I started kindergarten in 1969. I have few memories about it, but this I have are very clear. One of those memories is encountering Ezra Jack Keats’ The Snowy Day.
The book spoke to introverted little me, who loved making snow angels.
So, here I am, almost 50 years later, sitting at home after a huge snowfall in Portland, enjoying our 6th snow day of the school year. And I read Andrea Davis Pinkney’s A Poem for Peter, which tells the Ezra Jack Keats biography, focusing on how he created The Snowy Day.
It is a beautiful, poetic tribute to a man and a book. And the perfect thing to read on this snowy day. Pinkney’s poetry fits Portland today:
But when it snowed,
oh, when it snowed!
Nature’s glittery hand
painted the world’s walls a brighter shade.
She connects snow to equality.
Snow made opportunity and equality
seem right around the corner.
Snow doesn’t know who’s needy or dirty
or greedy or nice.
Snow doesn’t choose where to fall.
Snow doesn’t pick a wealthy man’s doorstep
over a poor lady’s stoop.
That’s Snow’s magic.
Snow is magical and it is especially so for children. I hope kids of all ages in Portland get out and enjoy the snow today. Play, throw snowballs, make snow angels.
But be a snow angel in another way, if you can. Four homeless people have died of exposure in Portland in the last 10 days. Think about them, too. Act if you can. Donate if you can’t act. But do something to help the homeless feel that the snow brings Magic to them, too.