9 children’s books like THE SNOWY DAY for the coming winter days

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In case you find yourself cooped up to protect yourself from a very cold world, I thought it would be fun to suggest some books that might help you look out the window and see the sparkle instead of the slush. . You could read these books with your toddler and convey the wonder.

Of course, the first and most important hardback I can suggest must be The snow day by Ezra Jack Keats. It’s the perfect book on the subject: the colors are bright (because a snowy day doesn’t have to be gray), the story is quiet (because the snow makes everything sound like a whisper), and the text is simple (because wonder doesn’t have to be complicated).

The snow day was published in 1976, but Keats found his first inspiration for the book in 1940. His inspiration came from four photos, arranged almost like comic book panels, in a 1940 issue of Life magazine. The photos are of a young black boy before and after having a blood test. The boy is first happy, maybe happy to be photographed (“carefree” the caption says), then curious, asking if the blood test will hurt, then “confident” as he holds out his hand, and finally, the caption reads, “Test hurt, he starts crying”, although I think the boy looks as betrayed as he is hurt.

Keats was captivated by the boy’s expressions and movements, and for decades wanted to put the child into his illustrations. In Keats’ Caldecott Medal speech, he said, “His expressive face, his bodily postures, the very way he wore his clothes, utterly captivated me…Over the years these images would return to my walls, offering me new pleasures with each encounter.

Eventually he had the idea for a story that could feature the young boy, and got to work, and our great snow classic was born. But what other books can inspire similar snowy wonders? Below I’ve rounded up nine great snowboards and picture books for your snow babies.

The Snow Day by Ezra Jack Keats

This is the classic story of a young boy, Peter, who goes on a solo adventure in the snow. He makes tracks, snowballs, snow angels and sees the wonder of his city covered in blankets of snow.

cover of A Poem for Peter by Andrea Davis Pinkney

A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and the Creation of The snow day by Andrea Davis Pinkney and Lou Fancher

If you want to know more about Jack Ezra Keats and the history of The snow day, discover this beautiful poetic work of non-fiction by the famous children’s book author Andrea Davis Pinkney. You’ll learn about Keats’ childhood, his time in art school, his work as an artist, and how he eventually became a children’s book illustrator.

A Thing Called Snow by Yuval Zommer

A Thing Called Snow by Yuval Zommer

Fox and Hare were born in the spring, so this is the first time they’ve been cold. They are excited to see what this snow is, but they have never seen it before! They ask all their friends to describe the snow, but nothing prepares them for its beauty.

cover of Little Owl's Snow by Divya Srinivasan

Little Owl’s Snow by Divya Srinivasan

The forest is getting ready for winter! Little Owl has never seen snow before, and as all the animals huddle for their winter, something magical happens when the forest turns into sparkling crystal. How strange and wonderful!

Cover of Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner

Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner and Chris Silas Neal

What happens in the forest when it snows? Explore what happens above the snow when you ski through the woods (whose tracks are these? what bird flies?), then learn what happens deep under the snow (who hibernates? who digs?) with a young boy and his father while skiing together.

Cover of Tracks in the Snow written and illustrated by Wong Herbert Lee

Footsteps in the Snow by Wong Herbert Lee

Follow a small child as he follows tracks in the snow. Who made them? Where are they going? The little girl’s red coat contrasts beautifully with the charming illustrations in this rhyming story.

book cover of In the Snow by Yuki Kaneko

In the Snow by Yuki Kaneko and Masamitsu Saito

It’s snowing! It’s a wonderful story told from the perspective of a young child who is thrilled to be out in the snow. The snow is sparkling, light and fluffy. It’s clear as glass. This is an evocative and sweet book.

Komako Sakai's The Snowy Day cover

Snow Day by Komako Sakai

Kindergarten is closed due to snow, so the young bunny won’t have to go to school. She spends the long day inside her apartment, safe with her mother, but her father cannot come home because of the weather. She and her mother are making the most of their time together while they wait. It’s a simple, charming story that feels safe and cozy in the best way.

Chirri & Chirra: The Snowy Day by Kaya Doi

Chirri & Chirra: The Snowy Day by Kaya Doi

This is the story of Chirri and Chirra, two twin girls, and their fantastic adventure in the snow. They go on bicycles to find an ice door. They cross and find all kinds of animals waiting for them. It’s lovely and sweet and a little weird, like the best of dreams. (Translated from Japanese by Yuki Kaneko, author of In the snow above!)

cover of Snow by Uri Shulevitz

Snow by Uri Sculevitz

This may be my favorite snow book. A snowflake appears in the sky. A little boy with his dog sees it and is excited for the time to come. The whole town says no what he thinks is a snowstorm, but the snowflakes don’t listen to the weather report. They come anyway.

Hope this inspires you for a cool winter walk! If you’re looking for winter books for kids of all ages, check out 25 of the Best Winter Books for Kids. If you want winter books for adults, you might like these 5 winter books to read when it’s too cold to go outside. Do you expect the seasons to change? Check out 5 of the best children’s books about spring!

About Karren Campbell

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