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.