Story time is the best time of the day. Whether we're snuggled up on the couch or cozy in our pjs before bed, reading stories with my little ones is one of my favorite things to do. Everyone has a favorite book they remember from their childhood, and every day, parents and kids are discovering new classics of their own. There are many fabulous children's books out there, some of which everyone knows about and others we would have never discovered had my son not simply pulled a random book off a library shelf. I created this blog to share some of these wonderful stories with you. Think of it as a year's worth of the best children's books around, since no day should be without a great story. In the end, I hope we'll all have discovered at least a few new titles that will have made their way onto our list of family favorites. Enjoy!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Day 136: The Snowy Day

Well, it's finally here.  Our first real snow of the season.  I've been quite happy about its absence up until now (in some ways, I think I'm still recovering from last winter), but it sure does look pretty covering all of the trees and branches outside.  Early this morning, long before the sun came up in the sky, I woke to the sound of the snow plow going down our street.  As I looked toward our windows, I could see the faint orange flashing of the plow's lights passing by, then again a few minutes later as it returned to plow the other side of the street.  Although still half asleep, I was reminded about how much I loved hearing that sound as a child, and how upon hearing it, I would immediately turn on the radio to listen for school closings and delays.  I'd stay snuggled up under my covers with the lights off, admiring the snow on the rhododendron bush outside my window and anxiously waiting to hear my town's name on the list. These days, we get a phone call if there is no school, though given that my husband and I are both teachers, we still get excited about the possibility of a snow day every once in a while.  We only got a few inches of snow over the night -- not enough to cancel or delay school -- but the kids and I have been enjoying a cozy morning inside.  When we cuddled up on the couch to read stories, I reached first for Ezra Jack Keats' classic, The Snowy Day.  This wonderful story, perhaps more than any other, perfectly captures the childhood bliss of waking up to a fresh snow fall.  Putting on your snow suit right after breakfast and heading out into the cold.  Crunching through the snow, making all kinds of footprints and tracks along the way.  Snow angels!  Smiling snow men!  Snow balls!  Who hasn't smacked a snow-covered tree, only to have a huge pile of snow plop down on his head?  And I'm pretty sure I tried to sneak snow balls into the house a few times.  I love Keats' descriptions of Peter's adventures that day, for although they are simple, they ring so true to all of my childhood memories of winter, such as the feeling of walking into my warm house and having my mom help me take off my wet socks.  His illustrations are brilliant, too, and earned this book the Caldecott Medal in 1963.  I just love the cutout collage-style, the contrast of the colors, the swirling clouds in the sky as Peter slides down a mountain of snow.  Somehow, when I read this story, I feel warm and happy and cozy all over, even though I'm thinking about how much fun it is to play in the snow.  I'm sure later, we'll be doing much the same thing as Peter, bundling up to go explore and enjoying the excitement of the year's first proper snowfall.  If you've ever experienced snow yourself, you'll immediately appreciate and love this book.  If you haven't, reading it will give you a glimpse of what it is like to wake up to snowy day.  I have a feeling we'll be reading this book even more now that a white winter has officially arrived.  The Snowy Day is one classic that is not to be missed.


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