There are so many reasons for celebrating The Snowy Day! We won’t list them here. Instead, we are showing some of the ways Ezra’s 20th-century classic is being celebrated in the 21st century—in schools, parks, museums, and around the world.
Ezra’s inspiration for Peter, from his acceptance of the Caldecott Medal for The Snowy Day, in 1963:
“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.”
Full text of the speech
Snowy Day Month, 2018
With bitter cold and blizzard conditions around the country, it was hard not to think of The Snowy Day. Unsurprisingly, some educators put that thought to good use. Here’s a selection of their Keats tweets!
Snowy Day Month, 2017
Two amazing tributes to Ezra Jack Keats and The Snowy Day brought his centennial year to a glorious finale and offered a hopeful beginning to a new year.
A Poem for Peter
Andrea Davis Pinkney’s lyrical portrait of Ezra’s life and times explores how his hero, little Peter, came to be. Beautifully illustrated by Lou Fancher and Steve Johnson, this unique book is on best-of-2016 lists everywhere.
Amazon Holiday Special
Watching Amazon’s Emmy Award-winning animated special of The Snowy Day is like reading between the pages of Keats’s classic. The familiar neighborhood comes bustling to life as Peter and his family and friends get ready for their holiday celebrations. Of course, not everything goes according to plan.
Snowy Day Month, 2016
Some of our favorite Snowy Day moments—kids and adults discovering, and remembering, their first favorite book.
Peter and Friends
Kindergarteners at East Coventry Elementary School, in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, show off their Snowy Day books and dolls to reading teacher Jennifer Hunter. Click on that classroom door! The Keats motif is by second-grade teacher Dawn Himmelstein and assistant Cheryl Fitzsimmons.
The Snowy Door
We traded tweets with Keats fan @greenwood_reads. Offline, she’s Keynora Greenwood, a reading teacher at Swansfield Elementary, in Columbia, Maryland. Click through to see the dandy decoration on teacher Kristin Lichliter’s classroom door.
Looking good for Snowy Day Month! Thanks, @greenwood_reads. #SnowyDayMonth #EJKeats100 https://t.co/94kmngJX6Y— Ezra Jack Keats Fdtn (@EJKeats) January 14, 2016
Fadens Amisial, an eighth-grader at Sussex Academy of Arts and Sciences, in Georgetown, Delaware, wrote eloquently about the impact of Ezra Jack Keats’s The Snowy Day. From his letter: “When I was a little youngling, I remember reading The Snowy Day as if it was yesterday….My mom was the first person to read it to me when she took me to our local library…and after that I fell in love with Christmas, the book, and most importantly snow. I’ve read the book so many times….When my parents would read it to me they would use effects like jingle bells when the snow was falling…. This will forever be my favorite childhood book.”
A Legend in Legos
We were tickled to see this mural, commissioned (with permission from the EJK Foundation) for a new library/innovation center in New Castle County, Delaware. It’s a reproduction of the cover of The Snowy Day—in Legos! Click for a sneak peek of the mural.
Portrait of an Artist
This picture of Peter is the work of 5-year-old Victoria Hanson, who created it in a Mini-Grant program at the Newark (Delaware) Public Library.
An Early Start
Baby’s first snow day. Good job, Max! (Photo: Max’s grandmother Michele Malone, in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania)
What a Birthday!
Rebecca Troyer, a librarian in Ohio, went all out for her daughter’s first birthday party. With permission from the EJK Foundation, she had a local bakery create a Keats-themed cake. Shredded-paper “snow,” a camera-ready cutout of Peter and adorable guests helped make it a snowy day to remember. As she recalls, “The Snowy Day was my absolute favorite book as a little girl living in New Mexico. My mother isn’t sure how we first came across the book, but…it is something we treasure…I enjoy sharing this lovely story with my own daughter (who was actually born on a snowy day, and not in the desert).”