The Snowy Day

ISBN: 0590757709
ISBN 13: 9780590757706
By: Ezra Jack Keats

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Caldecott Children Children's Children's Books Childrens Childrens Books Kids Picture Book Picture Books To Read

Reader's Thoughts

Ken Moten

Ezra Jack Keats was a children's writer/illustrator primarily active during the 60s &70s. He was the 3rd child of Polish-Jewish immigrants and lived much of his life in his native Brooklyn, NYC. I could go on about that but what I want to focus on is this book and Mr. Keats' literary cannon in relation to me in the 1990s. The book is a very simple tale of a little boy who goes out and explores his neighborhood in the snow--nothing complicated. So why is this book so celebrated 49 years later? Well, simply because this book, being written in the POV of the author's neighborhood, features the first modern African-American protagonist in children's literature. His name is Peter and this is the first award-winning book in EJK's "Peter Trilogy". Fast forward to the mid-90s. I am a young African-American in school and this book, along with Dr. Seuss, Where the Wild Things Are, and Shel Silverstein, are some of the first books I read in school (although Dr. Seuss was introduced even earlier, most likely by my mom). Mr. Keats' work always stood out to me and my classmates and we would read the majority of them in time. It was very unique, artistically and with me and my peers being majority African-American, had characters we could relate to and that made the world look more natural to us than it actually was. Most of the characters in EJK work were Black, Brown, and let's say off-White (not many Anglo-Saxons in Brooklyn at the time the book was written). It is a shame that he is not talked about, or read more, but that is the world's loss. I feel fortunate to have came across his talent, and if I am to be "blessed" with the nuisance of children one day, Keats will be read in my house (both John and Ezra)!

Emily Brooks

I have always loved Erza Jack Keats book “The Snowy Day” from the instant I was first introduced back in toddler-hood. From its bright vivid colors to its sense of magic and possibility it could not be better suited for a beginning reader from four to seven. Capturing the wonder of new experiences of childhood in such vivid, large images leads itself to be well suited for the genre of picture story book for preschoolers. Peter’s sense of wonder fully illustrated as he crafts impressions into the snow, first one direction then the next. Looking and reimagining the world as children often do we see Peter pretending snow hill are mountains and he, a mountain climber. Each page is accompanied with pictures that are large enough to read it in a group and the keep the attention of a child. Along with the illustrations, having short and controlled vocabulary make it a perfect book to read aloud with children. Having a controlled vocabulary for this age good is also a useful tool in assisting word development and comprehension. Keat’s book is a prime example of a book suited for preschoolers both in the home and at school or event.

Joel Wicecarver

The Snowy Day was not the strongest picture storybook for preschoolers. Some of the aspects which I believe dampened the sentiment the book attempted to create were through the use of paper machete as the visual media. I found this feature questioning as to why the author decided to use this particular media since it lacks shape. Without shape the book cannot definitely outline and direct the viewer to the feelings and ideas suggested. This ideal is represented in the interpretation of Jon Scienzcka view on the role of design, “Design is an essential part of any picture book”. Another aspect of the book’s design which I believed is used extremely well is the placement and font choice. I found this to be the factor that granted the intent of this book for preschoolers to be appropriate for the age group. However, a collage is the most popular illustration technique applied to books for preschooolers due to its two dimensional assemblage. This results to coherently support how this book is a good representative example of its genre. When it comes to the uses this book, I would apply it with children by reading the book aloud, that way the children’s character development can be enhanced and enriched.


