Which do you prefer, playing in the snow or reading about snow? Good news! Unless you live in a sun-drenched winter playland, you don't have to choose. And if you do live in that sunny paradise, you can live vicariously with us snow-bound folks by reading aloud all of these children's picture books about snow.
I have read one zillion snow picture books with my kids over the years, and these titles are my favorites. I am particularly drawn to books which convey a quiet wonder about the freshness of snow, but my tippity-top reads include onomatopoetic representations of what it's like to experience a snowfall.
Most of these snow books are appropriate for preschoolers and elementary students. If you are looking for nonfiction snow books, I've included a couple which have some good information, either in the main part of the book, or in the endnotes. (Note: book covers and titles are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)
Once Upon a Snowstorm by Richard Johnson. I fell head over heel in love with this book’s illustrations. In the woods a father and son are separated as the snow begins to fall and blanket the landscape. The boy falls asleep but wakes up to find himself surrounded by animals who become his friends.
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. Normally I wouldn't feel the need to include such a popular book on this list of snow books, but it just seemed wrong not to let Peter share the spotlight. If you have never read this book, don't even tell me. Just get yourself to the nearest bookstore. Quick, before the snow gets here.
Anna's Wish by Bruno Hachler. This Swiss import is magical. Anna has never seen snow because it stopped snowing in her village before she was born. Her mother tells Anna stories of how magical the snowfall used to be so Anna gets out her sled and makes a very special wish.
Snow by Uri Shulevitz. I love a subtle touch of absurdity in my picture books. It starts with just a few flakes, and no one but a boy and his dog think it will amount to much. Soon, however, the flakes turn to flurries and the flurries turn to blankets of snow and the boy know just how to enjoy the winter wonderland.
Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner. A girl and her father ski through the snowy woods. As she glides along, she narrates the habits of animals that live under the snow and those that roam the woody landscape. A soothing read aloud, and the informative endnotes include further details about the animals featured in the book.
Red Sled by Lita Judge. I love this nearly wordless picture book about a girl going for the sled ride of her life. Spare, onomatopoeic text accompanies the illustrations depicting the joy of a sledding adventure that includes lots of furry friends.
Blizzard by John Rocco. In 1978, a blizzard dumped fifty-three inches of snow on the author’s town in Rhode Island. This story is based on his experience. First the protagonist is excited for the snow, but then as it keeps falling, the danger of his family and neighbors being stranded without food becomes very real. The young boy rises to the occasion and straps rackets to his feet to make his way to the store.
Snow by Cynthia Rylant. Poetic text conveys a joyous celebration of snow. Mounds of snow and fluffy flakes fill the illustrations of diverse faces enjoying the beauty of winter.
Snow Sounds: An Onomatopoeic Story by David A. Johnson. This onomatopoeic snow poem is a joy to read. Snow falls at night, covering everything with its lush white blankets. In the morning, machines and people begin to dig out: a father with a snow blower, different sized snow plows and a boy with his shovel. I loved this book and its ability to convey both the quiet and the excitement of a thick snowfall.
Snowflake Sisters by J. Patrick Lewis. Two snowflakes dance among the millions of others and then hitch a ride on Santa's sleigh to New York City where they enjoy the festivities in Times Square. I enjoyed the collage illustrations and the artist's use of maps to create the buildings. Kids will love taking a closer look.
When It Starts to Snow by Phillis Gershator. What do all the animals do when it starts to snow? This book asks that question and its repetitive, rhyming format makes this snow book a winsome choice for reading aloud to groups of children.
The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter's Wonder by Mark Cassino. This nonfiction book about snow is an excellent choice for elementary-aged children who want to learn more about the science of snow. It includes clear explanations about how snowflakes form, and their properties. Illustrations and photographs of snowflakes will encourage children to look closely and marvel at "winter's wonder."
More snowy reads: