Amid the Falling Snow: A Review of ‘A Snowy Day’

“To appreciate the beauty of a snowflake it is necessary to stand out in the cold.” —Unknown

Reading Level

Grades K-1

Review and Comments

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats is a story about a boy named Peter who awakens to his world covered in the beauty of snow. Pristine snow is a marvelous scene that just begs for the romp of a child. Peter puts on his red snowsuit and goes outside to explore. The first thing he notices is the trail of his footprints so he experiments and alters the look of them. He is pleased by the different tracks and the results fascinate him.  Moving along, he decides not to join a snowball fight and continues to make his own fun in the snow.  His very busy day is coming to an end, but before he goes home he molds the best snowball he can make and puts it in his pocket to save for another day.

When he gets home Peter has much to tell his mother about the wonderful things he did in the snow while she takes care of him and makes sure he is warm.   When it’s time to go to bed, Peter looks in his pocket and discovers the snowball has disappeared.

The next day, Peter expects the snow to be melted but to his surprise new snow is falling, and he is ready for another enjoyable day outside. This time he wants to share the experience so he asks his friend to join him. Peter knows it is always more fun to share good times with a friend.

This gentle story about Peter is just right for the suggested age level.  First grade readers will do well with independent reading.  It is a good read aloud book for kindergarten and younger children also. Ezra Keats wrote and illustrated this book. He used special papers from around the world, paints, and patterns, for the collage style that makes up the scenes.   The illustrations are simple yet detailed enough for children to take their time and examine each page. Peter’s red snowsuit is a definite contrast to the snow and highlights Peter as he experiences his snowy day.


Caldecott Medal Award 1963

Possible Issues

There are no issues with this book.

Further Discussion

  1. Move with Peter. While reading or listening to the book, imitate Peter’s movements: angels in the snow, walking up hill, walking with toes out and in, and building a snowman.
  1. Trace your child’s feet.  Arrange the footprints to show how Peter walked in the snow.  Use the feet on a bulletin board or poster to make a trail.  Measure a footprint to the nearest inch.
  1. A Snowman Visitor. Use a snowman decoration and pretend he is a visiting for a certain amount of time such as a week. At first, write a letter of introduction from the snowman expressing his excitement about visiting.   The reader then writes questions to the snowman (or dictates questions to an adult to write) asking about himself.  The snowman answers the questions in simple sentences.  These answers can be posted on sentence strips and arranged by the reader to become a story.
  1. Draw a Snowman. Use patterned paper such as wall paper samples or scrapbooking paper for the snowman, sky, snow, hat, scarf, etc. (Following Ezra Keats examples.)
  1. Experience Ice. Hold an ice cube.  Make a list of words that describe the ice (hard, cold, wet, etc.).  Then time how long it takes an ice cube to melt.  Discuss what happened to Peter’s snowball. Discuss how water can be a sold and a liquid.
  1. Five Little Snowflakes Felt Board Rhyme
  1. Winter Scissors Skills Projects
  1. Read a Poem. This poem can be put on a large paper for group reading. 

 Falling Snow (Anonymous)

See the pretty snowflakes
Falling from the sky;
On the wall and housetops
Soft and thick they lie.

On the window ledges,
On the branches bare;
Now how fast they gather,
Filling all the air.

Look into the garden,

Where the grass was green;
Covered by the snowflakes,
Not a blade is seen.

Now the bare black bushes
All look soft and white,
Every twig is laden,
What a pretty sight!

Catholic Resources

  • “God saw all he had made, and indeed it was very good.” Genesis 1
  • The heavens declare the glory of God; the firmament proclaims the work of his hands.” Psalm 19:1
  • “Yes, certainly God shows us marvels and does great deeds that we cannot understand. He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth!’ to the showers, ‘Now rain hard!’ He brings all human activity to a standstill, for everyone to acknowledge his work.”  Job 37: 5-7

2 thoughts on “Amid the Falling Snow: A Review of ‘A Snowy Day’”

Comments are closed.