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The Snowy Day

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Overview

Winner of the 1963 Caldecott Medal!

No book has captured the magic and sense of possibility of the first snowfall better than The Snowy Day. Universal in its appeal, the story has become a favorite of millions, as it reveals a child's wonder at a new world, and the hope of capturing and keeping that wonder forever.
The adventures of a little boy in the city on a very snowy ...

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Overview

Winner of the 1963 Caldecott Medal!

No book has captured the magic and sense of possibility of the first snowfall better than The Snowy Day. Universal in its appeal, the story has become a favorite of millions, as it reveals a child's wonder at a new world, and the hope of capturing and keeping that wonder forever.
The adventures of a little boy in the city on a very snowy day.

"Keats's sparse collage illustrations capture the wonder and beauty a snowy day can bring to a small child."—Barnes & Noble

"Ezra Jack Keats's classic The Snowy Day, winner of the 1963 Caldecott Medal, pays homage to the wonder and pure pleasure a child experiences when the world is blanketed in snow."—Publisher's Weekly

"The book is notable not only for its lovely artwork and tone, but also for its importance as a trailblazer. According to Horn Book magazine, The Snowy Day was "the very first full-color picture book to feature a small black hero"—yet another reason to add this classic to your shelves. It's as unique and special as a snowflake."—Amazon.com

The adventures of a little boy in the city on a very snowy day.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Peter wakes up to find the world covered in snow-crisp, clean, and white. Excitedly, Peter ventures out to play. His feet make a variety of tracks, and when he hits a snow-laden tree with a stick, the snow falls off-plop! onto his head. Keats's sparse collage illustrations capture the wonder and beauty a snowy day can bring to a small child.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Now in a sturdy board-book format just right for youngest readers, Ezra Jack Keats's classic The Snowy Day, winner of the 1963 Caldecott Medal, pays homage to the wonder and pure pleasure a child experiences when the world is blanketed in snow. (Viking, $6.99 15p 6 mos.-up ISBN 0-670-86733-0 Jan.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140501827
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 10/28/1976
  • Series: Picture Puffin Books Series
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 12,874
  • Age range: 3 - 5 Years
  • Lexile: AD500L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.72 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.19 (d)

Meet the Author

Ezra Jack Keats

Ezra Jack Keats (1916–1983) is the Caldecott Medal winning author of The Snowy Day, which broke ground in 1962 as one of the first picture books for young children to portray a realistic, multi-cultural urban setting. Since its initial publication, The Snowy Day has come to be regarded as both a children’s classic and one of the most important picture books ever written/illustrated. Ezra Jack Keats’ legacy lives on in the popularity of his most famous character, Peter—the star of The Snowy Day, Whistle for Willie, Peter's Chair, A Letter to Amy, Goggles, and others. Visit the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation online at www.ezra-jack-keats.org

Biography

When Ezra Jack Keats began creating children's books in the 1960s, he noticed something missing from the genre and chose to correct it.

Keats had already illustrated several kids' books and was starting his second when he made a simple but important decision: The main character would be black. "None of the manuscripts I'd been illustrating featured any black kids-except for token blacks in the background," Keats later wrote. "My book would have him there simply because he should have been there all along."

The character, Peter, debuted in The Snowy Day, which won a Caldecott Medal. Perhaps the strongest statement Keats made about race at the time was making ethnicity (his first book's protagonist was a Puerto Rican boy) completely incidental to the story. The books' themes are universal: In the case of Snowy Day, a boy discovers the joy of angel-making, sledding, and all the other things kids do on a free winter day.

The child of immigrants, Keats grew up in a Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn, in relative poverty. Although his gifts with pencil and paint were obvious from a young age, his father, a waiter, discouraged his artistic ambitions, fearing it would be too hard for his son to make a living. When he brought home tubes of paint for Ezra, he would tell the boy that hard-up artist customers had swapped their paint for soup. When his father died, however, Keats discovered a stash of newspaper clippings: his father had carefully saved the notices of all of Ezra's artistic prizes and achievements.

