Wow, You Don’t Look 50!

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In 1962, The Snowy Day was revolutionary, ushering in an era of cultural and artistic change in children’s books still apparent today. Its vibrant colors, cut-paper collages and graphic style brilliantly convey the sensations felt by young children. That Peter, the central character, was African-American and living in a crowded city offered an experience that was new to children’s books, yet familiar to any child who has ever played in the snow. Ezra Jack Keats had a way of seeing through a child’s eyes, enchanting readers the world over with a gentle tale as fresh today as it was more than 50 years ago.

 

The Inspiration

“Years ago, long before I ever thought of doing children’s books, while looking through a magazine I came upon four candid photos of a little boy about three or four years old. His expressive face, his body attitudes, the very way he wore his clothes, totally captivated me. I clipped the strip of photos and stuck it on my studio wall….
“I can honestly say that Peter came into being because we wanted him; and I hope that, as the Scriptures say, ‘a little child shall lead them,’ and that he will show in his own way the wisdom of a pure heart.”
caldecott-medal—From Ezras Caldecott Award acceptance speech, 1963
Full text of the speech

 

 

It’s Snowing All Over the World

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The 50th anniversary of The Snowy Day was celebrated around the U.S. and abroad, with concerts, festivals and more. Read more  

Let’s Play

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A favorite book…a beatbox read-aloud…an exhilarating game…and a host of Snowy Day activities. Sounds like fun! Read more

Everyone Loves a Snowy Day

A First Grade’s Snowy Day
In 2000 first-graders in Westchester County, New York, created their own Snowy Day online with the help of an EJK Minigrant. Now it’s a yearly event. Read more

 

 

 

Story Time
A video of dads and daughters bonding over The Snowy Day
Read more

 

 

 

 

Peter pink window 2“Well Worth a Tribute”
Professor Ben Railton blogs about The Snowy Day and Ezra’s life and times. Read more

 

 


Quotable Notables

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Find out what these bold-facers have to say about their favorite children’s book. Read More

In the News

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The Snowy Day at 50 made headlines, as major media outlets reported on Ezra’s enduring impact and influence. Read all about it!

Shopping Guide

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Dolls, books and DVDs—there’s a wealth of Keats-related items to choose from. Go