As the chill of winter wraps around us and the landscape transforms into a sparkling wonderland of snow and ice, there’s nothing quite like curling up with a good book that captures the magic of the season. Winter, with its unique blend of wonder, coziness, and adventure, has inspired countless authors and illustrators to create enchanting stories that resonate with both children and adults.
In this post, I’ve gathered a selection of winter-themed books that are perfect for sharing with the young readers in your life. From whimsical tales of snowmen and yetis to heartwarming stories of friendship and perseverance against a backdrop of snowflakes and frost, these books are sure to captivate and delight. Each one offers a different perspective on the season, from the scientific wonders of snow to the simple joy of a snow day spent with loved ones.
Whether you’re a parent looking for a bedtime story to share on a cold night, a teacher seeking engaging reads for your classroom, or just a lover of seasonal tales, these winter books for kids are sure to add an extra sparkle to your winter days. So, let’s dive into this snowy pile of books and discover the adventures that await!
Related: Best Winter Books for Adults
Winter Books for Kids
Here are our top picks for winter books for kids:
1. First Snow, by Peter McCarty
“First Snow” by Peter McCarty is a delightful exploration of childhood wonder and joy in experiencing new things. The story follows Pedro as he discovers the magic of the season’s first snowfall, engaging in classic winter activities like making snow angels, tasting snowflakes, and enjoying his first sled run and snowball fight. McCarty’s narrative beautifully captures the essence of a child’s first encounters with winter’s charm, making it a heartwarming read for both children and adults. The book’s enchanting illustrations complement the tale, bringing to life the excitement and awe of a child’s first snow day.
2. The Snowy Day, by Ezra Jack Keats
Ezra Jack Keats’ “The Snowy Day” is a timeless classic that has captured the hearts of many since its publication in 1962. The story centers around a young boy named Peter who, clad in his snowsuit, steps into a winter wonderland, marking a journey of simple pleasures and childhood curiosities. Keats masterfully depicts the universal joy and wonder of a child experiencing snow, from the crunch underfoot to the desire to preserve this fleeting magic. The book’s charming narrative and illustrations make it an ideal read for cozy winter days, resonating with readers across generations.
3. Snow, by Sam Usher
In “Snow” from the Seasons Quartet, Sam Usher presents a delightful tale of anticipation and shared experiences. The story revolves around a young boy, Sam, and his Granddad, as they eagerly await the right moment to join the snowy fun outside. Despite the delay caused by Granddad’s slow preparations, the wait proves worthwhile when they finally venture out to find themselves amidst a whimsical snow-filled scene, joining kids, dogs, and even zoo animals in play. This book charmingly captures the excitement of a snow day and the special bond between a grandchild and grandparent, making it a heartwarming read for young readers.
4. Winter Is Here, by Kevin Henkes
Kevin Henkes’ “Winter Is Here” is a poetic ode to the winter season, beautifully illustrated by Laura Dronzek. This book, part of a seasonal series, brings to life the quiet beauty and transformative nature of winter. Henkes’ text, rich in language and imagery, guides readers through a world where snow blankets the landscape, animals burrow for warmth, and children revel in the season’s joys. Dronzek’s expressive paintings complement the text, capturing the serene and magical essence of winter. Ideal for story time or bedtime reading, this book is a celebration of winter’s unique charm, making it a delightful addition to any child’s library.
5. Bunny Slopes, by Claudia Rueda
Claudia Rueda’s “Bunny Slopes” is an interactive and engaging adventure for young readers. The book invites children to participate in Bunny’s snowy escapades by shaking, tilting, and turning the pages to help Bunny navigate the ski slopes. This playful and innovative approach to storytelling not only entertains but also immerses the reader in the action. Rueda’s clever use of bookmaking techniques brings a unique twist to each page turn, echoing the unpredictable nature of skiing. The book’s humor and interactivity make it a delightful read, perfect for those who enjoy a more hands-on approach to storytelling.
