Winter seems to have a firm grip on the north. If you’re not one for the frigid temps, sit indoors, cozy and warm with your child and read some winter stories! Choose from one of our favorites here, or visit your local bookstore or library and do some browsing through their seasonal displays.
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William’s Winter Nap by Linda Ashman
Cozy up with this adorable rhyming story full of humor, fun sounds (tap, tap, tap) and repeated phrases that your little one will love! William is settling down for the night, but is continually interrupted by one new guest after another at the door seeking a warm place to sleep. Being a kind soul, William welcomes each visitor, saying "I'm sure we'll fit." But then a guest arrives who is much bigger than all the others...will there be enough room?
No Two Alike by Keith Baker
Just as no two snowflakes are alike, no two people, leaves or birds are alike. This charming story from the author of the The Pea Series delivers this simple message through rhythmic language and charming illustrations of a magical winter wonderland.
Annie and the Wild Animals, The Hat, The Mitten, The Three Snow Bears, and The Snowy Nap by Jan Brett
Jan Brett’s books are always a joy to read and share. Much of the story is found, not in the text, but in the highly detailed, full panel illustrations that feature intricate borders that foreshadow what is to come as the story moves along. Each of the stories featured here takes place in a wintry clime.
*Extended activity idea: Visit Brett’s website for coloring pages and activities.
Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner
One wintry day a child builds a snowman, but the next day the snowman doesn't look the same. Looking at the snowman, the child begins to wonder, "What do snowmen do at night?" Rhyming text and bold, colorful illustrations offer some ideas for what snowmen get up to while we are all snug in our beds and your little bookworm will love delight in all the fun. After enjoying this title, be sure to check out Buehner’s other Snowmen stories as well and then go out and build a snowman of your own!
Sleep Tight Farm: A Farm Prepares for Winter by Eugenie Doyle
A beautiful, lyrical story of the preparations a family goes through to get their farm ready for the winter season. Children will gain an understanding of the work involved throughout the year to prepare a farm for winter.
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost, illustrated by Susan Jeffers
This illustrated edition of Frost's timeless poem is absolutely beautiful. Look closely at each page for the animals hidden among the trees and snow.
Winter is Here by Kevin Henkes
The delights and challenges of winter are highlighted in this companion to Henkes' When Spring Comes and Middle of Fall. Winter can be a joyful time full of fun activities, such as ice skating and sledding, but it can also be rather difficult what with having to dress in those layers with all of those pesky buttons and so on. Anyone who has ever experienced winter will appreciate this story.
A Loud Winter's Nap by Katy Hudson
Tortoise usually sleeps through the winter, but this year his friends are determined to show him what he's been missing and how fun winter can be! Just as in Too Many Carrots, Hudson gives readers amazing, highly-detailed illustrations that provide much of the humor and make this story a delight for all ages. Just look at Tortoise's face!
Got to Get to Bear's by Brian Lies
A letter arrives for chipmunk Izzy. It's from Bear. Bear has asked Izzy to "come at once." Bear never asks for anything, so it must be important. Izzy wastes no time and sets out for Bear's, even though there is a blizzard outside! The snow slowly gets deeper and deeper, but thankfully Izzy has the assistance of several friends to along the way. This is a beautiful story that teaches the value of friendship.
Froggy Gets Dressed by Jonathan London
One morning Froggy wakes up, looks out his window and sees that it is snowing. He hops out of bed, eager to head outside to play, but soon as he gets outside his mother calls him back in. He keeps forgetting to put on some necessary articles of clothing…such as pants and underwear! Children of all ages will find Froggy’s forgetful nature hilarious and little ones will especially enjoy the sound effects as Froggy gets dressed and undressed again and again. Zoop! Zup! Zat! Zwit! Zum!
Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin
Wilson Bentley devoted his life to capturing the unique beauty of snowflakes at his home in Vermont. Although his passion was often misunderstood in his time, Bentley persisted and through his efforts we now know that no two snowflakes are alike. Learn all about this man's life and passion with this picture book biography.
*Extended activity idea: Find a copy of Bentley’s book Snowflakes in Photographs and browse through it with your little bookworm. Then, equipped with a magnifying glass if you have one, head outside to examine some snowflakes.
Winter is for Snow by Robert Neubecker
Some love winter and others just need a bit of convincing. Find out all of the wonderful things that winter is as a brother does his best to persuade his sister to celebrate the season through rhyming text and bright, vivid illustrations.
If It’s Snowy and You Know It, Clap Your Paws! By Kim Norman
Humorous illustrations make this winter tale so much fun! A variation on the classic song, “If You’re Happy and You Know It” this is a great story to read (and sing) over and over again with your little one. This story/song shows that no matter how crazy your day gets, it eventually winds down and comes to a dreamy end. What better way to close out the day?
Straight to the Pole by Kevin O’Malley
A lone figure embarks on a perilous journey through the blowing snow. Will he make it to his destination? Sparse, yet highly dramatic text paired with full spread illustrations fuel this epic adventure of a tale. Brace yourself for the surprise ending. It will have you and your little ones in stitches!
Blizzard by John Rocco
In 1978, New England was hit by a massive blizzard, being covered in roughly 40 inches of snow in just two days. At the time, author John Rocco was a ten-year-old boy living in Rhode Island. This book is the story of how he walked to the store with tennis rackets tied to his feet as makeshift snowshoes and helped all of his neighbors and family as they waited for the snowplows to come.
*Extended activity idea: get out a tape measure or yardstick and see how much 40 inches of snow really is.
Snow by Cynthia Rylant
Through lyrical, moving text this books takes the reader through a snowy wonderland, describing various types of snow and the different ways snow can affect our lives. The rhythm of the language is reminiscent of falling snow and will enchant any listener, young or old.
Small Walt by Elizabeth Verdick
This is the story of Walt, a small snowplow eager to show the bigger snowplows what he’s made of. He and his driver Gus work throughout the night, clearing bridges and roads. Eventually they come to a big hill and rather than leave it for another plow to clear, they decide to tackle it. Will they be able to reach the top? Fans of Katy and the Big Snow and The Little Engine That Could will immediately fall in love with this gem. The text is full of onomatopoeia, sound effects and repeated phrases that are sure to captivate little listeners.
Winter Days in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Inject a bit of history into the bedtime routine and introduce your little bookworm to Wilder’s The Little House series and a different way of life. This picture book is adapted from The Little House books and offers a glimpse into family life in a log cabin in the Wisconsin woods.
Do you have a favorite winter time story not listed here? Share it with us in the comments!
Stay warm and happy reading!
-Kate @ BTBL
We are three generations that seek a way to get back to basics. It’s not that we eschew technology, but sometimes simpler is better, especially in raising our children. Mom was a reading teacher, Amanda is an early childhood educator and Kate a children’s literature specialist and former school librarian along with the latest additions, a daughter (now 4) for Kate, and two sons (now 1 and a newborn) for Amanda. We advocate reading aloud, the simple toys that use imagination and encourage creativity and learning in the kitchen, which can be a fun mess but also teaches life skills. Join us in raising healthy, happy, inquisitive and intelligent children.
We are mom Sandra and daughters Amanda and Kate, all with backgrounds in literacy and education, who want to share our philosophy of taking the basics of life; books, simple toys that encourage play, imagination and creativity, and using cooking and baking to teach math and real life skills to raise happy, inquisitive children. Join us in exploring the old and the new and sifting through the myriad of research to consider what is best for our children.