20 Favorite Winter-Themed Children’s Books

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November 2019

With the snow falling outside a cold bite in the air, winter is the perfect time to snuggle up and read together. We have compiled a list of Winter-Themed Children’s Books to inspire some great read alouds. These books will help your child explore different aspects of winter, from snow to changing seasons to various animals.

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Reading books about winter will allow your child to draw connections between the concepts in the book and what they see happening in the world around them. They might also relate to some of the experiences personally that they see in the book. Furthermore, reading books about winter can prompt conversations about different seasons, climates, geographies, and places. This way, you can help to expand your child’s knowledge about these different topics while engaging in a fun and exciting read.

Here are some great winter-themed children’s books that we love.

Winter Books About Animals

The Mitten
Jan Brett
Genre: Picture Book
Age Range: 1-3

This bestselling classic is a light-hearted adventure featuring curious woodland creatures. After a boy drops his mitten in the snow without realizing it, all kinds of creatures crawl into the mitten and try to figure out what its story is. Moles, badgers, and big brown bears explore the mitten and speculate what it is. This beautifully illustrated book will encourage you and your child to explore different animals that live in the forest while enjoying a fun storyline.

Winter Dance
Mario Dane Bauer
Genre: Picture Book
Age Range: 4-7

Winter is coming soon and all the animals in the forest are working to prepare. While squirrels begin storing nuts and geese migrate south, the fox isn’t sure how he should get ready for the chilly days to come. His friends in the forest try to help him by offering suggestions, but it isn’t until he meets a special friend that the fox decides the best way to ring in the new season. With beautiful illustrations and an engaging storyline, this book is a great way to explore how different animals prepare for winter.

A Loud Winter’s Nap
Katy Hudson
Genre: Picture Book
Age Range: 3-5

Tortoise sleeps through winter every year. He doesn’t think that he is missing all that much, but his friends think otherwise. In this light-hearted story, Tortoise’s friends try to convince him to stay awake through winter and experience everything that the magical season has to offer. The captivating illustrations and fun story will grab your child’s attention and get them excited for winter.

Mice Skating
Annie Silvestro
Genre: Picture Book
Age Range: 3-8

Most of Lucy’s friends want to snuggle in their burrows and keep warm away from the snow. Lucy, however, loves everything about winter, from getting all bundled up to feeling the snow crunch between her toes. Most of all, she loves to ice skate. This funny and beautifully illustrated story follows Lucy as she tries to convince her friends to join her in exploring the joys of the winter wonderland.

Winter Books About Snow

The Snowy Day
Ezra Jack Keats
Genre: Picture Book
Age Range: 2-5

This fantastic picture book tells the story of a young boy exploring the city on a very snowy day. As he goes along, he plays through the snow and discovers some interesting things about it, like how he is able to leave funny footprints behind him. With bright, beautiful, and engaging illustrations, you and your child will have a blast exploring each and every page. It also provides a great opportunity to talk about snow and what it’s like.

Snowmen at Night
Caralyn Buehner
Genre: Picture Book
Age Range: 2-8

Every wonder what snowmen do when we’re not looking? In the morning we might find them with a crooked smile or a tree-branch arm out of place, but otherwise, our snowmen lead secret lives. This funny, light-hearted tale imagines all the adventures snowmen get up to at night. It is an exciting and imaginative read that is sure to inspire your child to wonder what their snowmen might be up to when we’re not looking.

First Snow
Bomi Park
Genre: Picture Book
Age Range: 2-4

In this book, a young girl wakes up to the first snow of the year. After watching the snow fall from her window, she gets bundled up and goes outside to play. As she builds a snowman and makes snow angels, she explores the winter wonderland all around her. This book has striking illustrations and details experiences that every child shares on a snowy day.

Cynthia Rylant
Genre: Picture Book
Age Range: 4-7

On a wonderful snowy day, a young girl, her friend, and her grandmother enjoy the magic nature has to offer. They appreciate the snowfall from their window, and go outside to experience it firsthand. With poetic prose and engaging illustrations, it will remind your child of all the fun there is to be had on a snowy day. It is sure to become a household favorite.

Winter Read Alouds

Owl Moon
Jane Yolen
Genre: Picture Book
Age Range: 3-7

Late at night, a young child and her father venture out in the forest to go owling. The two walk along quietly, occasionally calling “whoo-whoo-whoo” in the hopes of spotting an owl. Join these two on their adventure through the forest as they search for the majestic owl. With exquisite watercolor illustrations, this book will surely captivate the interest of your child and spark curiosity about owls and nature during wintertime.

Over and Under the Snow
Kate Messner
Genre: Picture Book
Age Range: 5-8

Perfect for children who have an interest in nature, this picture book explores how some animals spend their winter underground. As a father and daughter skii through the forest, they encounter certain animals and talk about the secret world underneath them. The father explains how squirrels, snow hares, bears, bullfrogs, and many more inhabit tunnels and caves during the colder months of the year. This book is great because it offers interesting information about nature while also carrying on an engaging storyline alongside beautiful illustrations.

