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Peter #1

The Snowy Day

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Winner of the 1963 Caldecott Medal!

No book has captured the magic and sense of possibility of the first snowfall better than The Snowy Day. Universal in its appeal, the story has become a favorite of millions, as it reveals a child's wonder at a new world, and the hope of capturing and keeping that wonder forever.

The adventures of a little boy in the city on a very snowy day.

"Keats's sparse collage illustrations capture the wonder and beauty a snowy day can bring to a small child."—Barnes & Noble

"Ezra Jack Keats's classic The Snowy Day, winner of the 1963 Caldecott Medal, pays homage to the wonder and pure pleasure a child experiences when the world is blanketed in snow."—Publisher's Weekly

"The book is notable not only for its lovely artwork and tone, but also for its importance as a trailblazer. According to Horn Book magazine, The Snowy Day was "the very first full-color picture book to feature a small black hero"—yet another reason to add this classic to your shelves. It's as unique and special as a snowflake."—Amazon.com

32 pages, Paperback

First published November 5, 1962

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About the author

Ezra Jack Keats

110 books328 followers
Ezra Jack Keats was an American writer and illustrator of children's books. He won the 1963 Caldecott Medal for illustrating The Snowy Day, which he also wrote. Many of Ezra’s stories are about a group of friends growing up in the city. The neighborhood they live in looks like the streets where Ezra grew up in Brooklyn, New York.

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5 stars
58,336 (51%)
4 stars
29,446 (25%)
3 stars
18,821 (16%)
2 stars
5,226 (4%)
1 star
2,471 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,977 reviews
Profile Image for Zoë.
328 reviews65.8k followers
February 6, 2021
[Book #12 for my grad school Children's Lit class]
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews31 followers
February 21, 2022
The Snowy Day (Peter, #1), Ezra Jack Keats

The adventures of Peter a little boy in the city on a very snowy day. Peter wakes up one day and finds the whole city covered in snow. He happily goes out to play in the snow and have fun. He first thought of going to the older kids to play with the snowball. But he knew it was too small for that. That's why he made a smiling snowman first ... This story beautifully depicts a child's wonder at a new world, and the hope of capturing and keeping that wonder forever.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش روز نوزدهم ماه فوریه سال2022میلادی

عنوان: روز برفی؛ نویسنده ازرا جک کیتس؛ مترجم: سنا تنکابنی؛ ویراستار: معصومه اکبری؛ تهران، گیسا، سال1390؛ در36ص، مصور رنگی؛ شابک9786009229512؛ چاپ دیگر تهران، نشر آت، سال1396؛ در36ص؛ مصور، رنگی، شابک9786009643653؛ موضوع داستانهای کودکان از نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده20م

داستان «پیتر» پسر بچه‌ای است که روزی از خواب بیدار می‌شود، و شهر را پوشیده در برف می‌بیند؛ او با خوشحالی بیرون می‌رود تا برف بازی کند و خوش بگذارند؛ «پیتر» نخست میاندیشد برای بازی با گلوله برفی، پیش بچه‌های بزرگ‌تر برود؛ اما می‌داند برای آن کار هنوز کوچک است؛ برای همین نخست یک آدم برفی خندان درست میکند ...؛

نقل از متن: (در یک روز زمستانی، «پیتر» از خواب بیدار شد و نگاهی به بیرون پنجره انداخت؛ تمام شب برف باریده بود و تا چشم کار می‌کرد همه‌چیز در زیر برف پنهان شده بود؛ شب قبل از اینکه «پیتر» توی تختخواب برود، سری به جیبش زد، اما جیب خالی بود؛ گلوله‌ای برفی آنجا نبود؛ خیلی ناراحت شد؛ پاهایش در برف‌ها فرومی‌رفت؛ اولش این‌طور با پاهای باز راه می‌رفت؛ بعد با پاهای جمع راه می‌رفت)؛ پایان

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 01/12/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Tim.
477 reviews660 followers
February 3, 2021
This is going to be a short review. I honestly feel like analyzing or talking about this book removes some of its charm. It genius lies in its simplicity.

