A celebration of the extraordinary life of Ezra Jack Keats, creator of The Snowy Day.
The story of The Snowy Day begins more than one hundred years ago, when Ezra Jack Keats was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. The family were struggling Polish immigrants, and despite Keats’s obvious talent, his father worried that Ezra’s dream of being an artist was an unrealistic one. But Ezra was determined. By high school he was winning prizes and scholarships. Later, jobs followed with the WPA and Marvel comics. But it was many years before Keats’s greatest dream was realized and he had the opportunity to write and illustrate his own book.
For more than two decades, Ezra had kept pinned to his wall a series of photographs of an adorable African American child. In Keats’s hands, the boy morphed into Peter, a boy in a red snowsuit, out enjoying the pristine snow; the book became The Snowy Day, winner of the Caldecott Medal, the first mainstream book to feature an African American child. It was also the first of many books featuring Peter and the children of his — and Keats’s — neighborhood.
Andrea Davis Pinkney’s lyrical narrative tells the inspiring story of a boy who pursued a dream, and who, in turn, inspired generations of other dreamers.
“Praise for A Poem for Peter: A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2016 A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year 2016 ? "Those who love Peter (and who does not?) will relish the illustrations, particularly that of Keats holding hands with Peter under a snow-dappled tree. More to the point, Pinkney lets readers know what Peter meant and still means as a milestone in inclusive children's literature. "He brought a world of white / suddenly alive with color." A loving and forceful reminder that Keats' Peter is our Peter—always." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review ? "Fancher and Steve Johnson’s acrylic, collage, and pencil illustrations seamlessly integrate images from Keats’ books into their own art, which employs a style complementary to the originals. Equally important they skillfully represent Pinkney’s lyrical text, which sometimes requires historical accuracy, magic realism, and nods to future possibilities, all within one spread . . . This is an important book." —Booklist, starred review ? "Pinkney’s poem sheds fascinating light on Keats’s long-lived achievement." —Publishers Weekly, starred review "Pinkney’s verse seamlessly weaves together story and fact to craft an intimate conversation about the artist’s history and impact . . . Lovely." —School Library Journal”