Illustrated by: Ezra Jack KeatsPublished: 1962Fiction, Picture bookSummary:This book is about a young boy named Peter and his adventures in the snow. When Peter wakes up, he looks outside his window and sees snow. He walks outside and makes tracks. He finds a stick and knocks the snow off a tree. Peter tries to join a snowball fight but knows he is too young so instead he makes a snowman and snow angels. He climbs up a mountain of snow and then slides down again. He tries to save handful of snow in his pocket before coming inside but the snow melts while he is taking a bath. He goes to sleep and dreams that the snow melts away but when he wakes up the next morning he realizes that it is snowing once more! He goes outside again to play in the fresh snow.Evaluation:This book would be a good transition book from emergent reader to early reader. The words are not too large and the text as a whole is rather short. There is no dialogue. Every page progresses the story further, but in manageable chunks and the plot is sweet and simple. There are good examples of onomatopoeia such as "crunch, crunch, crunch" for the sound of the new snow as Peter walks on it and "plop" for when the snow falls from the tree onto Peter's head. The word slowly is written s-l-o-w-l-y to represent its meaning. The illustrations are simple, almost like they are made from paper and glued to form the picture. The illustrator did not spend much time on the expressions or faces of the characters but it is obvious what is happening on each page. There is good proximity to text. Culturally, I like the the protagonist is African American. This is a cute, simple story that students would enjoy and be able to connect with.Discussion Questions:1) Before reading: Think about how you feel on a snow day? What do you like to do when it is snowing?2) Notice the words crunch and plop and how they are used in the story. What do you notice?3) What happened to the snow that Peter put in his pocket before going inside?

Michelle Martin

A wonderful book to introduce to children about the joy that snow can bring. Also children can learn about the different types of weather such as snowy, rainy, and windy. Children can learn about the different types of adventures they can experience on a snowy day such has making snow balls, snow men, and making footprints in the snow.Learning ExtensionHave a large group discussion about different types of weather such as snowy day, windy day, and rainy day. Then ask children which day is their favorite and why also the children can draw pictures of their favorite day.

Elizabeth Sciarra

I can relate to this book very much being from Boston where the winters can be pretty bad. I remember my mom reading this to me after a very snowy day filled with adventures and snowball fights.I think it tells a very good story because even though at first the boy is all alone playing, he still manages to have fun by himself. He makes a snowman, snow angels and slides down the hills of snow. The illustrations were also very different but really cool at the same time. It looks as thought it was made a collage and pasted into the pages of the book. Although it does not look life like, the audience is able to tell that it look a lot of time and effort for someone to be able to make this masterpiece. I thought the colors were very vibrant too. The ending of the book was very good too because even though he dreamed that the snow had melted away and he was sad about it, when he awoke the next morning it was all still there again and him and his friend could go outside and play in it together. In all, I thought it was a very good story.


There's a reason this book is a classic, Keats was able to really listen to the phrase "less is more" when he created this perfect little kids book. The pictures are warm and inviting, they directly interact with the text, making each page a fun adventure playing in the winter. Peter explores many of my favorite aspects of palyign with snow, from snow ball fights (though he decides not to take part), to snow angels, to trying to hold on to snow even inside (even though the snow ball melts in his pocket). I think Keats just perfectly captures the wonder kids feel when going out to play in winter- I think a lot of adults could take a note from this book as well and have a little more fun when winter rolls around.


The illustrations use the loveliest colors…read this to Lucas today on our own snow day here in South Dakota.

Kelly Armstrong

I really enjoyed this book because it reminded me of what it was like to be young and wake up to a yard filled with fresh snow when I lived in Kansas. This book could get children excited about upcoming snowfall, or allow children who live in warmer climate to imagine what it would be like to live somewhere where it did snow. I think that allowing children to escape to experiences they may not get to immediately experience is one of the greatest things about literature, and pictures make it even better. This book definitely does a great job of being age-appropriate for preschoolers because there are not too many words cluttering the page and it is very easy to follow Peter on his journey. While the illustrations are not as colorful as some picture books, it is necessary for this one because the white areas are there for the purpose of showing the children how much snow fell. Also, great use of color is made whenever possible, such as in Peter’s dream of the sun melting the snow. This book meets all the requirements for being a picture storybook. There is character development of Peter and his journey through the day is the narrative. The words at the bottom tell us what he is doing while the pictures allow us to watch his day unfold. I would use this book to talk with children before wintertime and hold a circle time discussion afterwards where each child could share what they would want to do if it were to snow that winter or their favorite thing they have done in snow.


