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


the illustrations alone in this book make it worth having.

Alexis Overstreet

I remember reading this book as a child. I thought this book was cool because I always loved when it snowed and I always wanted to go play with the bigger kids but I was always to small. I thought this book was good because even though the boy knew we wasn't big enough to play with the bigger kids he didn't let that ruin his snow day. He still went on about the day and played in the snow. I think this book is appropriate because it is a story that many kids can relate to. Peter loved the snow and he spent all day outside in it and never let something make him not happy. At the end of the day he loved the snow so much he wanted to keep it with him so he kept a ball of snow in his jacket, but once he realized that the snow was gone he went to bed and dreamed of the sun melting away all the snow and woke up to more so. It is a good representation because this is a good story time book. Watching Peter play in the snow and do things that most everyone does when there is snow. I would use this book as a snow day book or winter book, if you knew you were going to get snow. I think this story is a cute one with how the pictures are illustrated and how Peter plays with just himself.

Charlie George

Another one where it is difficult to put my finger on why it is so good. This one in particular is warmly familiar from the forgotten days of early childhood, which helps it out a lot. I like that it is about a child from the projects, whose friend lives in the apartment across the hall. I like that it is set in the big city, rather than some idealized, rustic rural paradise, or ghod forbid the suburbs. Of course I like most of all that it's about snow. More specifically it is about what great fun can be had in the snow as a kid. I think that's it right there. It captures the whole experience, the rare, exhilerating experience where I'm from, of a day off school, playing in the snow. And further capitalizes on this after his sad dream where the snow all melts like the snowball in his pocket, only to wake up and find even more snow the next day. It ends on the promise of more joy, right at the apex of excitement, before the novelty has worn off. A number of my happiest childhood memories took place playing in the snow, so it was prescient of my mum to expose me to this friendly book so early, planting a seed that would later blossom.

Lindsay Bunchman

I like to introduce this book to younger children and emphasize its significance to American history since it was the first picture book published about an African American child. The story is simple, cute, and can relate to any child. For older children, this book encourages a discussion about the cultural ambiguity of the story and whether or not it was necessary because of the time in which it was published. Example questions are: Was the first step just getting a black character on the page and then authors could worry about adding cultural significance later? Was Keats making a significant step by telling a story that could relate to almost every American boy or girl in order to prove that there should be no difference?

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?

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.

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)!


The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats is a winner of the Caldecott Medal. It is a picturebook, intended for ages 2-6, mainly N. It is a cute, fanciful story of a boy experiencing snow for the very first time, and hoping to hold onto the wonder and excitement it brings, forever. I rate this book highly, as it is a light-hearted story which is inviting, and appealing to beginner readers. The story’s plot is very simple- the boy makes a snowball and puts it in his pocket for the next day. However, before bed, upon checking his pocket, the snowball is gone! To add, that night he dreams that the sun comes out, and shining brightly, melts all of the beloved snow. To his joy, he awakes the next morning to more snow falling, and the reassurance that the sun was just a dream. The simplicity of this plot is perfect for young readers. The main character, Peter, is sweet, and his character matches the illustration of him. He has an endearing smile which is only seen at the very end of the story, making it that much more valuable and special. The colors of the illustrations enhance the themes of joy and wonder with vibrant colors of pink, white, red, blue, and yellow. On each page, Peter stands out in either in his pink coated room, his red coat, or in his pink covered bath tub. This book would appeal to a reader’s sense of imagery and feeling of happiness. The text and illustrations parallel the emotions that kids actually feel when playing in the snow, making snow angels, snowballs, snowmen, etc. The storyline is relatable and children will be able to connect with Peter. It’s a thought-provoking read as well, prepping the children for the winter season, and encouraging them to consider where the snowball went from Peter’s pocket...It’s a pleasurable read!

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!

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.


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.

Makenzie Sliva

The Snowy Day was a story about what a young child does on a snowy day. Reading more into the story, though I found out that this was on of the very first American children's books that featured an African American child as the hero. Published in 1963, this was a very big deal. This makes me appreciate this piece of literature so much more. The book captures a sense of childhood and innocence as the character heads through the fields of snow.The illustrations in this book were very simple and the illustrator used a color blocking technique that I thought was interesting. The colors used on each page contrasted quite a bit with one another. For example, the little boy was wearing a bright red coat, and the illustrator made it stand out vividly by having the boy walking in a field of snow. The illustrator used no specific color scheme, but the visuals were very appealing to the eye. This book is intended for younger children and I think they would like the way it’s illustrated with the colors.

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.

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.

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