Book of the Week: The Snowy Day

June 15, 2010

For my birthday, Ben Blair gave me The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. It’s an oldie but goodie, and I still didn’t have it as part of my Caldecott collection (did I tell you I collect Caldecott books?). The whole family loves this book. The story is simple, matter-of-fact and not stressful. The illustrations are gorgeous.

It was funny to see my kids reading about the snowy adventures while wearing tank tops and flip flops. What do you think? Is this a favorite story at your house? Do you collect books or other objects?

P.S. — You guys are so sweet. Thank you for the kind words. I had a wonderful birthday and felt absolutely spoiled.

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{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sue @ Laundry for Six June 15, 2010 at 1:32 pm

Snowy Day is this year’s Read for the Record book (and one of my favorites – I still have my childhood copy!). http://www.readfortherecord.org/

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2 Design Mom June 15, 2010 at 2:26 pm

How lucky to have your own childhood copy. What a neat thing, Sue.

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3 Vintage Kids' Books My Kid Loves June 15, 2010 at 1:36 pm

Best birthday present ever!

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4 steph t. June 15, 2010 at 1:37 pm

YES!!! this is a favorite in our household. it was a favorite when i was a child too. it’s great to now see my own children read it. what a great, creative gift from your darling hubby! love it!

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5 Design Mom June 15, 2010 at 2:26 pm

Ben Blair is darling. It’s true!

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6 Adventures In Babywearing June 15, 2010 at 1:37 pm

I’ve not read this one! Beautiful.

I did just post about our favorite collection the other day- Ira Sleeps Over and other greats by Bernard Waber, and his DAUGHTER commented on my post! AH!

Steph

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7 Design Mom June 15, 2010 at 2:26 pm

How cool, Steph!

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8 traceyclark June 15, 2010 at 1:38 pm

whoops! how did i miss that?
Happy Belated BDay my dear friend.
and that ben blair is a keeper! : )

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9 Natasha June 15, 2010 at 1:38 pm

I’ve never heard of this one–but it’s a lovely holiday gift and would be great to have on hand at a ski cabin. The illustrations are stunning. Also, Happy Birthday!!!!!

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10 traceyclark June 15, 2010 at 1:39 pm

Oh, and I forgot to add….a birthday ritual is the reading of On the Day You Were Born. One of our all time favs. I cry everytime.

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11 Design Mom June 15, 2010 at 2:27 pm

That is a perfect birthday ritual. Great idea, Tracey!

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12 kristin June 15, 2010 at 1:44 pm

it was the first book that i read aloud. definitely a stellar read. we read it quite often here. love the book, and illustrations!

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13 Jan (Family Bites) June 15, 2010 at 1:47 pm

I love that you collect Caldecott books. I collect cookbooks (almost 200 and counting!) and I also collect the Caldecott books for my youngest
son ( the artist) and the Newbery winners for my oldest one (the reader/writer).

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14 Design Mom June 15, 2010 at 2:25 pm

200 cookbooks!? How fun. What a cool thing to collect.

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15 Arlene June 15, 2010 at 2:06 pm

I love to collect Pop-up books.

Happy Belated! What a nice gift to add to your collection!

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16 Design Mom June 15, 2010 at 2:24 pm

Pop-up book are such a great idea for collecting. I assume you’re very familiar with Robert Sabuda?

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17 Prof. Kitty June 15, 2010 at 2:18 pm

We love this book too! There is one page that my daughter used to always turn to look at upside down–when Peter calls his friend and they both go out in the snow together. Instead of walking in a valley between two mountains of snow, it looks like they’re suspended on top of a blue hill with snow-white sky all around. (There are a few other books that she liked to turn upside down like that, fascinating!)

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18 Design Mom June 15, 2010 at 2:24 pm

How adorable! I love that she turns books upside down.

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19 Kate Reymann June 15, 2010 at 2:19 pm

…”he walked with his toes pointing out like this…” I have read this book so many times I could practically recite it in my sleep. My kiddo goes through cycles of loving it and then preferring Hondo and Fabian (another fabulous Caldecott book and one of my all time favorites.) Hope you had a great birthday!

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20 Design Mom June 15, 2010 at 2:28 pm

I hear you, Kate. I wonder how many children’s books I have memorized and don’t even know it.

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21 Erin C. June 15, 2010 at 2:46 pm

The Snowy Day is our 2 1/2 year old son’s FAVORITE book! I had to read it at nap & bed time every day for months…he has moved on right now, but I know it will be back in rotation shortly…What gets me, is that he calls it ” Plop, Plop, Plop.”!

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22 Barchbo June 15, 2010 at 2:54 pm

One of my favorite books from childhood! Love!

