Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of 'The Snowy Day'

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

In 1961, Ezra Jack Keats wrote and illustrated his first children’s book. It was called "The Snowy Day" and it told the story of Peter, a young, African-American boy in Brooklyn, enjoying the season's first snowfall. The book was immediately popular. Prior to its publication, no other mainstream children’s book had featured a black hero in a non-caricatured way.

Dr. Deborah Pope was a friend of the late Ezra Jack Keats and is the executive director of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation. She vividly remembers the public's reaction to "The Snowy Day," and how Keats was sometimes hurt by it.



Deborah Pope, PhD

Produced by:

Kristen Meinzer

Comments [6]

Timothy Benston from Philadelphia

I remember this book so well as a child in pre-school and the film strip as well. I remember this as my first real reading experience. As a black boy, this meant the world to me. I love Ezra Jack Keats. He taught me how to make angels in the snow !!!

Feb. 01 2012 07:40 AM
Dan/Vicki Horowitz from New Rochelle, NY

I really loved listening to the interview with Deborah Pope about The Snowy Day today on my way to school this morning. I work as a School Social Worker in an Early Childhood setting, grades Pre K through second grade and I am sure everyone of our 600 students over the past twenty years have either read or listened to The Snowy Day either in English or Spanish. What a very special book which promotes language, great conversations, and interest in a character much like themselves. Thanks for doing this show today. I hope now to use the book and some comments from your show for a parent activity promoting children's literacy at our school during Black History Month.

Jan. 31 2012 07:27 PM
Lanny Harrison

Listening to this morning's show about the terrific "A Snowy Day",I remembered a book from my youth in the 1950's: "Bright April" - a story about a young black girl, April, & her family. It was one of my favorite books & came out many years before "A Snowy Day"!! It was a first & such a powerful & gentle & well written book!!
Lanny Harrison

Jan. 31 2012 03:42 PM

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.
Life may not be fair, but if you look at it right, it can be kind of funny.

Jan. 31 2012 09:01 AM

Three cheers for Ezra Jack Keats, Deborah Pope, The Takeaway, and the relatively snow free winter of 2011-2012!

Jan. 31 2012 08:26 AM
Linda Herman

I am an Early Childhood Educator and so I have spent my life reading children's books! There are so many that are magical. What comes to mind as my favorite, right now, is Amos and Boris by William Steig. It is about friendship. It will bring tears to your eyes.

Jan. 31 2012 07:41 AM

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