Snowflake Bentley
Jacqueline Briggs Martin
Genre: Picture Book
Age Range: 4-7

This wonderful book details the journey of a scientist, Wilson Bently, who dedicated his life to photographing snowflakes. Bentley believes that snowflakes were small miracles, each one more beautiful than the next. He wishes to capture their beauty and learn more about them, so he begins photographing and studying them. This book will take you on a journey of discovery to learn more about the delicate, unique nature of snowflakes.

When Winter Comes
Nancy Van Laan
Genre: Picture Book
Age Range: 2-8

During the first snowfall of winter, a young boy and his parents celebrate nature’s beauty. As they embark for a walk, they notice different things that change as autumn leaves and winter moves in. They talk about how animals behave differently, the trees start to change, and the weather turns cold. This book offers a great opportunity to talk about nature during the winter season.

Books That Help Say Hello to Winter

The First Day of Winter
Denise Fleming
Genre: Picture Book
Age Range: 3-6

Join in on an adventure to build the most perfect snowman! This book details the special gifts that the first ten days of winter bring. Each day offers a new object needed to build the perfect snowman, until the tenth day when he comes to life. Written much like “The Twelve Days of Christmas” song, this book is a perfect way to celebrate all the different wonders that winter brings and all the fun to be had in this marvelous season.

Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter
Kenard Pak
Genre: Picture Book
Age Range: 3-6

Help say hello to winter with this lovely story about changing seasons. In this book, a brother and sister take a walk through their town and explore nature as it prepares for winter. They notice curious deer, leaves falling from trees, and frost appearing across windows. This book is a great way to talk about the changes that happen as autumn moves into fall.

Winter Is Here
Kevin Henkes
Genre: Board Book
Age Range: 2-4

This book perfectly captures the beauty of winter. Its simple yet elegant illustrations depict wonders of the season. Snow falls, animals burrow, and children prepare to play outside. You and your child are sure to love this board book about the joyous aspects of winter.

Winter Is Coming
Tony Johnston
Genre: Picture Book
Age Range: 2-8

This gorgeously illustrated book follows a young girl who explores the signs that winter is on its way. From her favorite spot in the forest, she watches as nature prepares for the cold days to come. She notices animals gathering food, the temperature lowering, and the days growing shorter. With this book, you and your child can explore how nature changes when winter is on its way.

Winter-themed Books We’ve Included in Our Packages 

Although we think all of the books on this list are fantastic reads, here are a few extra special ones that we chose to send in some of our past packages. At Elephant Books, we take great care in seeking out fun and engaging reads, and we think that these winter-themed books are some of the best.

Genre: Board Book
Age Range: 0-2

This interactive board book allows you and your child to explore different animals or objects that live in snowy places. Featuring die-cut shapes, your child can guess what made prints in the snow and then discover if their prediction was correct. We chose this book for our subscription box because it is highly interactive and encourages your child to engage closely with the ideas presented. Highly tactile and interesting, this book is perfect for spending quality time with your little one this winter.

The Very Long Sleep
Polly Noakes
Genre: Picture Book
Age Range: 2-8

Bear, Chipmunk, Marmot, and Fox are best friends that decide to live together. Little does Fox realize, however, that his friends will sleep all winter long, leaving him to his own devices. Fox soon grows bored without the company of his friends, but when they finally come out of hibernation, he appreciates their friendship even more. This heartwarming book holds beautiful illustrations and explores what friendship really means.

The Very Cold, Freezing, No-Number Day
Ashley Sorenson
Genre: Picture Book
Age Range: 2-8

On an extremely cold winter day, all the numbers have frozen! In this interactive book, children must work to save the numbers from all the ice by tracing, blowing on, and counting the all the numbers. Along the way, they will explore colors, patterns, numbers, and different aspects of the winter season. We love this book and chose to include it in one of our packages because it is such a great opportunity to expand your child’s knowledge of numbers and shapes while also being a really fun read.

The Snow Bear
Sean Taylor
Genre: Picture Book
Age Range: 2-8

On a snowy night, siblings Iggy and Martina venture into the woods to build a snowman. Inspired by their imaginations, they end up building a snowbear instead. On their way home, however, they get lost deep in the woods and need a little help from a special friend to help them find their way. We think this book speaks wonders about the power of imagination, friendship, and bravery. It is sure to quickly become a wintertime favorite for you and your family.

How to Find Great Children’s Books

For more engaging and exciting reads, check out Elephant Books, a children’s books subscription club that delivers brand new, hardcover, high quality books for kids to your front door every month. Beautifully packaged in Kraft paper and hand-tied orange grosgrain ribbon, each package also comes with fun and engaging reading tools.

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