A friend posted an internet article with the headline, “Parents check the weather where their children are because they love them.” It must be true. Summers, I ask how hot is it in Arizona? Spring and fall have me checking where the tornados are in Texas. This winter I’ve wondered how deep the snow is in Maryland.
There has been an upside to all the snow this winter. The Snowy Day month continues from January on through February, at least according to this picture I got yesterday. Grandson Ben doesn’t know yet, but his father does, about my absorption in the life and work of Ezra Jack Keats. Ben has experienced enough of what he calls “no” this winter to be wrapped up in the book after his trip to the library. (He’s just eighteen months so we think his “s” will be here in a while.)
I look at the picture and wonder what page he is on. I wonder if he sees himself with Peter drawing patterns in the snow with a stick or smacking some snow off a tree. Maybe the intent expression is because he’s helping Peter build a snowman or throw a snowball.
Then I look at his feet. Maybe he’s pointing his toes this way and that like Peter.
His father is indoctrinating him in other things besides reading. Just check out the Cubs cap and the Saints slippers. I might have chosen different teams (Mets and Giants, if you’re curious), but those don’t really matter. He got the right book. I’m glad to see Ben developing his love for the library, knowing that was where Ezra fed his love of art and taught himself to paint.
I wonder if Ezra ever imagined when he wrote The Snowy Day that more than fifty years later, little boys would sit on their father’s laps entranced by his story. I wonder if he had a notion of how large the multitude of children would be who joined Peter as snow angels.
I’m plotting something to do with Ben when he gets just a bit older. I’ll take him to the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection so he can see the originals of the paintings he enjoyed as his dad read the book to him. I hope he, too, will become a fan of Ezra.