On the surface this is a simple story. Peter wakes up, plays in the snow and goes to bed. It's also one of the most charming of children's books. It captures the pure joy of the first day of snow and going out to play. It captures the various games and the imagination.

It's artwork, much like the story, is brilliantly sparse.

I don't know what else to say. It's a delightful read. Shockingly, for a book that's not ridiculously silly, it's also one of my three year old daughter's favorites. She doesn't laugh at this one, but it's one she always wants me to come back to. 4/5 stars.
Profile Image for jo.
256 reviews5 followers
May 7, 2016
Until The Snowy Day (published in 1963), American children's books featured white children as the heroes (if you know of one that didn't, I'd love to hear about it). In the biography on his website, Ezra Jack Keats says:
Then began an experience that turned my life around—working on a book with a black kid as hero. None of the manuscripts I’d been illustrating featured any black kids—except for token blacks in the background. My book would have him there simply because he should have been there all along.

Besides being culturally groundbreaking, opening up children's literature to some of the marginalized citizens in our society, The Snowy Day is a beautiful book that perfectly captures the wonder and joy that can be found outside on a snowy day (yes, even in the city!)

A couple years ago, Kevin took me to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art for my birthday, and we got to see original pages from this book. It was amazing to see the original cutouts, watercolor, and collage in person. Illustrations that looked like a consistent whole in the published book turned out to be separate pieces of paper fit and intricately glued together. It just goes to show, things that seem so polished and perfect always have an underside with details we can't even begin to imagine.

With that in mind, I'll close with a story on Keats' website that I loved. Keats was in school during the Depression, and his father tried to discourage him from focusing on art. He wanted him to do something more practical that would earn money. In 1935, when Keats' father died of a heart attack, he had to go through his father's belongings:
"I found myself staring deep into his [my father’s:] secret feelings. There in his wallet were worn and tattered newspaper clippings of the notices of the awards I had won. My silent admirer and supplier, he had been torn between his dread of my leading a life of hardship and his real pride in my work."

Profile Image for Hilary .
2,262 reviews404 followers
June 18, 2018
This looks as if it's a well known favourite in the US but we had not seen this book and it couldn't be found in the library. We suggested they bought a copy, and obligingly they did. This is a lovely story of a young boy waking up to the excitement of his landscape transformed by snow. The colours and patterns in this book are beautiful, the simple concept of adventuring in the snow and returning to a loving home makes a great read for young children who can share the joy and the magic with Peter. My daughter commented 'poor tree' when Peter smacks the tree with stick, personally if I am reading/talking to small children I am careful about the language I use and this could more positively be decribed as Peter tapping the snow from the tree, but minor point, very lovely story of a snowy day.
Profile Image for Alex.
1,419 reviews4,486 followers
January 9, 2018
One of the great children's classics, and one of my kid's favorite books, and one of mine too. I love the beautiful art - the snowflakes on the last page, and the pattern on Peter's mom's dress. I love how uncalculated it is, how little it seems to be trying. It operates on a young kid's wavelength.

This year around the holiday season there were Snowy Day stamps, and every card we got that had one, my kid got all excited. "Nowy Day!" he would yell.

There's a statue of Peter and his dog, by the way, at a quirky little playground in a corner of Brooklyn's Prospect Park. Here it is:


If you want to visit, it's called the Imagination Playground, and it's right behind the LeFrak Center (where you go ice skating). Be forewarned that the dog is extremely well-endowed. Yeah, I too find that judgment questionable.

So anyway it finally snows and we're all excited, right? We point out the window. Nowy Day! And we bundle him all up and we take him outside for his very first snowy day, and he's like...


"Dirty," he says. Pointing at snow that hasn't even hit the ground yet. "Dirty. Cold outside." He is having none of it.

So look, five stars for literature but if we were rating it on how good its case for snowy days actually is, I'm afraid my kid would tell us that it's fiction.
Profile Image for Calista.
4,069 reviews31.3k followers
February 11, 2018
I loved this book. I wanted to read something about winter and snow. I miss having snow and I miss Michigan. The artwork is quiet and muted like snow. It is simple and really helps set the tone of the story. This is for younger kids or kids of all ages. It is simply told which again sets the tone perfectly.

