Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Snowy Day


The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats is well-known as a classic book.  Like Caps for Sale, this is a book that I never got to experience in childhood.  That's sad, because The Snowy Day is wonderful!  I had heard of the title, and checked it out from the library.  Now having read it, I must get a copy for our family, urgently... I am clinging to our borrowed copy and don't want to give it back!

The Snowy Day tells a simple story about a boy's day exploring and playing after a snowfall.  He has wonderful experiences -- making footprints, dragging a stick, shaking snow off a tree, watching a snowball fight and putting a snowball in his pocket to save for later.  He goes home and tells his mom about his day, reflects on his experiences, and the next day, goes out in the snow again,  bringing a friend to join in. 

It's a lovely story.  What I love most about this book is that it captures so well how children explore and experiment with simple things. How interesting snow is!  How wonderful to make footprints and snowballs!  It's great to feel, explore and enjoy natural wonders like snow. Reading The Snowy Day brings back the wonder and simple pleasures of childhood. 

Peter, the main character in The Snowy Day, is black.  As Dr. Seuss says in The Sneetches, you would think such a thing wouldn't matter at all... but it is notable, even in 2009.  I was reminded if how hard it can be for black children to find examples of people who look like them at Christmas when I searched unsuccessfully in local stores for a black baby doll -- very frustrating!  Having a main character with dark skin makes this beautiful book even more special.  

6 comments:

Bookworm said...

I agree...I too believe it is notable. I am currently working on a booklist for Black History Month in February and am looking for books that are not only authored by African Americans but also have an African American as the main character. I desire to have time to find out more about The Corretta Scott King Book Award.

AND...I have to tell you this Karen!!! We did not read this book (The Snowy Day) today but we found the story printed on a sheet of paper along with a storytime kit! We found this in a "Story Time a Go Go" Kit we borrowed from the library. The story time theme is "Weather." We've used this kit for seasonal weather, snowmen and clouds! I couldnt beleive it when we reached into the bag and pulled out this story and the kit- the very same day I got your comment recommending this book!!! How NEAT is that!!!??!

Well, thank you for the fabulous post and lovely cover picture!

I thought of you today when I took my 3 "Cloud" books outside to photo them under the clouds!!! Your creativty is contagious!!

It's so wonderful to hear from you!

Love and Joy in Jesus,
Marietta

Deanna H. said...

I have used The Snowy Day when teaching young children about animal tracks. They love the book and all want to make snow angels.

The Book Chook said...

Lovely review, Karen. I called in to say I just joined your blog network at Facebook, (and rated you)and that put you on 9. You only need one more to be verified.

Jen said...

This is a GREAT book to put on a mommy's favorite list. I loved this book as a kid. I gave it to my 18 month old for Christmas and she asks for it over and over, and when we go outside in the snow (which she was a little suspicious of at first), we talk about "making tracks like Peter". (Oh, and we got a duplicate book from my sister, because she had such fond memories too.)

SWIRL said...

Hey Karen
I would love to add this post to my book club Round UP on my bookclub4boys.com site... but want to ask your permission first.

(I would be linking back to you.)

Abby said...

This is a favorite of mine, too! When picking out books for storytime I often gravitate towards noisy or funny books, but this is a nice, quiet story that kids always enjoy.