I have some steadies that I like to give as baby gifts:
The Snowy Day
Harry the Dirty Dog
any Amelia Bedelia
Ira Sleeps Over
Oh, the Thinks You Could Think!

Now I am excited to build my own child’s library! So far all I have is the collected works of Mary Rodgers (Freaky Friday, etc.) and a Hanukkah book (I’m not Jewish but I LOVE latkes)

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23 Kate Reymann June 15, 2010 at 3:13 pm

Ira Sleep Over is one of the best books ever written. I so need to get a copy.

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24 Esther June 15, 2010 at 3:14 pm

LOVE this book–I have my childhood copy! I adored it as a child and now I read it to my children who love it too.

According to Honey for a Child’s Heart, a book about good children’s books, this book was the FIRST full-color book for children published in the US to feature an African-American child as the main character. Shocking, when you realize that it was published in 1976.

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25 Michelle June 15, 2010 at 3:59 pm

I love, love, LOVE The Snowy Day—and it’s great that you described its content as non-stressful. The simple storyline and the artwork are really that: easy on the ears and eyes. Some illustrators/authors go way overboard these days.

In addition to that, I’m quite fond of any book written/illustrated by Gyo Fujikawa. Seeing illustrations of little tykes wearing stripy sixties clothes is really something special. My daughter seems to adore the artwork. Here’s a little sampling via someone else: http://odysseybks.blogspot.com/2010/01/ode-to-gyo-fujikawa.html

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26 just June 15, 2010 at 4:10 pm

feel like i had the same experience buying a copy of this book at the used booklstore for 20 cents just the other day. i frequent that place and feel like im robbing them every time. walk out of there with boatloads for $5. but … my son was born in a huge snowstorm so its my fave for him until he gets his own fave one day.
AND
i have my childhood copy of the big orange splot. a MUST HAVE book, esp for design geeks like us. id love to hear your take on MYchildhood fave in your next book report btw! its a really special story & beautiful moral
-just

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27 damaris June 15, 2010 at 5:12 pm

yeah this book is classic. I remember when I moved to the USA as a child. I had never seen snow before and I just wanted to read this over and over again until a couple months latter I saw snow for the first time. It was magical.

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28 Claire June 15, 2010 at 5:13 pm

one of my very favorites! i always read it to my kindergarten class on the first day of snow :)

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29 naomi June 15, 2010 at 5:18 pm

I love this author – I have a book of many of his stories. “Whistle for Willie” was one of my favorites, too, and there are several in the collection that I don’t remember reading as a child. I also collect Tomie dePaola, Margaret Wise Brown, Robert McCloskey, Maurice Sendak, Russell and Lillian Hoban . . . and several others. I love good children’s books. If you like Keats, you should look up “Jenny’s Hat.” I love that one.

What a sweet birthday gift.

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30 Cleo June 17, 2010 at 7:51 am

Whistle for Willie!!!! I forgot about that book, I love that too! There’s a photo of me doing the face when he does the whistle! I really need to find all of these.

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31 Anne June 15, 2010 at 5:43 pm

Love Ezra Jack Keats – love that his images look like places where kids might actually live. Love Whistle for Willie and Peter’s Chair.

I think I’ve been collecting children’s books without knowing it! Now I can justify keeping them even though most of my readers are on the tail-end of picture books.

My favorite book collection is the Christmas book box that comes out the day after Thanksgiving and no sooner each year.

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32 lori (aka: marzi) June 15, 2010 at 6:13 pm

i’m a caldecott collector as well! love finding them and sharing them with my children! happy birthday!

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33 Janssen June 15, 2010 at 6:16 pm

I love this book – definitely one I’d like to own someday!

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34 Emilee June 15, 2010 at 6:17 pm

we also loove this one at our house. my 2 year-old has the entire thing memorized as do i.

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35 Ginger June 15, 2010 at 6:48 pm

Oh! I LOVE this book! When my kids were little, we’d read it every night. We have the board book version, and is tucked away with all our board books. I can’t wait to get it out again. I love Ezra Jack Keats. My most favorite book of his is “Goggles” It’s perfect for boys and just so typical of their play.

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36 Lorie June 15, 2010 at 6:51 pm

I love that book. And the images. I have the copy from when I was little that I read to my kids.

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37 Mary A. June 15, 2010 at 7:20 pm

We love Snowy Day here, too. I will have to post pictures of our much loved copy…lots of tape and the pages are well worn. Truly a loved tome.

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38 Ayme June 15, 2010 at 8:41 pm

This is one of those books I wish I had in hardcover. Keep up the book of the week series, please!

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39 Kimi June 15, 2010 at 8:58 pm

This book is a favorite in my house, not only because we love snow and winter but also because it is so incredibly beautiful! It’s part of my collection of beautifully designed/illustrated children’s books – I’m a designer and mother of four-year-old twins and not too far away in Basalt, CO.

