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The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats
In 1962, Ezra Jack Keats's picture book The Snowy Day introduced readers to young Peter, the first African American protagonist in a full-color children's book, who traipsed alone through the snowy, wondrous sidewalks of New York City. The book was a runaway success, capturing the Caldecott Medal and selling more than two million copies. In The Snowy Day and subsequent boo ...more
Hardcover, 104 pages
Published October 25th 2011 by Jewish Museum
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"Often lonely and in great need of attention and affection, Keats's characters are frequently depicted canvassing their familiar neighborhood turf that might bring about a sense of renewal or someone who might display nurturing feelings toward them [...] The characters' real or imaginary outings are often propelled by the necessity to find solace from oppressive feelings at home" (Nahson 9). This is a really helpful guide to Ezra Jack Keats' most famous work, as well as his lesser known ...more
My little sister and her boyfriend were fortunate enough to set up shop in L.A. while this exhibit was still on at the Skirball Cultural Center. I was just the teensiest bit jealous (wouldn't you be?), but I was glad the two of them got to go and appreciate Keats' artwork in person--not least because her boyfriend had apparently never read The Snowy Day in his life. To my surprise and gratitude, what did I get in the mail for my birthday? An art book commemorating the exhibit!
This is a great boo ...more
This is a great boo ...more
I haven't seen the exhibit yet, but this seems like a great companion/introduction to it. The first essay by Claudio Nahson is especially strong and insightful--she honed in on not only the way Keats focused on African-American and poor children, but also on his ability to speak to any kid that feels invisible, unwanted, or alone. She uses relevant examples from several of his books. The most affecting for me was "Louie," which by all bookseller descriptions/Amazon reviews makes it sound like a ...more
Quick read and wish I would have read more of Keats's books before reading this. I think I will read his books, have a closer look, and then maybe go back to reread this. The text did give me insight into his life that I found interesting and surprising. Some facts and interesting things can be added to my story class when using his books.
This is the catalog that accompanies the current EJK exhibition at the Jewish Museum, on the 50th anniversary of the picture book The Snowy Day. The authors point out Keats important role in being the first to portray a black child as the protagonist of a picture book. Absent was any discussion of Keats' role in the context of painting at the time.
Feb 23, 2012 Phoebe rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Cheryl, Deborah
This museum exhibit catalog is fascinating and encouraged me to go back to Keats and look again at his art. We are reminded of how groundbreaking Keats was and the important contributions he made, how he freed children's literature to move beyond white-skinned, blond-haired suburban characters.