Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but books are so delightful!
I feel certain that’s the song of every bookworm. Winter is the perfect time to cozy up with a good book (or two … or twenty!). I wanted to share our favorite winter picture books to enjoy after playing in the snow … or when waking up in the morning … or anytime! We hope you find some new books to enjoy as well!
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Silly Picture Books
The Snowy Nap (Jan Brett) is the tale of Hedgie the Hedgehog. Hedgie is getting ready to snuggle in for a long winter’s nap, but he starts hearing the animals talking about all the things they love about winter. He decides he’d rather stay up and experience all the fun things about winter.
We absolutely loved this book! Anything by Jan Brett is sure to be beautifully illustrated with an adorable storyline.
Yet another Jan Brett tale (don’t worry, this list isn’t entirely Jan Brett books, but there are a few!), The Three Snow Bears is a re-imagined Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Instead of Goldilocks, there is a small Eskimo girl name Aloo Ki. Claire loved this one and asked me to read it over and over and over!
Okay, one more by Jan Brett! While most people have heard of The Mitten (which is also beloved by us), Claire liked The Hat even more! It made her giggle and the pictures were beautiful, as always.
Squirrel can’t wait for winter! All the animals have told him about snow, but as this is his first winter, he’s not exactly sure what to expect. How long will it take? Will he see the first snowflake?
This book made Claire and I laugh. Squirrel (and his friends Hedgehog and Bear) have no idea what snow is really like, so their imaginings are quite entertaining.
Bunny Slopes is a very engaging book. With very few words, this is a great story for small children. They help it snow by shaking the book, help the bunny ski by tilting the book, etc. However, it was also fun for a first grader! As soon as I’d finished the book, Claire asked to read it again.
Learning to Ski with Mr. Magee was another favorite! Mr. Magee gets himself into quite the predicament when he decides to practice a little skiing. Apparently there’s a whole series of stories with Mr. Magee! We can’t wait to check out the others!
Educational Picture Books
The big snow introduces us to all the animals in the woods, getting ready for winter. Some animals decide to leave when the weather gets cold, some decide to stay, but they all know a big snow is coming! This story is very sweet, but also helps open up discussion about migration and hibernation.
Did you know there’s a whole world under the snow? Over and Under the Snow tells a tale of a boy skiing with his father. While he’s whooshing over the snow, there are many things taking place under the snow he can’t even see. With lovely illustrations, this book talks about how different animals survive through the winter.
Hanna’s Cold Winter tells the story of Hanna, a hippopotamus living in the Budapest Zoo. All the people in Budapest love their zoo, but most particularly their hippos. One winter, it gets so cold that the river freezes. With war affecting the city, the people and the animals are running out of food. Can the people find a way to save their beloved Hanna? This is a true story, which was so amazing. We enjoyed learning about the warm springs of Budapest and a little about their culture through this book.
Heart Warming Picture Books
When Drift the Snowman was built, the children building him must have been in a hurry. Without a hat, scarf or even a carrot nose, Drift is very plain. The other snowmen ridicule him. But one day, Drift meets some very kind and generous children.
This story was so sweet. I loved how it taught that generosity and selflessness matter more than appearance.
Winter Story tells the tale of a group of mice living in a colony they’ve dubbed Brambly Hedge. When a massive snowstorm covers Brambly Hedge, all the mice prepare for a special winter ball. This story was very sweet and reminiscent of Beatrix Potter. I’ve since discovered that this is a whole series of books! If they’re all as adorably wholesome as this one, I’m certain we’ll love them all!
As the family in the big house waits for a big snowstorm, so do the little family who lives inside the snow globe. But all they seem to get is a little flurry when the maid dusts the mantle each week. All that changes when the baby in the big house takes an interest in the snow globe.
We have loved this book for years! Every winter, Claire looks forward to reading it. Sometimes we read it at Christmastime (but if you read our Christmas Picture Book Recommendations, you know we were busy with lots of other books this year!). But it’s not necessarily a Christmas book. It’s more about snow than Christmas.
Irene’s mother has been working countless hours to finish the duchess’s dress before the ball. But once the dress is finished, Irene’s mother falls ill. Irene decides she must take the dress to the duchess, but the wind is bitterly cold and snow begins to fall. Will Irene make it to the palace safely before the ball begins? We loved this story of Irene’s courage and determination to do the right thing.
When I checked this book out from the library, our librarian said it was a book you experienced more than one you read. That was such a great description! Wolf in the Snow has very few words, but it’s story is told through beautiful illustrations. The kindness portrayed by both human and beast made this one an instant favorite!
A young girl decides she wants to learn to knit. As she finishes her first project, she realizes she has a little extra yarn … before long, her creations transform the entire town!
I had a hard time deciding whether to include this book on the silly book section or the heart warming one, because it’s both. The girl’s sweetness and creativity is wonderful, while also making Claire and I giggle quite a bit.
Charles dreams of finding a wish tree. His siblings try to convince him that there’s no such thing, but Charles sets out with his trusty sled (named Boggan) to search. Throughout this story, we realize that wishes can sometimes come true in unexpected ways. It has the sweetest ending.
One day, The Reader goes on a journey with his faithful dog. He has prepared a special surprise to share with his friend when they reach the top of a very large hill. If you have kids who love to read to their animals, this is the perfect book. We have been participating in the Read Aloud Challenge through Read Aloud Revival and Claire has spent much time reading to her dog. This book was such a sweet reflection of that.
Well, I think that concludes this list. What are your favorite winter picture books to read aloud with your children? I love receiving recommendations even more than I love sharing them!