As we read this book, the kids would say, "I've done that", or "we made snow angels this years" or "We didn't have enough snow this year to make our own snowman". They enjoyed it.

I like this little winter story that reminds me of the joys of snow as a kid. It's not about trudging to work and cleaning off your car. It's about seeing where you walk in the snow and snow angels and building snow men. It's the fun part of snow.
Profile Image for Cyndi.
2,340 reviews100 followers
October 9, 2017
Here are the things I discovered about Mr. H, my grandson with this book. He wants to ski...He's four years old and has never seen anyone ski in real life. Also, Mr. H is hoping for "lots and lots" of snow this winter...he doesn't have to shovel. And last, he loves this book and Peter is his new friend.
Now, if you will excuse us, Mr. H has discovered the joy of making footprints in the play dough...while standing on the table. 😊
Profile Image for David.
29 reviews42 followers
April 10, 2014

Looking at this book actually made me tear up a little. Going through some boxes I saw this lying at the bottom and was instantly transported across space and time to my childhood. I remembered for the first time in many many years a time when I was innocent, and a certain clarity that this novel brought me.

You might be sneering or contorting your face in some representation of disbelief, (stop doing that btw, it’s not flattering) but stay with me for a second and let me explain.
It was my second week of the second grade when I was given this book to read for the first time. It was during the origin of my parent’s marital dysfunction, the first of many intermissions in their terrible attempt at matrimony. We had just moved in with my aunt and cousins, and this was my second week adjusting to Harrison, an inner city school with great caring teachers and not enough text books or funding to foster the vast amounts of potential that filled its halls. It was close enough to the “hood” that no one cared to offer assistance or even update the curriculum, because we were all going to grow up to be degenerates anyway. A far cry from the school I used to attend in my father’s suburban neighborhood. The difference between institutions is something that will always stick out in my mind. At least the library was pretty decent though.

I was further ahead in my learning than my classmates because of the differences in curriculum and got to go to the library for something to do. Walking through the library alone I drew the attention of the librarian. She came over and started to help me. We picked a variety of different books to read later, one of which was “The Snowy Day,” by Ezra Jack Keats. I remember holding the book in my hand and marveling at the cover. That kid looked like me! And before holding that book, I never thought to think why that mattered. Before I opened the pages intrigued at the artwork, I feel ashamed now to expect the book to be bad, or somehow less. It wasn't. It was awesome, from the first page.

In the book, a little boy, Peter, dons an orange jump suit and plays in the snow. He makes snowmen, snow angels, and marvels at the nature around him. He even attempts to take the snow inside, and watches it melt. The artwork is beautiful and fully captures the moments of Peter’s wintry adventure.

Peter was my first hero of color. He was the first Black protagonist I had ever read. Peter was the star of this book. He wasn't a supporting character, a dark splotch in the background of the illustration, not the bully or bad guy. He alone was the whole reason for the book. My little mind was blown. This book was about me. I didn't even know that there were books about people like me, and even at that young age I had already fallen victim to the visual rhetoric displayed all around us. I dreamt of being like Peter, playing in large snowdrifts, and making snowmen like the little kids in the Frosty cartoon. Snow around my home at that point was never tall enough or just too filthy to play with, so I had never made a snowman or even knew what a snow angel was. This book sparked a time of adventure in me. It was a call to action, I could be anything, could do anything. I could take the world around me like young Peter, and manifest it into creations of my liking. I could make snowmen and angels. I could have epic Calvin and Hobbes-esque snow battles; I could do the things that the people on T.V. do.

As I grew up there were other Black protagonists, like Black Panther, Luke Cage, and B.A. Baracus (who might not have been the star, but stole the show). But none of those characters controlled their whole world nor were they viable as actual people. Peter was great because his adventure could be a reality. Peter and I went on many adventures together.

This small picture book unlocked dreams and visions that I never knew I had. It was the first book, independent of any real adult influence to touch me, and I will cherish that forever.

