In our family, just as we love reading books to celebrate the holidays, we love to read books that celebrate the different seasons. Living where we do, we get to experience the stereotypical nature of each season from blossoms to piles of snow in the winter. Each season has something unique and wonderful to offer and each one marks the passing of time with a flourish that cannot be matched. Below is a list of some of our favorite picture books that celebrate winter. This is an “ultimate” list in that we will continue to add to it as we discover new favorites, so check back from time-to-time!
“Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter” by Kenard Pak- This book is a tribute to the passing of the seasons and could not be more well done. The book starts with two small children enjoying the last bits of Autumn in the morning and as they go throughout the day they finish it off with the very beginning of winter. Definitely a swoon-worthy edition to add to your collection.
“Singing Away the Dark” by Caroline Woodward and Julie Morstad- It’s no secret that Julie is one of my favorite illustrators, so you can bet this book is on my favorites list! It tells the story of a little girl who walks through a forest on the way to the bus each morning and how she sings songs to help her be brave. The winter scenes in this book are gorgeous and the story reads like an old friend sharing a memory with you. So lovely.
“Frederick” by Leo Lionni- This is one of my favorite books of all time and Frederick is one of my favorite fictional characters. In this story all the little mice are preparing for winter by gathering food and supplies. The supplies that Frederick gathers aren’t apparent at first, but in the end prove to be of the upmost importance. Such a sweet story with an enlightening message.
“Mice Skating” by Annie Silvestro and Teagan White-Lucy is not like the other field mice who take cover and stay in all winter. She has the heart of an explorer and she falls in love with all the wonderful things winter has to offer, such as ice skating! With a little time and convincing she takes the opportunity to show her family that change can be a great thing and that new perspectives are wonderful.
“Over and Under the Snow” by Kate Messner and Christopher Silas Neal- It is a beautifully illustrated nonfiction book that walks you through different “happenings” over the snow and under the snow. It really gets kids thinking about the big picture of the world around them and the different animals that they share it with. Such a great choice for STEM teaching about winter habitats and how animals adapt.
“The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter’s Wonder” by Mark Cassino and Jon Nelson -This is a nonfiction book about the science and nature of snow and it is fantastic! It includes real photography of snowflakes and a lot of useful information about them that I never knew. Such as the fact that snowflakes can have caps, or that some snowflakes have twins. Fascinating right?
“Something’s Fishy” by Jean Gourounas- This one is so much fun! It reads like a short animated film with very few words and simple, yet telling, illustrations. In it a bunch of animals from the polar region all find themselves watching penguin, who is ice fishing, to see if he will catch anything. It also has a surprise ending is sure to delight readers of all ages.
“Here Comes Jack Frost” by Kazuno Kohara- This is a darling story about a little boy who isn’t all that thrilled that it is winter. That is until Jack Frost shows up and helps him remember all the fabulous things you can do in the winter like skating, sledding and building snowmen. I love the simple, yet beautiful illustrations in this one!
“Sleep Tight Farm” by Eugenie Doyle and Becca Stadtlander- This book follows a farm at the end of the season while it prepares for winter. It explains the different tasks that must be done and helps convey the importance of the farm to the family. It is written lyrically with a soothing tone and is simply stunning.
“Waiting for Snow” by Marsha Diane Arnold and Renata Liwska- This book is a lovely story about some woodland animals who are waiting for the first snow to come. And no one is more so than Badger. All the animals to everything they can think of to get snow to come, including a snow dance, but nothing works. They even try to please Badger by shaking sugar from his roof outside in imitation of snow. Eventually they realize that they just have to wait and in the end their wish is granted.
“Walking in a Winter Wonderland” by Peggy Lee and Tim Hopgood-This book is the lyrics to “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” illustrated with bright modern illustrations. They are absolutely wonderful and one of my favorite parts is the snowflakes. Some are round dots of white while the others are intricate and look, to me, just like paper snowflakes. We usually sing this book when we read it and it makes for a lovely story time.
“Snow Scene” by Richard Jackson and Laura Vaccaro Seeger- This book has beautiful, painted illustrations with simple text that paints the scene of a winter’s day outside. My favorite things about this book is that it ends with a sweet transition to springtime.
“Snow Beast comes to Play” by Phil Gosier-In this fun story Snow Beast wants to make a friend. However, he finds that his large size is an obstacle. Can Snow Beast make a friend to play with? Will someone see past his exterior to his warm center? The Snow Beast in this book is terribly likable and I love it’s message about friendship and being nonjudgemental.
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