The Snowy Day
Today marks the book’s 50th Anniversary, and is the first children’s picture book of its time to feature an African American boy hero. What inspires me today about the narrative is its tribute to the carefree way urban youth independently experienced nature in winter.
Using collage as a medium for illustration, Keats tells the story of young Peter who leaves his apartment alone to join neighbors across the hall to play and explore outside in the snow. Bundled in snowsuits and scarves, he and his friends make patterns in the snow using their feet and sticks and marvel at their creations. Peter is so inspired by the snow, he takes a ball of it home as a souvenir, only to find it goes “missing” later in his warm home.
Everyone should own a copy of this celebrated tale; for both its historic importance and vision for how urban youth might re-connect freely to nature today.