6. Here Comes Jack Frost, by Kazuno Kohara
Kazuno Kohara’s “Here Comes Jack Frost” is a whimsical tale of friendship and the joys of winter. The story follows a lonely boy who, amidst the cold and quiet of winter, finds companionship in the unlikely form of Jack Frost. This newfound friendship opens up a world of winter play and discovery. Kohara’s narrative is a gentle reminder of the enchantment that winter can bring, especially when shared with a friend. The book’s charming illustrations and heartwarming storyline make it a perfect read for those cold, snowy days, offering a glimpse into the magical possibilities of the season.
7. Blizzard, by John Rocco
John Rocco’s “Blizzard” is a captivating tale based on his childhood experience during the historic Blizzard of 1978. The book takes readers on a journey through the eyes of a young boy witnessing the transformative power of a massive snowstorm. From the first snowflake to the eventual relief brought by a snowplow, the story captures the awe and challenges of a severe winter event. Rocco’s use of dynamic illustrations and minimal text effectively conveys the scale and impact of the blizzard, while also highlighting the boy’s bravery and resourcefulness. This book not only celebrates the wonder of a winter storm but also the spirit of community and resilience in the face of nature’s formidable forces.
8. The Thing About Yetis, by Vin Vogel
“The Thing About Yetis” by Vin Vogel is a charming and unexpected take on the mythical yeti. This delightful story reveals that yetis, known for their love of winter activities like snowball fights and sledding, also have a softer side – they miss summer during the cold months. Vogel’s narrative is a heartwarming reminder that everyone, even yetis, can feel out of their element sometimes and that it’s okay to long for different experiences. The book creatively shows how yetis bring a bit of summer into their snowy world, offering a sweet and humorous perspective on dealing with the changes each season brings.
9. Sneezy the Snowman, by Maureen Wright
“Sneezy the Snowman” by Maureen Wright is a hilarious and heartwarming tale about a snowman who just can’t seem to stay cold. Sneezy’s attempts to warm up – drinking cocoa, sitting in a hot tub, and standing near a fire – lead to some comically melting situations. The children in the story ingeniously rebuild him each time, finding the perfect balance to keep Sneezy “just right.” This story, filled with playful scenarios and a touch of silliness, is a delightful read that teaches children about problem-solving and the joy of helping others, all wrapped up in a snowy adventure.
10. Snowflake Bentley, by Jacqueline Briggs Martin
“Snowflake Bentley” by Jacqueline Briggs Martin is a biographical tribute to Wilson Bentley, a man whose fascination with snowflakes led to significant contributions in understanding their beauty and uniqueness. From a young age, Bentley was captivated by the intricate designs of snowflakes, leading him to photograph and study them meticulously. His perseverance and passion, often misunderstood, eventually culminated in a comprehensive collection of snowflake photographs, enlightening the world about these tiny wonders of nature. This book not only celebrates Bentley’s scientific achievements but also inspires with its message of following one’s curiosity and dreams, no matter how unconventional they may seem.
11. Animals in Winter, by Henrietta Bancroft and Richard G. Van Gelder
“Animals in Winter” by Henrietta Bancroft and Richard G. Van Gelder is an informative and engaging book that introduces young readers to the fascinating ways animals adapt to the cold winter months. The book explores various survival strategies, from migration to hibernation, explaining how different animals, like butterflies and woodchucks, cope with the harsh weather. This book is a wonderful resource for early elementary-aged children, both at home and in the classroom, offering a clear and appealing way to integrate basic science concepts into discussions about seasons and animal behavior.
12. Got to Get to Bear’s!, by Brian Lies
“Got to Get to Bear’s!” by Brian Lies is a heartwarming tale of friendship and perseverance. When Bear urgently requests Izzy’s presence, Izzy sets out to meet her friend, undeterred by the blizzard that begins to rage. As the snow piles up, Izzy is joined by other friends, all determined to help her reach Bear’s home. This story beautifully illustrates the power of friendship and the lengths friends will go to support each other, no matter the obstacles. Lies’ narrative is a touching reminder of the importance of being there for friends, making it a perfect read for those who cherish the value of close bonds.
