The Snowy Day

Common Sense Media says

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

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 
Caldecott Medal and Honors

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
Language
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that bright color cut-outs and lively language complement each other to create a story that is both soothing and exciting.

Parents say

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?

QUALITY
 

THE SNOWY DAY, first published in 1962 and winner of the Caldecott Medal, 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

This review of The Snowy Day was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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

"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
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 
Wonderful classic that I remember from my childhood.

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