Author – Science, Environment, Travel, Children's Books
The foot of snow frosting our yard is about to get up to another foot added to it overnight. While I’m sitting here hunkered down, The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats seems like the perfect book to reflect on next for my Caldecott Project. This story is a family favorite because it serves to remind us that ordinary experiences can be adventures. Do we think of snow the same way Peter does? Oh I wish for everyone that they still feel blissful, unadulterated amazement from time to time! Keats instills that youthful sense of fresh wonder by effectively observing each playful moment through the eyes of a child. That is why it appeals to me and my children. The reader is walked through Peter’s day in the same way a little mind would process the experience. The experiments Peter conducts to busy himself are so realistic. The book brilliantly provides concrete experiences with snow through words. The lessons continue when Peter goes indoors and learns another property of snow the hard way. I remember when my oldest was young enough to be deeply confused and troubled by this… “Why is he sad? Where did his snowball go?”
What can a writer take from this? A truly magical children’s book is capable of disguising teaching with a tale that is charming, believable and developmentally spot-on. Also, we must never underestimate how significant everyday events can be to a kid and should try to work from that mindset.
© Katie Bieker, 2013