Once established as a creator of children's books, Keats developed a stable of characters -- including the adventurous Peter, a shy boy named Louie, and a sympathetic girl named Amy -- who often resurfaced over the author's twenty-odd years of storymaking. Often taking place in urban settings and illustrated in Keats's hallmark gouache and collage style, the stories chronicle the discoveries, pleasures, and fears of being a kid: coping with a new sibling, befriending a previously scary blind neighbor, entering a pet show, or finding a pair of goggles.

Keats tackled the topic of single parenthood in Louie's Search, where Louie accidentally discovers a husband for his mom. Even when characters behave oddly or badly (as in the case of Louie's new dad, who initially accuses the boy of stealing from his junk truck), their innate goodness is always revealed. Each title exemplifies Keats's faith in people.

With his muted, evocative images and his commitment towards diversity, Keats made children's literature vivid and human in a way it had never been before.

Good To Know

In the late 1930s, Keats worked as a mural painter on WPA projects. He entered the Army in 1943, where he designed camouflage patterns.

Later, Keats created five greeting cards about peace for UNICEF's first greeting card season ... A million cards were sold that year.

The de Grummond Children's Literature Collection at the University of Southern Mississippi is the sole repository for Ezra Jack Keats's archives.

A life-size bronze statue of Peter, Willie, and Peter's chair sits in Imagination Playground in Brooklyn's Prospect Park.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Jacob Ezra Katz (birth name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      March 11, 1916
    2. Place of Birth:
      Brooklyn, New York
    1. Date of Death:
      May 6, 1983
    2. Place of Death:
      New York, New York

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 46 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(23)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(5)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 46 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2009

    An enduring classic

    A delighful book that has become a classic. I read it to my children, my preschool class, and now am sharing it with my grandchildren.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2009

    I love Ezra Jac Keats

    His illustrations alone are worth looking at. This is a classic. I taught for many years and this was a standard during the winter season.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great book from my childhood!

    Every child must have this book!

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2007

    The Snowy Day

    Waking up to a white blanket of freshly fallen snow is one thing that can brighten a child¿s day, and it definitely brightened Peter¿s day in the book 'The Snowy Day,' by Ezra Jack Keats. Keats was born in New York on March 11, 1916 and died May 6, 1983. Throughout his life, his mother encouraged his talent, but his father seemed only to criticize his ability. As a child, Keats was artistically gifted and became both a successful author and illustrator throughout his life. In 1943, Keats joined the United States Army, and the army trained him to design camouflage patterns. 'The Snowy Day' is a classic from 1962, and it received the Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished picture book for children in 1963. In this book, a young boy Peter wakes up one morning to discover a beautiful, white blanket of new snow that covered everything outside. Being a young child, Peter was very excited and immediately went outside to explore and play in the snow. He made fun tracks in the snow with his feet, he made a smiling snowman, and he made snow angels. He also pretended he was a mountain climber and slid all the way down it. Before going inside, Peter put some snowballs into his pocket to keep for the next day. He then went inside to his warm house, told his mother about all his adventures, and took a warm bath. Before Peter went to bed, he checked on his snowballs he had put into his pockets. When he looked, the snowballs weren¿t there anymore. They had melted! While sleeping, Peter dreamed that the sun melted all of the snow away. Did the snow really melt or was it just a dream? This story is simple, yet delightful and the illustrations are wonderful. Keats uses gentle, engaging text which captures the essence of the child in all of us on a snowy day. In the book, Keats writes ¿He pretended to he was a mountain climber,¿ and ¿He climbed up a great big tall heaping mountain of snow ¿ and slid all the way down.¿ This quote from the book not only allows a child to imagine themselves having a great time in the snow, but it also brings out the creative side of children where they can pretend to do anything they want and be anyone that they wish to be. The reading level of this book two, and its grade level is first grade and eighth month. 'The Snowy Day' is a wonderful book for all ages, and it recaptures the excitement of how fun winter truly is. Keats, Ezra Jack. The Snowy Day. New York: Viking Press, 1962.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2007

    Snowy Day!