Thank you Ezra Jack Keats.
Profile Image for Kathryn.
4,341 reviews
April 8, 2015
Gosh, this cover just takes me back to my childhood! I don't know that the book was ever a "favorite" of mine, but I do remember the little boy in his snowsuit (I was obsessed with that snowsuit!) and his fun in the snow. I've always had a bit of a soft spot for Ezra Jack Keats and have read several of Peter's stories through the years.

I still adore Peter's excitement over the snow, and the simple but loving way his story is told. It really captures the child's joy in the little things; making ones footprints go like this, then like that--finding a stick and knocking snow out of a tree. Love the snowflakes at the end! And I still love that snowsuit.
Profile Image for Ronyell.
956 reviews320 followers
March 14, 2016

“The Snowy Day” is a Caldecott Medal Award winning book by Ezra Jack Keats that details Peter’s adventures on a snowy day. “The Snowy Day” is clearly one of Ezra Jack Keats’ most enchanting books for children!

Ezra Jack Keats has done a great job at both illustrating and writing this story. Ezra Jack Keats’ illustrations are truly creative and colorful to look at as the characters and the environment surrounding them look like something cut out of a cardboard as the characters and the environment around them look block shaped. Also, Ezra Jack Keats’ illustrations are extremely beautiful as they truly capture the beauty and essence of a snow day as the snowy world around Peter is covered in white and Peter looks extremely cute in his red snowsuit as he has a small hood that is pointed at the top, which greatly reflects the retro style of the 60s since this book was made during the 60s. Ezra Jack Keats makes this story simple yet powerful since the story details the adventures that Peter has on his snow day in such a vivid way, especially the passage where it mentions how Peter tries to make tracks in the snow with his feet, which I thought was very inventive since I have never read a picture book that contains a phrase where children track their feet in the snow to get a feeling of the snow.


“The Snowy Day” is a perfect book for children who also enjoy the beauty of a snowy day and many children will definitely enjoy this book for many years. I would recommend this book to children ages four and up since there is nothing inappropriate in this book.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

Profile Image for B. P. Rinehart.
747 reviews256 followers
March 11, 2019
Ezra Jack Keats was a children's writer/illustrator primarily active during the 60s &70s. He was the 3rd child of Polish-Jewish immigrants and lived much of his life in his native Brooklyn, NYC. I could go on about that but what I want to focus on is this book and Mr. Keats' literary canon in relation to me in the 1990s.

The book is a very simple tale of a little boy who goes out and explores his neighborhood in the snow--nothing complicated. So why is this book so celebrated 49 years later? Well, simply because this book, being written in the POV of the author's neighborhood, features the first modern African-American protagonist in children's literature. His name is Peter and this is the first award-winning book in EJK's "Peter Trilogy".

Fast forward to the mid-90s. I am a young African-American in school and this book, along with Dr. Seuss, Where the Wild Things Are, and Shel Silverstein, are some of the first books I read in school (although Dr. Seuss was introduced even earlier, most likely by my mom). Mr. Keats' work always stood out to me and my classmates and we would read the majority of them in time. It was very unique, artistically and with me and my peers being majority African-American, had characters we could relate to and that made the world look more natural to us than it actually was. Most of the characters in EJK work were Black, Brown, and let's say off-White (not many Anglo-Saxons in Brooklyn at the time the book was written).

It is a shame that he is not talked about, or read more, but that is the world's loss. I feel fortunate to have came across his talent, and if I am to be "blessed" with the nuisance of children one day, Keats will be read in my house (both John and Ezra)!
Profile Image for Manybooks.
3,210 reviews104 followers
July 27, 2018
Always having loved winter, freezing temperatures and naturally also looking at and playing in the snow (and indeed, considerably more than ANY other season, but in particular and especially absolutely and vehemently despising most of the summer with its high heat and horrible, sticky and clammy humidexes) I am actually more than somewhat frustrated and disappointed that because I was born in Germany and lived in Germany until I was ten years old (when my family immigrated to Canada), I actually never did have the opportunity to experience Ezra Jack Keats' The Snowy Day as a child (and indeed only first heard about The Snowy Day and read it a couple of years ago for a Goodreads Children's Literature Group read). But even as an older (and indeed often exceedingly intellectual and critical) adult reader, nevertheless, The Snowy Day (although definitely simple in concept and execution and as such of course primarily geared towards the very young) was (and remains) a totally evocatively magical and sweetly wonderful, and yes also a personally nostalgic reading event to and for me, reminding me with its basic but still profoundly touching marriage of sparsely descriptive text and accompanying glorious images of the magic of winter, of the many joys of playing in the snow, of how much winter as a season has always meant to me (and how much I absolutely love love love pictorial renderings of snow and that the pure whiteness of snow will always totally and absolutely trump spring, summer and even most of autumn, except perhaps the painted red and yellow foliage of October and November forests).

