Study Guide

The Snowy Day Youth

By Ezra Jack Keats


Illustration: Peter gazing out his window at the snow that fell during the night. (11)

Peter's expression is a beautiful representation of his youth and inexperience with the snow.

He walked with his toes pointing out, like this: He walked with his toes pointing in, like that: (14-15)

Nothing says, "I'm young (or at least young at heart)," like silly-walking through the snow.

And he found something sticking out of the snow that made a new track. It was a stick. (17-18)

Kids love sticks. Enough said.

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

That whole "don't smack a tree full of snow with a stick" lesson is a tough one. At least Peter learned it on his own and not because an older sibling made it all fall on him.

Illustration: Peter walking away in the snow, leaving a line of footprints behind. (21)

In his voluminous red snowsuit, Peter is the quintessential youth playing in the snow.

He thought it would be fun to join the big boys in their snowball fight, but he knew he wasn't old enough—not yet. (23)

Peter isn't ashamed of his youth, and he's not anxious to grow up. He knows he'll be part of the snowball fights one day, but not until he's ready, and he's okay with that.

Illustration: Peter in the pink bathtub. (30-31)

Bubbles, a rubber ducky, and a boat. Why do we give these things up when we get older? That bath looks super-cozy!

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

Just as simple things can make young children very happy, a simple thing like a snowball melting can make them very sad, too. Youth is a time of simplicity, but it's also a time of intense emotions.

Illustration: Peter admiring the new snow through his window. (34)

Everyone should get this happy about snow, but sometimes people's ability to find joy in small things fades along with their youth. Thankfully, Peter's still smack dab in the middle of his and the snow has him pretty psyched.