The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats

Peter in The Snowy Day
Written and Illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats

The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats is the first major exhibition in this country to pay homage to Award Winning Author and Illustrator, Ezra Jack Keats. Coincidentally, The Snowy Day featured the first modern African-American protagonist to be illustrated in a full-color picture book. At the date of it's publication, in 1962, America was experiencing the height of the Civil Rights Movement and the book was a catalyst for change in the Children's Picture Book Industry. Needless to say, Peter has become an inspiration for generations of readers, The Boog being one of them.

The inspiration for Peter goes much deeper than the writer/illustrator is credited for. The Ethnicity of Peter takes a back seat as Keats literally paints a modern community right before your eyes. Growing up in the inner city myself, I have always related to the work of Keats in a very visceral way. His books touch upon life through the eyes of a child; a child that lives in uncertainty, but views their surroundings with conviction. His use of urban settings is not surprising, as he himself grew up in Brooklyn.

Being one of our favorites, I have written about Peter before (here). Gladly, he remains a constant bedtime staple in our story book circulation.

The Exhibit, curated by The Jewish Museum, is currently at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA. and runs June 26 - October 14th 2012.

The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats Preview here.

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