    As a child you look forward to the mornings when you wake up and for miles all you see is this white blanket called snow. What else are you to do on a snowy day other than make a snow man and snow angels? Playing in the snow is an adventure and Ezra Jack Keats does an excellent job illustrating this book. Keats was a successful artist and illustrator. He was trained by the military to design camouflage patterns. The illustrations in 'Snowy Day' definitely show his creative artistic ability. Playing in the snow brings out the creative and imaginative side of children where they can pretend to be anything they want. In 'Snowy Day' Keats writes that ' He [Peter] pretended he was a mountain-climber. He climbed up a great big tall heaping mountain of snow-'. The books text is easily read and can be enjoyed by any age.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2014

    Good

    It is a good book

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 21, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I remember reading this book when I was a kid. Not to tell my a

    I remember reading this book when I was a kid. Not to tell my age but It's a great book for any child to read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 22, 2013

    Highly Recommended

    Great book. Got the book as a gift for a friend of mine. Best book growing up. I used the gift wrapping through B&N and they did a great job.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2013

    Perfect for toddlers

    A great read along book, with many ways to add activities

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2014

    Winter bliss childhood memories...

    I enjoyed The Snowy Day as I read the book then and now...original and fascinating!

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  • Posted July 21, 2013

    I don't love everything that Ezra Jack Keats does. His books to

    I don't love everything that Ezra Jack Keats does. His books to me are like brussel sprouts -- I know I should like them -- I just don't. They seem to me too earnest, no charm. This book, however, is the exception and is charming and I do like it, very much. The Snowy Day is just the right balance of poignancy and humor. It is a pleasure to read and re-read.
    Even when I don't especially like the writing of Keats' other books, I almost always love illustration. In that aspect, this book is no exception. I do love the color-blocky illustrations.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2013

    I love this book

    I read this book to my children. Then my grandchildren. Now my great grandchildren

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2013

    Thrushfang

    Winterstar???

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  • Posted September 23, 2012

    I read this book in the art classes I teach for preschool childr

    I read this book in the art classes I teach for preschool children, and although I live in Texas where we never see snow, the children still connect with the story. The illustrations and colors are bright and inviting and the story line is simple but not boring. The author asks the readers to guess what is going to happen by leaving unanswered questions on one page that requires the children to flip the page to find out what is happening in the story. As I read it aloud to the 3 and 4 year olds, I always ask them about what they are thinking is making the tracks in the snow or where the snowball went. The Snowy Day offers parents and other grown ups the opportunity to expand their children's thinking skills. Again, while we seldom even see really cold days where I live, the children enjoy acting out making snow angels or walking with their heels pointed in just as Peter does. The Snowy Day is a great story to read together that encourages interaction and thoughtful reading. I would recommend this charming story, especially as winter approaches.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2012

    The Snowy day isn't just about a little boy's exploits, it is ab

    The Snowy day isn't just about a little boy's exploits, it is about a childhood experience. Keats manages to capture the basic joy of childhood with his beautiful artwork and simple narration. Peter, the stories protagonist, wakes up one morning to find snow outside of his bedroom window. He excitedly runs outside to enjoy the day. He makes footprints, snow angels and snow men. He packs snowballs and climbs snow mountain.
    One of the best qualities of this book is that is has a universal appeal. Although there are many children who have never experienced a snow day, Peter's appreciation and curiosity for the world around him are characteristics that all children can share. This simple connection is artistically displayed in Keats's Caldecott-winning cut paper illustrations.
    This book was a favorite of mine as a child. It didn't matter that I lived in Texas where snow was a totally foreign concept. The charming story and captivating illustrations managed to work themselves into my heart and imagination. Rather then relating to the character, I had the pleasure of experiencing something entirely new along with him. There is a reason that this book has withstood the test of time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2012

    Snow snow snow

    I love the pictures in the book! Also it is my favorite picture book. I also recomend Goggles.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2011

    Great read-worth buying

    My family lives in Florida where of course there is no true "winter." Reading this book to my three sons allowed them to use their imagination and wonder what it's like to play in the snow. It's short and sweet but nonetheless, worth the smiles it put on my children's faces!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2011

    Highly Recommended-especially for younger children 2-5years

    This is one of my grandkids very favorite books. We read it over and over..often at the same sitting!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2011

    Classic, I read this as a child. Wish there were more choices for nook ebooks!

    Classic, I read this as a child. Wish there were more choices for nook young readers. Not enough books available in the format.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 24, 2011

    CHILDHOOD

    I'm 9 and It reminds me of when I was youg.when Every I see this book I think of when I was youg.

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