Ezra Jack Keats’ The Snowy Day
By Melissa Crowton
The modern picture book has come a long way. Not only has the medium and the format been explored, but the content has evolved to reflect the changing social consciousness. Ezra Jack Keats’s picture book, A Snowy Day came onto the scene at a time when picture books needed a push forward to reflect the culture and social climate of the moment. Written in 1962, Keats’s work proved that racial diversity could be successful in mainstream publishing.
Peter, the protagonist of the story, explores the snow that has fallen overnight in his city landscape, and carves his own pathway as he discovers its joys and fleeting qualities. This exploration of one’s environment is a timeless moment frozen during a shifting world that allowed the picture book to tell a beautiful story, but in a more honest depiction of the current world state.