Here in Wisconsin, when it’s negative 5 degrees and the cold air literally hurts your face, you don’t spend an awful lot of time doing outside activities this time of year. Granted, my kids do still bundle up a few times a day, fleece face masks and all, to go outside and play at recess for a short while. But primarily, we find things indoors to do during the winter.
Reading is definitely one of our favorite winter pastimes. I always look forward to stocking up my “winter library” for these cold months. Right now I am reading through a few different autobiographies, which are my favorite kind of books to read lately.
I’ve mentioned before on the blog that I work part time at my children’s school as their volunteer librarian. I love helping out in this capacity and it really fills my bucket to help students discover the joy that can come from reading a good book.
Here at home, it’s the same. Since they were babies, we’ve tried to form daily reading rituals. I still read to my kids most nights before bedtime. Even though they are all school age, my kids really look forward to it, and we typically try to carve out about 30 minutes before “lights out” to spend reading together.
Some of the favorite series of books we have read aloud include:
- Little House on the Prairie
- Judy Moody
- American Girl (so many great ones to choose from)
- The Adventures of Sophie Mouse
- The Princess in Black
My two oldest daughters have really enjoyed all of these. If you are looking for a good place to start with reading for young girls, I would recommend any of them!
My youngest son is in kindergarten and still learning to read, so I am looking forward to starting him on some chapter books in a year or two when he gets older. Right now, he still loves his picture books, and I have to admit, so do I.
So, without further ado, here are 5 of our favorite children’s picture books to read all about winter.
We own all of these books, but I know they are readily available to check out at any local library or to purchase inexpensively through Scholastic or Amazon. They are popular choices because they are so good!
This book is a twist on the familiar tale of There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly. This time, the old lady is swallowing everything from snow to a pipe, some coal, a hat, and more! With rollicking, rhyming text and funny illustrations, this lively version will appeal to young readers (Kindergarten through 2nd Grade) with every turn of the page.
B-R-R-R-R! AH-CHOO! Sneezy the Snowman is cold, cold, cold. To warm up, he drinks cocoa, sits in a hot tub, stands near a warm fire – and melts! But the children know just what to do to build him up again – and make him feel “just right”. Hilarity chills the air as Sneezy attempts to warm himself with some silly results. (Kindergarten – 3rd Grade)
The Snowy Day, a 1963 Caldecott Medal winner, is the simple tale of a boy waking up to discover that snow has fallen during the night. Keats’s illustrations, using cut-outs, watercolors, and collage, are strikingly beautiful in their understated color and composition. The tranquil story mirrors the calm presence of the paintings, and both exude the silence of a freshly snow-covered landscape.
When Nicki drops his white mitten in the snow, he goes on without realizing that it is missing. One by one, woodland animals find it and crawl in; first, a curious mole, then a rabbit, a badger and others, each one larger than the last. Finally, a big brown bear is followed in by a tiny brown mouse and what happens next makes for a wonderfully funny climax. As the story of the animals in the mitten unfolds, the reader can see Nicki in the borders of each page, walking through the woods unaware of what is going on. In her distinctive style, Jan Brett brings the animals to life with warmth and humor, and her illustrations are full of visual delights and details faithful to the Ukrainian tradition from which the story comes.
Young children will adore following the icy delights of a snowy day, from sparkling frost to pretty snowflakes and sleepy squirrels to frozen frogs. Elena Temporin’s vivid illustrations evoke all the magic and excitement of a winter’s day.
It was hard only choosing 5 books about winter to feature in this post! There are so many great stories to choose from about this season. Two other close runners-up that are worth mentioning are:
- Winter Days in the Big Woods – by: Laura Ingalls Wilder (adapted from the Little House Chapter Books)
Both of these books feature stories that take place right here in Wisconsin, and the authors themselves both hail from our great state as well. (I guess this Wisconsin-born girl is partial to them for those reasons!)
I hope you venture out to your local library (or computer) to look for a few of these great books this winter. It’s worth cuddling up on the couch – where it’s warm – to read these with your kiddos while enjoying the love of reading!
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