What is the best way to spend the cold winter months? The answer is obvious! Why snugged up with a cup of hot apple cider, a plate of gingersnaps and a stack of winter-themed picture books. Even if you live in the desert I bet you find it so comforting and magical to look at children’s books filled with snowy landscapes. Whether you favorite winter activities are ice skating and sledding, or building snowmen and snow forts, these titles will inspire you, if not to actually bundle up and go outside, at least to consider the possibilities!
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So read aloud to your children during the short winter days and long winter nights. Because before you know it, spring will be here, and you’ll be checking out one of these spring family read alouds!
Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter by Kenard Park. I love this one! Two children go for a walk to explore nature as they experience the transition from fall to winter. The see animals preparing for the cold, the trees dropping all of their leaves. Back at home and snuggled safe in their beds the snow begins to fall and upon waking they rediscover the landscape, this time blanketed in snow.
Cold Snap by Ellen Spinelli. The days are getting colder and colder, the icicles getting longer and longer. The people of the town are getting fed up with the frigid weather! But then, the whole community gets together for a winter surprise orchestrated by the mayor’s wife.
A Perfect Day. Carin Berger’s concise text about a sublime day of snowy play is accompanied by creative collage illustrations. It’s hard to beat this joyful winter picture book and the illustrations of a diverse group of children frolicking in a winter wonderland.
Lemonade in Winter: A Book About Two Kids Counting Money by Emily Jenkins. I know, it sounds crazy to set up a lemonade stand in the snow, but these young entrepreneurs will not be dissuaded. Your kids will be singing a catchy little tune, setting up their own stand and counting their change by the time you finish reading.
The Tea Party in the Woods by Akiko Miyakoshi. Kikko follows her father through the woods with a pie that her father has forgotten on the way to grandmother’s house. Along the way she stops for a tea party with the woodland animals. But the real star of this winter picture book is the illustrations.
First Day of Winter by Denise Fleming is a fun diverse winter picture book to add to your preschool bookshelf. Fleming’s signature torn paper collage illustration sparkle in this cumulative tale about a boy joyfully building a snowman.
Iguanas in the Snow: And Other Winter Poems / Iguanas en la Nieve: Y Otros Poemas de Invierno by Francisco X. Alarcón is a bilingual collection of poems that is part of a four book series spanning the seasonal year. Each short poem in free verse is in both Spanish and English, presenting snapshots of a diverse group of children enjoying wintery life to the fullest. Be sure to read the poetry collections for every season!
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. What can I say about this wonderful classic winter picture book? If by some chance you haven’t already read it to your kids, rectify that error immediately!
Immi’s Gift by Karin Littlewood. This is a lovely story about how people far away can be connected and how when it is winter one place, it’s not winter in another! Immi goes fishing and pulls out a little wooden bird on her line. She gets a new surprise every day. Then we see a boy walking on a sunny beach. He is throwing objects into the water! But then a little bear washes up on shore for him to find.
When This World Was New by D H Figueredo. Danilito and his family have immigrated to the United States from their warm Caribbean home. The family faces common anxieties of moving to a new country, will the adults find work, how will they learn the language and adapt to the customs. When it begins to snow, however, the novelty of experiences snowfall for the first time lifts up everyone’s spirit and fills them with the hope of new beginnings.
Snow in Jerusalem by Deborah da Costa. Avi lives in the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem and Hamudi in the Muslim quarter. Unbeknownst to each other, they take care of a white cat, as the feline travels between the two homes. When the cat disappears, each boy worries and Avi ends up following the trail to Hamudi’s home where the boys bicker over ownership. When a rare snowfall begins in Jerusalem, the boys put aside their differences to look for the cat.
Tracks in the Snow by Wong Herbert Yee. I love this little books about a girl following tracks in the snow. I can recite the rhythmic text almost from memory I read it so many times!
More wondrous winter reading: