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No book has captured the magic and sense of possibility of the first snowfall better than The Snowy Day. Universal in its appeal, the story has become a favorite of millions, as it reveals a child's wonder at a new world, and the hope of capturing and keeping that wonder forever.
Ezra Jack Keats grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where he discovered art at an early age. The Snowy Day was the first book he both wrote and illustrated, a story which was inspired by the photograph of a small boy in Life which Mr. Keats hung on his studio wall, "Just to get the feeling of this wonderful little boy." "I wanted to convey the joy of being a little boy alive on a certain kind of day-of being for that moment," he wrote. "The air is cold, you touch the snow, aware of the things to which all children are so open." His book was awarded the Caldecott Medal, the first of many honors he was to receive. His other books include Goggles, a Caldecott Honor Book, Hi, Cat!, winner of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, and Whistle for Willie, another story featuring the hero of The Snowy Day. Clementina's Cactus was the last book to be published before his death in the spring of 1983.