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February Destination Sitters Book Selection

Destination Sitters' February book selection.

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

Ezra Jack Keats wrote The Snowy Day in 1962 and it is one of this most well-known books. He received the Caldecott Medal for his illustrations in The Snowy Day 1963. Keats was always an artist, receiving high honors in high school and working as a mural painter under the New Deal program Works Progress Administration. He illustrated comic backgrounds for the Captain Marvel comic strip, and when he was drafted in World War II he designed camouflage patterns for the US Army Air Force. Keats began his work in children’s books as an illustrator, but breached that gap with The Snowy Day, which was the first book he wrote himself. The main character, Peter, was inspired by a photograph from a Life magazine in 1940, when Keats noticed that not many African American protagonists appeared in children’s books at the time, and Peter appeared in six more books after The Snowy Day. Keats is remembered in particular for introducing multiculturalism into mainstream America. Keats was born in 1916 and died in 1983.

Keats describes a child’s first snow day of the season through Peter. Peter wakes up with snow outside his window, “[covering] everything as far as he could see.” He put on his snowsuit and experimented with his footprints in the snow, seeing all the shapes and patterns he could make. He made snowmen and snow angels and slid down snowy mountains. He went back into his warm house and “thought and thought and thought” about his adventures in the snow. When he woke up the next day there was even more snow outside, and he and his friend went to play in the snow.

This children’s book is a landmark of racial representation, and the illustrations are unique as well – despite Keats’ expertise in painting, he illustrated the book using collage. Large words make this a charming book to read along with your child. The pictures are pleasant and unique, as Keats used all sorts of unusual techniques in his illustrations, such as collage, stamps, and paint splatter. A special “50th Anniversary” edition is now available, including images of the inspiration for Peter from the 1940 Life magazine and some of Keats’ best fan mail. In 2007, the book was named one of the “Teachers’ Top 100 Books for Children,” and in 2012 was 5th on the list of “Top 100 Picture Books” of all time.

Happy reading!


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About the Author: Yvonne Wonder

As the founder and managing director of Destination Sitters, LLC, a national hotel and event babysitting service, and the mother of two children, I strongly believe that family comes first. I personally needed babysitting when I moved to San Diego 14 years ago. Like most parents, I assumed there were standards for temporary babysitting; in reality, there are no state standards or licensing requirements for temporary babysitting. The idea for Destination Sitters was born! I wanted to Give Parents Peace of Mind® when traveling with their children, so I created strict screening requirements for the sitters we refer. There is nothing like the peace of mind that comes from getting great professional help to care for your children, especially when traveling away from home. I and my partners, along with our office staff, have that one goal in mind with everything we do. Through the years of working with children, I have been inspired to write three books, and this blog for parents’ and children’s wellbeing. I believe the best way to teach a child is leading by example, with love, honesty, integrity, compassion, perseverance, and personal responsibility. Learning these values and teaching children that all women and men are equal will encourage them to dream big to be anything they want to be! An entrepreneur for over 35 years, I previously spent years running a construction and design company with two offices in California and built million-dollar estates and remodeled existing ones. For three and half years, I was one of the primary designers on HGTV’s Curb Appeal. I have also been published in books, magazines and newspapers, and have been a featured designer in multiple showcase houses.

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