Snowy Days and Snoring Bears: Children's Books About Winter
Jan 12, 2012
When the snow is falling and the days are short, your child may find comfort in cuddling up with a great book. Especially with young children, books can be a helpful way to learn about winter and the unique things that occur during this season. Here are ten picture books with winter themes.
1. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
The Snowy Day follows Peter, a little boy who explores his city after a snowfall. He experiments with snow activities like making different types of tracks. This book won the 1963 Caldecott Medal and is notable as one of the first picture books to feature an African American protagonist.
2. Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson
The bear in the title of this story is peacefully hibernating through the winter in his cave. A series of animals, including a mouse, a badger and a mole, seek shelter and fun in the cave, while the bear remains oblivious. The whimsical story introduces children to the concept of hibernation, including making the distinction between animals who do and don't hibernate.
3. In the Snow: Who's Been Here? by Lindsay Barrett George
This story follows two children and their dog en route to a local sledding hill. Along the way, they discover signs of animals, such as tracks and gnawed branches. They use the clues to piece together what types of animals are nearby, including a squirrel, a porcupine and a deer.
4. Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton
Katy is a very brave tractor who serves as a bulldozer in the summer and a snowplow in the winter. When a fierce blizzard strikes her town, she must clear the way in order to help those in need. The story helps children understand how the weather can impact everything from power lines to the fire department, and how complicated and challenging it can be to keep the roads clear and safe.
5. The Mitten by Jan Brett
In The Mitten, a Ukrainian boy named Nicki gets his grandmother to knit him white mittens, even though she protests that he'll lose them in the snow. He immediately drops one near his home, only to have a mole climb in and make a cozy shelter. One by one, other animals follow, including a hedgehog, an owl, a badger and a fox. In addition to serving as a warning about losing one's mittens, this story depicts a wide variety of animals that must fend for themselves on cold winter days.
6. The Winter Solstice by Ellen Jackson
This picture book helps children understand the traditions and ceremonies that different cultures associate with the winter solstice. There are customs from the Cherokee, Romans, Scandinavians, Peruvians and others. The Winter Solstice covers both ancient traditions and those that are still practiced today.
7. Animals in Winter by Henrietta Bancroft
How do different animals react to the arrival of winter? In this picture book, children will learn the difference between migrating creatures, such as butterflies, and hibernating creatures, such as woodchucks. They'll also discover how the animals that stay local and awake during winter must struggle to find food.
8. Snow Music by Lynne Rae Perkins
Snow Music contains a plot about a lost dog and the search that ensues. More than that, however, it's the story of the sounds and images of a winter's day. This includes the sound of the snow as it falls, which is evocatively captured with poetic language.
9. Snowballs by Lois Ehlert
In Snowballs, a family has been saving various things that they can use to decorate the snowmen they plan to build. Many of the objects are found items, such as hats, buttons and leaves. Then there are items that also serve as food for hungry animals in winter, such as corn, nuts and bird seed.
10. Owl Moon by Jane Yolen
Owl Moon tells the story of a girl and her father on a late night search for owls near their farm. The story magically captures the beauty of a rural winter night, including the sounds and sights the pair encounters. As a learning point for children, the story is centered on the nocturnal nature of owls. Owl Moon won the 1988 Caldecott Medal.
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