Windows and Mirrors: "The Snowy Day"

A famous librarian dictum (yes, there are famous librarian dictums!) is that picture books should be both windows and mirrors for children.

Windows: into other worlds, knowledge, meaning.

Mirrors: reflecting unique experiences, cultures, and lives.

Before "The Snowy Day" by Ezra Jack Keats was published in 1962, there were a lot of windows for African-American children...but no real mirrors.

It was the first real picture book that featured a main character who was African-American, having a normal childhood experience of playing in the snow. It was an instant hit and, nearly 55 years later, it is still given a place of honor in the hearts (and shelves) of many children's librarians.

A new, gorgeously written and illustrated children's book about Ezra Jack Keats, "A Poem for Peter," details Keats's life and his creation of "The Snowy Day" - all told directly to Peter the character himself, "brown-sugar boy in a blanket of white."

Share this lovely book with your child after reading "The Snowy Day" to discover more about Keats and his classic picture books.

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