The Snowy Day

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The Snowy Day is recommended for children ages , although people of all ages will find delight in this tale of a day spent playing outside after freshly fallen snow blankets the neighborhood. The Snowy Day tells the story of a boy named Peter.

Snowy Day

He is too young to join the older childrenss snowball fight, but keeps himself occupied by making footprints in the snow, creating snow angels, building a snowman, and pretending to be a mountain climber. He tries to save a piece of winter by keeping a snowball in his pocket, but he's sad to discover it has melted by the time he gets out of his evening bath. One of the unique aspects of The Snowy Day is that this book features an African-American child as the main character. At the time, minority children were rare in picture books-usually limited to token characters in the background.

Growing up in poverty in the Brooklyn tenements, Keats felt both the sting of poverty and anti-Semitism, which was expressed freely and flagrantly at that time.

The Snowy Day

Perhaps this helped fuel the injustice he later felt over the absence of minority children in the books he illustrated. In eight years, he illustrated some three dozen books, none of which prominently figured a minority character.

A lifelong New Yorker, he set the story in the city, as he did with most of the visual artwork he had created since he was a teen, some of which is on display at the Skirball. The inspiration for Peter came from a photo series in Life magazine of a little boy that Keats had clipped years before.

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats | Scholastic

Prior to the book, Keats had always painted, which was how he originally tried to illustrate The Snowy Day. It wasn't rich enough.

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