75 of 77 people found the following review helpful
on March 27, 1998
This book is part of my standard baby shower gift package along with Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny. With very few words it manages to tell a very simple, yet very elegant story that young children can relate to. The pictures are beautiful and draw children further into the story. As an added bonus, the main character is African-American. Though it makes no difference to the story, it was important to me as a child reading this book 25 years ago to see a kid that looked like me in a book where race was not the focus of the plot, and is important to children of any race reading it today. I cannot recommend this book highly enough for any child of any race, boy or girl.
76 of 82 people found the following review helpful
on May 14, 1999
A small book for children, particularly pre-schoolers, about a little boy who goes outside to play in the new fallen snow. It shows the simple joy and delight a child can have with newly fallen snow. I disagree with the comments of an earlier reviewer (Ms. Whittaker from Rush City, Minnesota, in 1998); the artwork is simple and direct because of the nature of the simple and quiet story and because the book is really aimed a pre-schoolers. Interestingly, the book won the 1963 Caldecott Medal for best illustration in a children's book. As far as I can tell, this book is the first winner which is centered about an African-American child. Hence, for this and other reasons, it is a book that should be on the shelf of any serious student of children literature.
70 of 76 people found the following review helpful
When "The Snowy Day" first came out, it was considered groundbreaking. Unprecedented. Here, at last, was a picture book in which the protagonist is black. It's not an overtly political book, mind you. Just a nice story about a kid in the city playing in the snow. Having heard about this story for a long time, I decided now was the moment to see how well this book has stood up over time. Ezra Jack Keats has long passed from idle picture book author to a somewhat god-like figure of the children's book world, so does this early work stand out even today? If it was introduced for the first time now, would it be considered as good as it is? Yes and no. The book is both a fabulous creation, and a very simple, very normal, tale that everyone on one level or another is familiar with.
In this book, Peter wakes up to discover that snow has covered the city in the night. Delighted, he pulls on his bright red (and now world known) snowsuit and plunges into a day of exploring and playing. He makes fun tracks, and hits snow off the branches of trees. He constructs a smiling snowman and slides down steep mountains of snow. At the end of the day his mother gets him out of his wet clothes and gives him a nice hot bath. The next morning the snow is still there, and an ecstatic Peter calls up a friend to do the whole day over again.
When I was a child I loved (and still do) stories that took place in the big cities. Keats never draws an inordinate amount of attention to Peter's surroundings. So while you won't see skyscrapers or taxi cabs, there's a distinctly urban feel to the lay of the land. The text is nice and easy for the youngsters to understand. As for the cut-outs, they're a delight to look at. Picture books featuring cut-outs may be remembered best as belonging to such artists as Eric Carle or Leo Lionni, but I consider Mr. Keats to be the granddaddy of the art form. Aside from the beauty of the landscaping in this pictures, I loved the papers used in the book. The section in which Peter sits on the snow, a snowball embedded on his chest, the black sky is a-swirl in greens, blues, and browns. When Peter slides down a snow covered embankment, the sky is then a delightful twisty series of white smoke-like curlicues. And Peter's home itself is eloquently rendered. From the wrought iron bed frame to the multicolored wallpaper and tiles that enhance the setting, the book is the best possible combination of elegance and realism.
If it came out today, "Snowy Day" wouldn't garner an overly enthusiastic response from publishers and critics. Which isn't to say that it's unworthy of the praise already received. As I've tried to show, the book is a wonderful amalgamation of text, pattern, and emotion. One of the finest books written for children, and a great evocative story.
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on July 19, 2002
Exra Jack Keats' "A Snowy Day" is utterly timeless. As simple and charming and lovely today as it was when first published in 1963, it describes the small adventures of Peter, a city boy who wakes up one day to find the city entirely shrouded in snow. Peter does what any other red-blooded child would do: he puts on his snowsuit and runs outside. There he indulges in the age-old pursuits of making funny footprints in the snow, hitting a tree to watch the clumps of snow fall from it, making a snowman and snow angels, and sliding down a hill covered with snow. He even packs a snowball into his coat pocket.
The story is minimalist, as are the collages which illustrate the text, but the overall effect is delicious. Peter is a nimble expression of childhood vitality and play, and the pictures combine fabric, rubber stamps, what looks to be wallpaper, paper cut-outs, and fiber to very great effect. It's short, it's sweet, and it's simple--just like the best snowy days.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on May 23, 1999
A simple old fashioned story that reminds one of the wonders of a SNOW! I never read this book as a child, but I'm glad I found it for my daughter. She is 19 months old and brings it to me to read to her every night and even before her afternoon nap. The simplicity is wonderful and it is basically a feel good book. I would recommend it for any child's library.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on June 17, 1999
I purchased this book for my one year old daughter because I remembered it from my childhood. My daughter enjoys it so much that I now read the book 6 times a day and I still enjoy the book. It is particulaly difficult to find books featuring black children with a strong story line. The Snowy Day hits the mark. I now intend to purchase other Ezra Keats books.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on January 21, 2007
There aren't a lot of books that both a little child and a weary (wee bit bored, perhaps?) adult can both appreciate. This is one. Keats understands how young children think, how they look at the world. When the young protagonist Peter sits in the tub and thinks and thinks about the day's adventures, I'm struck by recognition both as a parent and as a former small child. I've seen that faraway expression, that serious working through.
The deftness of the language and the beautiful illustrations humble me. The focus of the story and the things that fascinate young Peter also fascinate my little boy, who is 19 months old. He asks me to read this to him at least three times a night. And it's so wonderfully done, I don't even mind.
Whether your child is white, black, purple, green or checkered, get this book. This is a wonderful book.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on February 25, 2009
I am six years old and writing a review of the book the Snowy Day with the help of my mom. I like reading this story with my mom and it makes me want to play in the snow and toboggan. The story is about a boy named Peter who had adventures in the snow. My favorite part is the big snowball fight. He was very sad when he went to bed because his snowball melted. He had a dream that night that all the snow melted. But when we woke up the snow was still there. After breakfast he went back out and played in the snow with his friend. I would reccommend this book because I can read it all by myself and because it is a good story and it has good pictures.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on January 26, 2001
When my son came to live with me 2 years ago he had 2 favorite books, "Go Dog Go" and "The Snowy Day". I had to read them over and over again until I was exhausted. I loved "The Snowy Day" most because of it's compact size. As a midwesterner, I was pleasantly surprised to see someone who looked like my son celebrating his love of winter. My son still loves to read this story back to me. Ezra Jack Keats' books are now a favorite part of our book ollection. I would recommend this book to any parent.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on May 2, 2004
I agree with other reviewers that the story in this book isn't heart-stopping exciting and it does drag on a bit toward the end, but frankly, I'm not sure that's a bad thing. The slow, languid pace of this story makes it a very calming and relaxing bed time read. The chunky, colorful illustrations are adorable, and the fact that the little boy is not very detailed makes him sort of a child's "Everyman." The story is really about a little boy whose imagination is maybe a little too big for the fact that he's only 4 and not able to do everything he'd like, but it's cute and engaging and well worth reading.