The Snowy Day Book Poster Image

The Snowy Day



Classic captures a kid's delight in freshly fallen snow.

What parents need to know

Educational value

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. 

Positive messages

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. 

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

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.

Kids say

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What's the story?

A young boy wakes to a world of freshly fallen snow and goes exploring throughout the cityscape in this gentle, glistening classic. With bold text and whimsical collages, Ezra Jack Keats captures the delight kids feel in the simplest pleasures.


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.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the pleasures of different types of weather: snowy days, rainy days, windy days, and more. Which is your favorite type of weather? Why?

  • How easy is it to create fun by yourself? Is it sometimes as much or more fun than playing with others? 

Book details

Author:Ezra Jack Keats
Illustrator:Ezra Jack Keats
Genre:Picture Book
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Penguin Group
Publication date:November 1, 1962
Number of pages:38
Publisher's recommended age(s):2 - 4
Award:Caldecott Medal and Honors

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 2 year old Written byMom2Peanut December 28, 2010
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Educator Written bylw1139 January 15, 2010

"The Snowy Day" is great for all children

"The Snowy Day" is a lovely story. One of the most wonderful features in this book is that it features a young African American boy but never mentions his race. I feel that it is important for kids across all cultures to see positive images of children of different races. This story is sweet and kind. I think that children from all backgrounds will enjoy this story.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written bySpiff April 9, 2008
Wonderful classic that I remember from my childhood.