Looking at this book actually made me tear up a little. Going through some boxes I saw this lying at the bottom and was instantly transported across space and time to my childhood. I remembered for the first time in many many years a time when I was innocent, and a certain clarity that this novel brought me.You might be sneering or contorting your face in some representation of disbelief, (stop doing that btw, it’s not flattering) but stay with me for a second and let me explain.It was my second week of the second grade when I was given this book to read for the first time. It was during the origin of my parent’s marital dysfunction, the first of many intermissions in their terrible attempt at matrimony. We had just moved in with my aunt and cousins, and this was my second week adjusting to Harrison, an inner city school with great caring teachers and not enough text books or funding to foster the vast amounts of potential that filled its halls. It was close enough to the “hood” that no one cared to offer assistance or even update the curriculum, because we were all going to grow up to be degenerates anyway. A far cry from the school I used to attend in my father’s suburban neighborhood. The difference between institutions is something that will always stick out in my mind. At least the library was pretty decent though.I was further ahead in my learning than my classmates because of the differences in curriculum and got to go to the library for something to do. Walking through the library alone I drew the attention of the librarian. She came over and started to help me. We picked a variety of different books to read later, one of which was “The Snowy Day,” by Ezra Jack Keats. I remember holding the book in my hand and marveling at the cover. That kid looked like me! And before holding that book, I never thought to think why that mattered. Before I opened the pages intrigued at the artwork, I feel ashamed now to expect the book to be bad, or somehow less. It wasn't. It was awesome, from the first page. In the book, a little boy, Peter, dons an orange jump suit and plays in the snow. He makes snowmen, snow angels, and marvels at the nature around him. He even attempts to take the snow inside, and watches it melt. The artwork is beautiful and fully captures the moments of Peter’s wintry adventure. Peter was my first hero of color. He was the first Black protagonist I had ever read. Peter was the star of this book. He wasn't a supporting character, a dark splotch in the background of the illustration, not the bully or bad guy. He alone was the whole reason for the book. My little mind was blown. This book was about me. I didn't even know that there were books about people like me, and even at that young age I had already fallen victim to the visual rhetoric displayed all around us. I dreamt of being like Peter, playing in large snowdrifts, and making snowmen like the little kids in the Frosty cartoon. Snow around my home at that point was never tall enough or just too filthy to play with, so I had never made a snowman or even knew what a snow angel was. This book sparked a time of adventure in me. It was a call to action, I could be anything, could do anything. I could take the world around me like young Peter, and manifest it into creations of my liking. I could make snowmen and angels. I could have epic Calvin and Hobbes-esque snow battles; I could do the things that the people on T.V. do.As I grew up there were other Black protagonists, like Black Panther, Luke Cage, and B.A. Baracus (who might not have been the star, but stole the show). But none of those characters controlled their whole world nor were they viable as actual people. Peter was great because his adventure could be a reality. Peter and I went on many adventures together.This small picture book unlocked dreams and visions that I never knew I had. It was the first book, independent of any real adult influence to touch me, and I will cherish that forever. Thank you Ezra Jack Keats.

Lucy Hernandez

For a rainy and snowy day, this is the perfect book for reading. Great experience for everyone, specially for kids to see the magic of the falling snow. For places that have a lot of snow in winter time could not be pretty much excitement in relation with the places that only snow one or twice in winter season. It will be apply for cause and effect.Extension:Ask the kids to fill an icetray with water, put in in the freezer, wait about three hours and see what happen? The liquid (water) is transformed in solid (Ice). Let them to watch very closely what happen with the a few moments it is going to be water again.