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40 stacey June 15, 2010 at 9:16 pm

Happy Birthday! I love a good summer birthday myself! I mostly have art books, but it would be nice to start a collection when we start a family! What a lovely tradition. I’ve heard of folks buying gold-leaf special editions for their family library. How brilliant!

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41 Heather June 15, 2010 at 9:20 pm

I love this book and will never forget reading it to preschool children in the Philippines when I was there on a mission trip. 90 degrees, 90 percent humidity and wearing a stocking cap and telling them about snow! Priceless memory.

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42 Wendy Christian Dunn June 15, 2010 at 9:35 pm

Gab, I JUST bought this book for a friend who’s having a baby. It’s a new fave. Love that it stars a child of color. Have you ever noticed how hard those are to find? Discovered Snowy Day it at Books of Wonder in NYC. Do you know that children’s bookstore? It shares space with Cupcake Cafe where you can find mothers and their kids sharing cupcakes and reading books together. I’m thinking of starting a collection of children’s books that I’d like to read our kids someday. This would be one of the first I buy. Did you know it’s sold as a board book, too?! June could chew on this one. :) http://www.amazon.com/Snowy-Day-Board-Book/dp/0670867330/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1276659199&sr=1-1

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43 Kathleen June 16, 2010 at 12:23 am

LOVE this book. And also Whistle for Willie.
Cute Peter doll (from Snowy Day) at http://www.merrymakersinc.com

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44 Jen June 16, 2010 at 5:38 am

Oh, I love Snowy Day. We had it when we were kids and I bought a copy for my son and my sister’s kids.

Arlene who collects pop-up books – Ricky Gervais just came out with a Flanimals pop up book, which is very good. Here: http://firrkids.blogspot.com/2010/06/flanimals-pop-up.html

I also love this Charlie and Lola one: http://firrkids.blogspot.com/2008/11/i-am-not-sleepy-and-i-will-not-go-to.html

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45 Jen June 16, 2010 at 5:41 am

Oh, I also forgot to say that I was at a garage sale this past weekend and one person had 7 or 8 copies of this exact book. I am guessing she was a teacher as they were from Scholastic. They looked to be brand new – I should have bought them all and handed them round to kids unfamiliar with this book!

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46 ellenpatton June 16, 2010 at 8:55 am

We had all the Caldecott books growing up and I love The Snowy Day (and Whistle for Willie).

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47 Ashlea Walter June 16, 2010 at 9:44 am

This is our very favorite children’s book! I swoon over Ezra Jack Keats. I want to have an Ezra Jack Keats party to honor him and every one would get to wear a pointy red hat like Peter. Maybe next winter when we’re thigh-high deep in the fluffy white stuff? We also love his book Over in the Meadow. Beautiful!

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48 Renee Deming June 16, 2010 at 11:51 am

I heart this book – and so does my son. His favorite part is the stick – of course! Hope you had a great birthday!

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49 Cleo June 16, 2010 at 5:36 pm

I’ve never commented before, but I just had to say that even over here in London, that was my favourite book! The pictures are really nice and I used to get so excited before my mum and dad even turned the page because I knew what was coming. And I remember when I went up north to my grandparents and saw snow for the first time, I tried to make feet prints like the ones in the book. :)
Aw, I had my last ever day of school last week before uni and this makes me feel so sad about getting older!

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50 Bri June 17, 2010 at 4:12 pm

I remember this book! (And am apparently not the only one!) What a great addition to your collection.

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51 Caryn June 18, 2010 at 10:58 am

Hello! I discovered your blog yesterday through someone else that I cannot remember at the moment. I was feeling like I liked your blog and subscribed to it and then I stumbled on this post. This clinched it. I like you a lot. I’m an avid children’s book reader and collect a myriad of them. (the last time my husband made me count them I was at 282) The Caldecotts are always among my favorites as well since I have big dreams of being a children’s book illustrator someday. We don’t have any children yet, but hope to soon. And I’m a graphic designer now. We must be kindred spirits or something. Looking forward to reading along. Thanks for sharing!

(p.s. don’t know if you know anything about Ezra Jack Keats but he was quite a guy and has an interesting story. I’m quite fond of all his books.)

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52 bdaiss June 22, 2010 at 1:59 pm

Well dagnabbit! Happy belated birthday! I was off in the technological black hole of Yellowstone last week and so am just getting all these! Glad it was a great one!

I admit the only books I truly collect are Stephen King. My collection of kids books is growing rapidly however. We’re big readers over here, a gift from my mom the literature teacher. I always search out the Caldecotts. They never miss, do they?

And now I have to comb your comments for future book ideas… : )

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