As the seasons change, chilly evenings make it even more tempting to curl up with a good book. So snuggle under a soft blanket with your favorite little one and read these books about the coldest time of year.
A companion to the book Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn, the book follows a brother and sister as they take a “walk” from Autumn into a new season. The simple illustrations add a perfect note to the inevitable movement of the seasons.
This classic book has been a favorite since its first printing in 1962. The story follows a little boy named Peter as he explores his urban neighborhood on a snowy day. He does so many things that any child would recognize such as playing with his footprints, having a snowball fight and making snow angels. He even tries to save a snowball for the next day and suffers disappointment when he discovers that his ball melted in the night. Written and illustrated by Caldecott Award winner, Jack Ezra Keats, this book was one of the first full-color picture books to feature a main character of color.
In this silly, rhyming book about hibernation, Big Bear misunderstood the words of Old Man Winter. Instead of hearing the message “Sleep, Big Bear, sleep,” the bear thinks that his old friend tells him to drive a jeep, or sweep or to leap. Old Man Winter keeps telling Big Bear that it’s time to hibernate, even as he becomes more and more frustrated. Finally, the bear gets the idea. The repeated rhymes and refrain will have your child “reading” the story along with you.
Animals prepare for winter in a wide variety of ways. When a young fox sees the changes in the season, he wonders what he should do. The animals around him each offers advice, but the fox can’t hide nuts in the tree like squirrel, or turn his coat white like hare. He has to find out what works best for him. A lovely way to explore differences as well as natural changes in the seasons, this new book will quickly become a favorite.
This is a beautiful book that also tickles the funny bone. In the story, Nicki drops a mitten his grandmother has knitted for him while he walks in the forest. He goes home without realizing his loss. But a tiny mouse finds the warm mitten and decides it would be a cozy house. But before he can get settled, a rabbit joins him. As time goes on, more animals spy the mitten and join the mouse seeking its warmth. In the end, a giant bear tries to force his way in with hilarious results. The book was illustrated by Jan Brett with her distinctive style. So while the story takes precedence in the center of each page, the borders are filled with smaller pictures that show what Nicki and his grandmother are doing in the cold winter weather.
Another Caldecott Award-winning book, Snowflake Bentley follows the life of Wilson Bentley growing up in Vermont in the 1800’s. As the book says, he loved snow more than anything else in the world. His love of snowflakes spurred him to create a way to photograph these delicate, ephemeral flakes. Using nothing but black velvet and a box camera, “Snowflake” Bentley caught the images of more than 5400 snowflakes, with no two being alike. This book uses woodcuts to give the illustrations an old-fashioned feel.
In Owl Moon a father and child go out at night to find an owl. The pair hikes through unbroken snow, calling for an owl. Unlike many books, the child and parent do not talk. Instead, the text echoes the child’s thoughts of the experience. At first the child is disappointed when they do not see an owl. But the pair do not give up. The illustrations are lovely watercolors in blue, grey and pale brown, adding to the quiet mystery of the text.
In this new addition to the Pete the Cat family, Pete is delighted to wake up to a snow day. He plays with his friends, makes snow “cats,” and drinks hot chocolate. But when he wakes up to several days of snow in a row, Pete figures out that sometimes, too much snow is too much of a good thing. So, he takes matters into his own hands, or paws, and plows the streets. He finally gets to share his exciting winter experiences.
Ever wonder what animals do in the winter? This book explores how many animals weather winter both over and under the snow. A girl and her father spy many clues as they ski through the wilderness on a beautiful winter day. They see prints of deer over the snow, while they miss chipmunks sleeping under the snow. They see a fox over the snow listening for mice under the snow. By the end of the book, the child sees the moon shining over the snow, while she snuggles under her blankets. This makes the book a perfect bedtime story.
If you have ever wondered what snowmen did while you slept, this is the book for you! In this rhyming picture book, a child realizes that his snowman looked different in the morning, so he imagines what his snowman did at night. He imagines that his snowman gathers with other snowmen and play a wide range of games from races to baseball. These daredevil snowmen race on sleds and do tricks as they skate. While you read the text, be sure to encourage your little listener to look for shapes in the shadows. You can find a cat and even a Tyrannosaurus Rex.