The winner of the 1963 Caldecott Medal, “The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats is a classic that takes the reader along as Peter, a city kid, discovers the wonders of the first snowfall.
Children’s book author Andrea Davis Pickney, who was born in 1963, says that she slept with the book under her pillow. One reason that she cherished the book is that Peter was black just like her.
In her new book “A Poem for Peter,” Pickney celebrates both the life of Ezra Jack Keats and the book that changed children’s publishing. Keats was the son of Polish Jewish immigrants who grew up being discriminated against. The impact of these life experiences is seen in his stories. When life gets tough, Peter is the good friend who says let’s go out and play. That is one of the reasons, says Pickney, that “Peter has stood the test of time. For children, he is a good friend.”