MaiStoryBook Library: The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats + *Forever* Flake Science Craft

Introducing the winter holiday themed children’s book in honor of the First Day of December, featured  in this week’s MaiStoryBook Library Collection:

“The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats

Book Synopsis and Review

*~Welcome to the Winter Wonderland~* One winter day, Peter wakes up and peaks through his window frame to see his world miraculously transformed into an Earth of glittering, soft, white, fluff. Donning his bright red snow suit, Peter ventures into this new world of winter wonder~ followed by his footprints~ tracking his every movement and step through the snow. From snowball fights, to snow angels, to snowmen, and sledding, join Peter as he explores the joys and thrills of the first snowfall of the year. With so much fun and fascination, Peter is determined to save a piece of this magical landscape to keep with him forever. Scooping a snowball and placing it into his pocket for safekeeping, Peter returns to his warm, cozy home for a bubble bath and good night’s rest~ only to find, later in the evening, that his snowball keepsake has disappeared! But, as Peter will soon learn, the magic of snow is its beauty in nature, and some things are better experienced then saved away~*

What better way to kick off the winter holiday season than with this Caldecott award winning, winter favorite “The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats. The Caldecott Award Medal is awarded to the best illustrated book of the year for the beaufitful illustrations~This book won this award way back in 1963! Now this winter tale  is truly special for capturing the magic of a child’s first snowfall~ Keats recreates the sense of wonder that occurrs when a child wakes up to their world convered in a shimmering blanket of* white* Through this story, we will follow Peter, a  young boy, as he explores this winter wonderland, with the hopes of capturing some of the magic to keep the wonder with him forever. This book is as truly unique as a snowflake ~ and as you may know, no two snowflakes in the whole world are alike ~ now that’s *magic*

Vocabulary List

  • Tracks (p. 12) a rough path made behind you by walking or making marks on the ground
  • Smacking (p. 15) hitting or striking
  • Heaping (p. 22) very big and piled up
  • Firm (p. 24) strong and solid
  • Melted (p. 30) when something cold and frozen turns into a liquid due to heat or warmth

Themes/Main ideas

  • Beauty of Nature: The magical transformation of the world during the seasons can bring pure pleasure and wonder
  • The Magic of Snow: Explore what snow is and the activities you can play in snow: snow angels, snow balls, snowman, sledding. Each snowflake is unique!

YouTube Video: Guided Shared-Reading Read Aloud Example

Example of a shared-reading, interactive Read Aloud of “The Snowy Day” – how to subtly introduce the vocabulary list words within the text, ask guided questions, and spark conversation!

*~Check it Out~*

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 *Forever* Flake Science Craft

Growing up, living by the coast in Sunny Southern California, snow was but a winter wish~ a landscape appearing only in my dreams~ my dreams of a white Christmas, cuddled up with family under piles of blankets as the swirling snow floated down outside, creating an enchanting show of spiraling ice crystals. I longed for the fresh blast of icy air on my flushed cheeks, and for a red, *frost~kissed* nose to be warmed by the fire. I daydreamed of snow angels and snowmen, and sledding down the slopes, racing my siblings and landing in bundles of piles of limbs and laughter. I can imagine how, with all of the frosty fun, a little one would want, more than anything, to store a keepsake of this winter wonderland to remember forever. But, how to keep a slice of snow with you forever~ that icy fluff that masks itself as an illusion, one moment in your hands, the next, melted away and gone?? Well, my friends, prepare for a winter miracle~ you are about to make your very own *Forever* Flake~ a crystal snowflake that will stay with you forever~ Prepare for a festive holiday afternoon, growing snow crystals in your very own home, for a snow crystal creation that will last a lifetime!

Materials

  • One white pipe cleaner
  • String
  • Pencil/Stick
  • Scissors
  • Jar with a wide opening, safe for holding hot water, big enough to hold 1 cup of hot water
  • 1 cup of hot water
  • 3 tablespoons of borax
  • Spoon for stirring

Directions

  • With scissors, cut the pipe cleaner into 3 equal sections.
  • Twist together the three pieces at their centers to create a 6 pointed star/snowflake shape.
  • Compare the size of your snowflake shape to your jar opening, the snowflake will need to be able to easily insert into the jar, without squeezing, and have enough room to be removed from the jar at a slightly bigger size due to crystal growth. Use the scissors to trim, if need be.

  • Cut a piece of string length, eyeballing it to make sure the pipe cleaner snowflake can hang down, below the 1 cup of water in the jar.
  • Tie one end of the string to the center of the snowflake, or to one of the six limbs.
  • Tie the other end to the middle of a pencil or stick so that the snowflake can hang freely in the jar.

  • Set the snowflake and pencil aside.
  • Pour a cup of hot water into the jar.
  • Add and stir in 3 tablespoons of Borax and stir until it doesn’t dissolve anymore.

  • Lower the snowflake into the mixture and let it sit undisturbed over night.
  • The next day, carefully lift the snowflake out of the jar, and enjoy your gorgeous, ice crystal *forever* flake.

*Extra: For different colored crystals, add food coloring to water before placing snowflake or pipe cleaner shape into the jar mixture.

Enjoy Your *Forever* Flake Science Craft!

  • Reread the story with your snowflake crystal reading buddy.
  • Turn the crystal snowflake into an ornament and use it to decorate Christmas trees.
  • Share your *forever* flake to tell friends and family about snow and snowflakes.
  • Experiment with different pipe cleaner shapes and colors to create more crystal decorations for the winter holidays.

*~Overall, have fun creating your own *Forever Flakes*, and I hope you and your little ones enjoy these gorgeous ice crystal creations! Please comment below  – tag me on Instagram @MaiStoryBookLibrary  – or post on FaceBook to share your photos of your own *Forever Flakes* and your own reading adventures! I’d love to hear from you!~*

*Check Back on Next Friday for our New Reading Adventure*

*~Until next time, Happy Reading~*

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