13. Red Sled, by Lita Judge
“Red Sled” by Lita Judge is an enchanting, almost wordless picture book that captures the joy and excitement of a snowy night adventure. In this story, a group of woodland creatures find a child’s red sled and embark on a thrilling nighttime ride. The book’s bold watercolor illustrations and expressive sound effects bring the creatures’ whimsical journey to life, filling each page with movement and humor. Judge’s creation is a testament to the simple pleasures of winter and the magic that can be found in unexpected moments, making “Red Sled” a timeless winter favorite for readers of all ages.
14. The Mitten, by Jan Brett
“The Mitten” by Jan Brett is a delightful winter tale that combines traditional storytelling with charming illustrations. When Nicki loses his white mitten in the snow, it becomes a refuge for various woodland animals seeking warmth. The mitten stretches and accommodates each new occupant, creating a series of amusing and cozy encounters. Brett’s intricate illustrations, rich in detail and folklore, beautifully complement the story, offering a glimpse into a snowy world filled with wonder and playfulness. This book is not only a celebration of imagination and nature but also a visual journey through the traditions and artistry of Ukrainian culture.
15. How to Catch a Snowman, by Adam Wallace
“How to Catch a Snowman” by Adam Wallace is a whimsical and engaging adventure where a magically animated snowman leads a merry chase. Aimed at children aged 4-10, this story is filled with clever rhymes and vibrant art, taking readers through a winter wonderland of traps and escapades. The narrative cleverly incorporates STEAM concepts, making it not only a fun read but also an educational one. This book is perfect for family reading during the winter season or as a delightful holiday gift, offering both entertainment and a subtle lesson on the unpredictability and joy of snowy adventures.
16. No Two Alike, by Keith Baker
“No Two Alike” by Keith Baker is a beautifully illustrated journey through a winter landscape, following two birds as they explore the uniqueness of the world around them. From snowflakes to branches, trees to forests, and even among friends and loved ones, the book celebrates the beauty of being unique. Baker’s gentle narrative and charming illustrations make this a perfect book for young readers, encouraging them to observe and appreciate the small differences in the world around them. This story is a heartwarming exploration of diversity and individuality, set against the backdrop of a serene winter wonderland.
17. Snow Is Falling, by Dr. Franklyn M. Branley
“Snow Is Falling” by Dr. Franklyn M. Branley is an informative and engaging book that explores the science behind snow. Aimed at early elementary age kids, this Level 1 Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science book delves into how snow can act as a natural insulator, helping plants, animals, and people survive in winter. It also touches on the potential dangers of snow, like blizzards. Branley and Keller combine fun, colorful illustrations with educational content, including experiments and activities for cold winter days, making this book a great resource for introducing young readers to scientific concepts through the familiar and fascinating phenomenon of snow.
18. Before Morning, by Joyce Sidman
“Before Morning” by Joyce Sidman is a poetic and visually stunning book that captures a child’s wish for a snow day. Through an invocation, the child hopes for a day slow and unhurried enough to spend at home with family. The book’s sparse, lyrical text reads like a song, and the scratchboard art illustrations are breathtaking, creating a serene and contemplative atmosphere. Sidman and Krommes’ collaboration results in a reminder of the power of words and wishes spoken from the heart. This book is a celebration of family, the beauty of nature, and the joy of those unexpected moments when the world seems to pause.
19. A Home in the Barn, by Margaret Wise Brown
“A Home in the Barn” by Margaret Wise Brown, a never-before-published picture book from the beloved children’s author, is a comforting and snowy story about animals seeking shelter from the cold in a warm barn. This book, an Indie Next List Pick, is a testament to Brown’s enduring appeal as a storyteller. Her narrative, paired with Jerry Pinkney’s richly detailed illustrations, creates a warm and inviting world where a variety of animals find refuge and community. This story not only offers a glimpse into rural life but also conveys a message of hospitality and togetherness, making it a heartwarming read for children and adults alike.
From the laughter and lessons found in the adventures of snowmen and yetis to the quiet beauty of snowflakes and the warmth of animal friendships, these books offer a rich tapestry of winter experiences. They not only entertain but also educate, opening young minds to the wonders of the season and the importance of imagination, friendship, and perseverance.