In honor of beloved children's author and illustrator Ezra Jack Keats' 100th birthday, the USPS is issuing a set of four Forever stamps featuring Peter of the Snowy Day.
"In 1940, Keats saw a picture in Life Magazine of a young African-American boy from Georgia named Peter. Peter was the inspiration for the main character in The Snowy Day and six more of Keats’ books. Prior to Peter, African Americans had only appeared as caricatures in children’s books. Keats’s decision to use an African-American boy as the hero of his story helped break the color barrier and empowered children of all races to see past the status quo." Senate Press Release.
"In 1963 The Snowy Day was awarded the Caldecott Medal, the most distinguished honor available for illustrated children’s literature at the time. It remains a treasured classic and in 2007 was named by the National Education Association as one of its "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children.” Fortunately for kids now and in the future, unlike the snowball he sneaks into his pocket at the end of his adventure, Keats’s masterpiece is a treasure that will last forever." Letter to the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee from Senator Charles E. Schumer, March 8, 2016.