The Snowy Day

Book review by
Esther Ehrlich, Common Sense Media
The Snowy Day Book Poster Image
Parents recommend
Classic captures a kid's delight in freshly fallen snow.

Parents say

age 2+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

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 & Representations

Peter, the main character, is curious, independent, and able to entertain himself and enjoy the simple pleasures of fresh snow. 

Violence & Scariness

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent 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 mention... Continue reading
Adult Written byMuttly13 March 23, 2012

Classic at any age

Great read-aloud at any age. Older children in grade school still request this story. Cant go wrong.

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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.

Talk to your kids 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

Our editors recommend

For kids who love Picture books and books for boys

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