Thursday, April 26, 2012

THE SNOWY DAY by Ezra Jack Keats

He thought it would be fun to join the big boys in their snowball fight, but he knew he wasn't old enough -- not yet.

THE SNOWY DAY by Ezra Jack Keats is a wonderful book capturing the peaceful nature and simple pleasures of a small boy named Peter on a snowy day. We don't get very many snowy days here in the Willamette Valley and I doubt if there is a child in the neighborhood that owns a snow suit but the delight of fresh-fallen snow first thing in the morning is a common thread for children anywhere it ever snows. On each page of wonderful and unique illustrations and easy to read text, we follow Peter making different tracks as he crunches and drags through the snow, making a snowman and snow angels, and of coarse climbing and sliding down the biggest hill he can find. He has so much fun that he tries to capture it by putting a big snow ball in his pocket before he goes inside, telling his mother all about it while she takes off his wet socks and thinking and thinking and thinking about it as he sat in the tub. Written more than fifty years ago, this story drives home the importance of playtime and home in a child's life. Some things never change. And, that's good.

Bonnie R

P.S. I enjoyed reading the postscript and seeing the photographs that inspired the character of Peter included in this 2011 edition. It was amazing to me that Keats the illustrator kept the clipping from a 1940 Life magazine and waited for twenty-two years hoping he'd be asked to illustrate a picture book about an African American child but no such opportunity came. That's when Keats the illustrator decided to become Keats the writer. And, what a great one!
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