“The Snowy Day” is a Caldecott Medal Award winning book by Ezra Jack Keats that details Peter’s adventures on a snowy day. “The Snowy Day” is clearly one of Ezra Jack Keats’ most enchanting books for children!Ezra Jack Keats has done a great job at both illustrating and writing this story. Ezra Jack Keats’ illustrations are truly creative and colorful to look at as the characters and the environment surrounding them look like something cut out of a cardboard as the characters and the environment around them look block shaped. Also, Ezra Jack Keats’ illustrations are extremely beautiful as they truly capture the beauty and essence of a snow day as the snowy world around Peter is covered in white and Peter looks extremely cute in his red snowsuit as he has a small hood that is pointed at the top, which greatly reflects the retro style of the 60s since this book was made during the 60s. Ezra Jack Keats makes this story simple yet powerful since the story details the adventures that Peter has on his snow day in such a vivid way, especially the passage where it mentions how Peter tries to make tracks in the snow with his feet, which I thought was very inventive since I have never read a picture book that contains a phrase where children track their feet in the snow to get a feeling of the snow.“The Snowy Day” is a perfect book for children who also enjoy the beauty of a snowy day and many children will definitely enjoy this book for many years. I would recommend this book to children ages four and up since there is nothing inappropriate in this book.

Rain Misoa

This is one of the children's books that I read for We Give Books, A Pearson Foundation Initiative to help children all around the world obtain books. It's an organization that gathers many campaigns in one spot on the web to encourage people to read many books for children. With every book you read, one gets donated to the campaign you signed up for. (There's quite a few campaigns available.) A very good friend of mine, Nicole Terazue, recommended this site to me since she knew I loved reading books! (Thanks love!) The campaign I chose to be a part of is called Jumpstart for Young Children. Every book that I read associated with We Give Books gets donated to Jumpstart for Young Children so that less fortunate kids in pre-schools all over America will be able to have more books to read from and learn. It's a fabulous project and I urge all readers, especially parents with young children, to join and help other children less fortunate than our own to read and spread the word of We Give Books. It will benefit children everywhere.Yet another adorable read from Ezra Jack Keats. This book follows the adventures of Peter through a snow day. Let me start off by saying I love the premise of the book. As a person who loves winter, snow, and anything else that deals with the cold, this book has found a very warm and dear place in my heart. I love how Keats took snow and made it the central theme. The moral to this story is... well, always have fun when you go out on an adventure. I didn't read this book when I was younger but I know children will be able to get that sense of journey, even if it's in the mind of the reader, from this book. The illustrations are, once again, impeccable! I love how they come off more as paintings than actual illustrations from a storybook. The colors are so bright! (I'm a bit of a color fanatic. XP) It just makes me happy to see how much effort Keats put into his artwork. The writing style is very pleasing as well. He makes it simple enough to be understood by a toddler but it never loses the interest of the reader, which I think is very important when writing a book geared towards a younger audience. I say give this book a shot. Your kids will love it. Especially if they love the colder season. (I hope they do!) Well, this is my last review of children's books for a while. I'll back with a vengeance soon enough~ Don't forget to check out We Give Books and I'll see you all next time!

David Korsak

This book is about a boy who seems to love snow and wants to do anything and everything to play with and on it. This is what the text tells us about the story, but the pictures tell an entirely different story. The pictures tell us the boy has never seen snow before and when he goes to play outside he is all alone and when he tries to play with others he is more or less bullied away and told not to come back until he can stand up for yourself. At the end he tells his mother all about his adventures, but I’m sure he leaves out the part to where he was bullied and picked on by the bigger kids and also lonely. He may look like he had fun in the snow that day, but the pictures tell me he has no friends and his only looking to fit in. The only thing that doesn’t confirm my theory is the last page. The picture shows the boy standing with another boy who claims to be his friend. We will never know if this is a real friend or just a rouse. I thought this book is amazing because the pictures and text tell different stories, which is a a great sign of a good book.


This was my first time reading this book and I thought it was great. The way the artist developed the illustrations are so different and interesting that it sets it apart from other books. I really like the story because it was relatable and you could see yourself doing the same things Peter was doing in the story or recall a time you had experienced the same things you were reading about in the story. The book is a good representation of the genre and the age group because it provides a sense of warmth and familiarity with the activities Peter engages in, there is unification between the text and illustrations, and the development of setting is integral to the story. The book is also appropriate for this age because it highlights everyday activities that kids would engage in if they were playing in the snow like Peter. I would use this book to talk about seasons with children or what happens to snow when it melts (why wasn't Peter's snowball in his pocket at the end of the day?) It is also a great book to read to children because the story and pictures are so engaging and fun to look at.

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