Now quickly this morning rereading The Snowy Day (and bien sûr feasting my eyes on the stark but beautifully evocative and magical mounds of snow and on little Peter in his orange snowsuit enjoying his playtime, his day outside romping around and celebrating winter), well this certainly has made me feel physically considerably cooler, refrehsed and less heat-bothered (with our current hot and humid Southern Ontario summer weather) than either my fans or even truth be told my air conditioning unit even remotely can and are able to achieve. And while I do realise that there has supposedly been sometimes a bit of controversy with regard to The Snowy Day, as the main character, Peter, is African American, and author/illustrator Ezra Jack Keats is not, sorry, but there is at least in my humble opinion nothing even remotely problematic or issue heavy here by any stretch of the imagination. For The Snowy Day is simply and wonderfully the delightful story of one small and eponymous young boy having fun in the snow, enjoying his winter playtime outside and that he happens to be African American is just a simple fact of life (and I for one in fact and indeed also massively do applaud Ezra Jack Keats in so far that young Peter's ethnicity is basically and naturally shown and depicted in The Snowy Day, but is NEVER in any way belaboured or made much of, as Peter really is just a little boy having fun, and he could be any little boy, in fact he could be any little child, with his ethnicity and indeed if one were to go even further, also his gender being of no real significance whatsoever). Five stars!!
Profile Image for Joel.
556 reviews1,666 followers
March 13, 2014
I like to imagine this book from the boy's parents' perspective.

"But when he woke up, the snow was still there, and new snow was falling!"

..and dad is outside swearing as he tries to shovel out his snowed-in car so he can go to work. Meanwhile, mom has slipped and fallen on the puddle of water left when the snowball the idiot child tried to carry inside in his pocket melted. She calls and calls for help, but her son doesn't hear her because he is outside making snow angels and pathetic two-segmented snowmen who don't even have noses (NO CARROT! says Nina).

This winter can bite me.
Profile Image for Maggie.
30 reviews3 followers
October 4, 2010
There's a reason this book is a classic, Keats was able to really listen to the phrase "less is more" when he created this perfect little kids book. The pictures are warm and inviting, they directly interact with the text, making each page a fun adventure playing in the winter. Peter explores many of my favorite aspects of palyign with snow, from snow ball fights (though he decides not to take part), to snow angels, to trying to hold on to snow even inside (even though the snow ball melts in his pocket). I think Keats just perfectly captures the wonder kids feel when going out to play in winter- I think a lot of adults could take a note from this book as well and have a little more fun when winter rolls around.
Profile Image for Amy.
1,131 reviews
October 1, 2011
I haven't read this to my niece and nephew, and I don't know if I ever will. My mom read this to me when I was a kid, and I *love* this book. I love Peter's little red suit, I love the colors and illustrations in this book, I love the little snow angels and the little duck feet Peter makes when he walks. I love the plop of snow falling on his head--just *everything*! I'd be heartbroken if my niece and nephew didn't love this one, too, and to be honest, I kind of just want The Snowy Day to always be *my* bedtime story that *my* mommy read to *me.*
Profile Image for Lata.
3,772 reviews207 followers
July 10, 2017
Lovely little book I picked up on impulse. Beautiful collages of Peter having fun in the snow. Simple, sweet story of a young child on a winter's day.
Profile Image for Laima.
207 reviews
December 4, 2013
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

The Snowy Day was a 1963 Caldecott Medal winner. Now, 50 years later, this book is still available at your local library. It was written and illustrated for children ages 3 to 8. I guess it just shows that a simple story and colorful pictures can withstand the test of time.

