Weather in West Texas might be unpredictable, but on Dec. 2 at the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature, it’s guaranteed to be a “Snowy Day at the NCCIL.”
The children’s pictured book museum is hosting its second annual Snowy Day at the NCCIL, inspired by Ezra Jack Keats’ picture book “The Snowy Day” and sponsored by the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation.
In 2000, an exhibit celebrating the work of award-winning illustrator Ezra Jack Keats was featured at the NCCIL. Originally published in 1962, Keats is most famously known for his picture book The Snowy Day, which went on to win the 1963 Caldecott Medal for his collage style artwork in the book. The picture book was later adapted as an animated short film and released on Amazon Prime in 2016 with notable narration by actor Lawrence Fishburne and an original song performed by Boyz II Men. Keats passed away in 1983, but he left an incredible legacy of art and literature behind for children and adults of all ages to enjoy for years to come.
The NCCIL is grateful to have developed a strong and continued partnership with the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, whose mission is to bring the multicultural, creative spirit of Keats into children’s lives and literature. In 2022, the NCCIL was able to give away free books to the first 100 children that attended the Snowy Day at the NCCIL event. To museum’s surprise, this feat was accomplished within the first 10 minutes of opening its doors. Thanks to the generosity of the foundation, a new goal of 150 books has been set for 2023 and the NCCIL is overwhelmingly excited to be able to give back by placing books directly into the hands of the children of the community.
This year’s event will feature a special fine art project in the art studio – book ornaments! Programs Director Beth Joy will lead guests through a unique come-and-go activity of putting together a mini book-filled ornament to take home. Donuts will be provided throughout the morning, a letter writing station will be set up, several photo opportunities will be available, and storybook readings will take place in between all the festivities. Plenty of art will be on display to see and the bookstore and gift shop will be open to purchase Keats’ beloved picture book, as well as hundreds of other great Christmas gift options. The most exciting attraction of all will be Santa and Mrs. Claus who will be available for photos and greeting children.
One guest witnessed a touching Santa encounter at last year’s event.
“We saw Santa communicating with a deaf child through sign language, and the magic was undeniable,” they said. “The inclusive and joyful atmosphere fostered by the NCCIL made for an amazing day with my family.”
Families interested in experiencing the holiday joy firsthand can attend the Snowy Day at the NCCIL from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2 at 102 Cedar St. This event is free to the public and the first 150 children will receive a free book by NCCIL Artists, thanks to the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation and its investment in promoting literacy across all communities and families.
Contributed By The National Center For Children’s Illustrated Literature