Study Guide

The Snowy Day Exploration

By Ezra Jack Keats


After breakfast he put on his snowsuit and ran outside. The snow was piled up very high along the street to make a path for walking. (13)

The first thing Peter does is observe his surroundings. He's got the makings of a good explorer.

Crunch, crunch, crunch, his feet sank into the snow. He walked with his toes pointing out, like this: He walked with his toes pointing in, like that: (14-15)

Peter takes in everything, from the sound his feet make in the snow to the different tracks he can make by changing the way he walks.

Then he dragged his feet s-l-o-w-l-y to make tracks. And he found something sticking out of the snow that made a new track. (16-17)

Peter continues to experiment to see what effect his walking patterns—and his stick—will have on the snow.

Down fell the snow—plop!—on top of Peter's head. (20)

Yeah, so this experiment kind of backfires. But Peter's exploration of what happens when you smack a snow-covered the tree with a stick has given him valuable information that will likely affect the way he behaves in the future. (We're guessing he won't smack another snow-covered tree…unless someone else is standing under it!)

He packed it round and firm and put the snowball in his pocket for tomorrow. Then he went into his warm house. (28)

Snowball in jacket pocket, jacket in warm house. We know how this one's going to turn out before Peter does, and it's a crusher for a little kid who had big plans for that frozen sphere. Exploration doesn't always lead to pleasant discoveries.

Before he got into bed he looked in his pocket. His pocket was empty. The snowball wasn't there. He felt very sad. (32)

Peter's had a great day exploring and he's probably pretty tired. We bet that fatigue adds to the disappointment of the melted snowball. Tough way to end the day.

Illustration: Peter looking excitedly at the fresh snow falling. (34)

The thing about exploration is that there's always more to do. Peter's disappearing snowball was a downer end to his previous day's exploration, but with a little sleep and some fresh snow, he's ready to head out again—and make a few new discoveries.