This is a story of what a young child does on a snowy day. It may be a bit nostalgic for some older readers. Perhaps for children growing up in the 60’s and 70’s it was a fine book to read. We used to have huge snowstorms and many snow days from school when I was young. Building snowmen, making snow angels, sliding down hills, having huge snowball fights and coming home from the park frozen like a popsicle was all fine and dandy but do young children of the 21st century really do that anymore?

These days, with global warming we’re lucky even to have some snowfall where I live ... and I live in Canada.

This is certainly not my top choice for a children’s story but as long as kids want to read it, I wouldn’t discourage parents/teachers from selecting this book.
Profile Image for Greg.
1,117 reviews1,875 followers
July 31, 2009
This book looks really familiar, like maybe I actually read it as a child. I've learned that even though I thought that I read as a child I must have only read things that would never be deemed 'classics', or maybe I just only re-read the same books over and over again.
This book captures a nice nostalgia for being little and having a snow day, when the time seemed to stretch out forever and so much shit was packed into the day that now it's baffling how you could ever do so much.
As a little kid I don't know if I would have thought much of this book.
Profile Image for Jasmine from How Useful It Is.
1,339 reviews352 followers
March 6, 2023
Read for my toddler's bedtime. An excellent story about Peter playing in the snow. He's too small to join the big kids in snowball fights so he went to build a snowman and snow angels. He also make prints and tracks with his feet. A cute story!

Thank you Dolly Parton's Imagination Library for the gifted copy.
Profile Image for Eyehavenofilter.
962 reviews99 followers
March 1, 2013
Peter wakes up to a snow covers world outside his window.in his red snow suit he sets out to explore this new world. The snow makes wonderful crunching noises as he leaves footprints behind him. Them he drags his feet and leaves long streaks in the snow.he uses a stick to make a third line in the snow and to encouraged snow to fall from a nearby tree.some of it gals right on his head.
He tries to join in with the older boys in a snowball fight but its a little to advanced for him, so he tries something more his style, a smiling snowman, and some snow angels. He enjoyed himself in the snow walking up gills and sliding down the other side. He put some snow in his pocket to bring home. Happy about his day he told his Mom about his adventures and thought about them during his warm bath.
When he went to sleep he dreamt about his day. And when he woke up the snow was till every where, so he called to his friend across the hall, so he could share his fun. Tis was a simple story, about learning how to play At ones own level, and then sharing that experience.
The illustrations were simple and very sweet.
Profile Image for Lisa Vegan.
2,802 reviews1,234 followers
June 27, 2008
If you ever played in the snow as a kid, it will bring back fond memories. If you read this picture book to young kids who have not yet experienced the pleasure of all the fun they can have in the snow, it will give them a taste of what it can be like, and it will most likely cause them to plead with you to take them somewhere snowy.

So, I did not first read this/have it read to me on June 26, 2008. It turns out our school librarian introduced it to my fourth grade class when it was first published. She was wonderful, as were the others in the library. Got reacquainted with her recently, a group of my fifth grade classmates, some who I've never lost touch with, and talked of all sorts of things, books especially.
18 reviews
November 16, 2016
This realistic fiction story provides detailed illustrations to place the reader in a winter backdrop with a story about a little boy named Peter waking up to a beautiful snowy day. It’s a great story for someone who has not experienced a snowy day because the author provides insight on Bobby’s adventures throughout the day. The author's multicultural perspective will leave you content, you’ll find the vibrant colors pleasing to your eye and Bobby’s emotions throughout the story will leave you reminiscing about your childhood memories!
Profile Image for Eva B..
1,323 reviews326 followers
January 22, 2021
This was one of my favorites as a little kid, so I figured I might as well reread it as I helped put away Christmas books. It's cute! Still holds up.
Profile Image for Rossy.
368 reviews14 followers
December 11, 2015
This book is adorable! We share Peter's adventures as he plays through a great day of snow, making snowballs, a smiling snowman, a cute snow angel, and walking around making different tracks and patterns!
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