 1963.
  • The portrayal of an African American protagonist was unprecedented at the time the story was published. 2012 marks the 50th anniversary of The Snowy Day.
  • You can find links to curriculum guides on the Ezra Jack Keats website.

If you liked this book, try:
  • City Dog, Country Frog by Mo Willems
  • Red Sled by Lita Judge
  • The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton
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