A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
The large-format, hardcover 50th anniversary edition, published in 2011, includes eight pages of text, photos, and illustrations explaining the author's inspiration for the book (a Life magazine clipping of a black boy's photo) and the impact the book had when it was originally published in 1962. It caused a stir because it featured an African American main character, yet made no issue of or reference to his ethnic identity -- a radical choice in that era.
Playing in snow is pure fun.
Positive Role Models
Peter, the main character, is curious, independent, and able to entertain himself and enjoy the simple pleasures of fresh snow.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Snowy Day follows a boy discovering the pleasures of new-fallen snow. Bright color cut-outs and lively language complement each other to create a story that's both soothing and exciting.
Is It Any Good?
THE SNOWY DAY challenges the assumption that more is better, inviting you and your kids into a world of slow, easy pleasures. Ezra Keats is remarkable in his ability to create a calming yet vibrant story, striking this balance gracefully in pictures and in text. His artwork is spare yet the pictures burst with brilliant color and expression. In many of the pictures, Peter lacks facial features except his eyes, but Keats manages, with the angle of his head and the composition, to convey feeling.
The text, similarly economical, is made up of just enough words to tell the story -- none of them too hard for a young reader to sound out or for a young listener to understand -- and they are vivid words used powerfully, often rhyming or repeating. The result is that kids (and parents too!) can settle into Peter's snowy world. A bonus in this sparkling story is the African-American main character -- an all-too-rare occurrence, still, in children's literature.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.