For some reason, growing up in the eighties, I felt that this book was way overexposed. Librarians read it to us, teachers read it to us, it was printed in our textbooks--it was just too much. So I decided I didn't like it. I carried this childish prejudice along into adulthood, until it was smashed to smithereens by actually picking up a copy of it, acquired at a library book sale sometime, and reading it. I fell in love with it.
The pictures! (The same pictures I was so bored with in first grade.) I love them now.
The story! Growing up in the north, I can recognize and relate to every feeling Peter has. To wake up to the changed light that means the world is snow covered and just unrecognizable enough to seem completely separate from the everyday world you woke up to yesterday. And the urge to go exploring--I still feel like that when it snows.
This book was a big deal. The winner of the 1963 Caldecott, it was the first book to feature an African-American in a full color children's book.
Keats says "I wanted to convey the joy of being a little boy alive on a certain kind of day--of being for that moment. The air is cold, you touch the snow, aware of the things to which all children are so open."
Friends, snowflakes, giant snowdrifts.
I love Peter sitting in this bath and thinking. And thinking.
The snowy footprints, Peter's darling little red suit with a gnome hat.
I adore this picture.