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Literature / The Snowy Day

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Peter wakes up to find his New York neighborhood covered in snow, and spends the day frolicking and playing, before returning home excited for another snowy day tomorrow.

Winner of the 1963 Caldecott Medal, ‘’The Snowy Day’’ is considered a children’s classic, both for its simple yet beautiful illustrations and for being the first children’s book to feature an African-American protagonist. Amazon has since adapted it into a 2016 animated special.

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This book contains the following tropes:

  • Adaptation Expansion: Amazon’s animated special adds the plot of Peter going to his Nana’s house to prepare for a family party, and greatly expands the cast.
  • Cheerful Child: Peter, and pretty much all the kids in the animated special.
  • Close-Knit Community: In the animated adaption all the people on Peter’s street know each other by first name and get along splendidly.
  • Cool Old Lady: Peter’s Nana.
  • Five-Token Band: Up to Eleven in the animated adaption - Peter’s neighborhood includes white, black, Jewish, Latino, Asian and Middle-Eastern residents. Of course, this is Truth in Television for a lot of major cities, and true to the spirit of the original book.
  • Free-Range Children: Peter's mom has no real problem letting her seven or eight year old son walk down the street by himself.
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  • Ink-Suit Actor: The characters voiced by Boyz II Men.
  • Keet: Peter again.
  • Minimalism: The original book. The art style is simple collage cutouts, while the text aims for short, declarative sentences.
  • Shout-Out: During the animated special Peter looks back at his footprints in the snow, referencing the book cover.
  • Snowball Fight: Peter tries to take part in one, but is too little to play.
  • Slice of Life
  • That Reminds Me of a Song: The Boyz II Men expies do an impromptu number midway through the special for no reason beyond “It’s a perfect day for singing!”
  • Trademark Favorite Food: In the animated adaption, Peter loves his Nana’s mac and cheese.
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