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25 Best Children’s Books About Winter

Children’s Books About Winter

Children’s literature is the best! It’s fun for both children and adults.

I love the witty rhymes, the fun pictures and the opportunity it provides to teach kids about various places, ways of thinking about things and how to approach new experiences.

One of my favorite aspects of children’s literature is the way it can prime kids for new experiences and upcoming changes, especially as it relates to weather, seasons, and outdoor adventuring.

Mom reading story camping

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Pros of soaking in extra reading time during the winter season

Due to less daylight hours and more variable winter weather the winter season naturally lends itself to soaking in extra reading time.

I think it’s normal for children and adults to feel some dread with less sunlight and less opportunities for outdoor play, but it doesn’t have to feel that way. Reading books that present winter in a fun, positive light can be the perfect way to feel extra excitement for this season.

Plus, books are a great way to prime your outdoor adventure buddies to look forward to an upcoming ski trip or big snowstorm.

Books are also great to take to the ski lodge while you take turns with littles on the ski hill, to read cozied up in a snow fort or to read by a fire on holiday breaks when you have more time together at home.

Below is a collection of books our team pulled together of our favorite reads for your winter adventurers. The books are great to pick up on your next library run or wrap up as a special gift for underneath your tree.

girl holding books

Best Books to Appreciate the Changing Seasons

There are so many great books that help kids understand and anticipate the change of the season. Below are some of our favorites to help kids know why they are seeing leaves fall off the trees and feel a crisp in the air that prompts them to want to put on a warm coat.

Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter

This book by Kendar Pak has the prettiest, soft watercolor pictures that beautifully transition from fall landscapes to winter landscapes as you turn the pages. It describes the changes we see in the animals and landscape around us as fall turns into winter.

It presents sweet opportunities to talk about why the leaves falls and why it starts feeling colder outside. It’s perfect for ages 2-6.

Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter

A Loud Winter’s Nap

This book by Katy Hudson is charming. It describes the feelings of a tortoise who doesn’t like winter and keeps receiving invitations from all the other animals to come out and participate in winter activities.

It’s a great read for any kid who feels reluctant to go outside and play in the snow or wants winter to go away. Discovering that winter is more than snow helps the tortoise gain appreciation for the new season.

A Loud Winter's Nap

Little Owl’s Snow

This book written by Divya Srinivasan is about all the animals that cozy up and go to sleep during the winter and little owl who misses his hibernating friends but takes time to enjoy the snow.

It talks about the tracks that appear and the vibrant way life keeps moving on through the season. This is a great read for any kid who feels like winter is too long.

Little Owl's Snow

Roxaboxen

This is a beautiful story about imagination by Alice Mclerran. It describes the magic of children playing together, completely immersed in imaginative play.

It’s not specific to the winter season but helps a child understand the nature of different times and seasons in life.

There are lots of deeper themes and meanings in this book that you are sure to enjoy with your child. It’s a great read for all ages as it lends itself well to lots of discussion on the creativity and magic of childhood.

Roxaboxen

Winter Sleep: A Hibernation Story

This book by Sean Taylor and Alex Morss is a beautiful describes the hibernation process to better understand hibernation of both plants and animals.

The story is told from the perspective of a child as the child describes the feeling of going back to a favorite place he enjoyed with his grandma in the summer only to find it remarkably different and feeling “dead” in the winter. Grandma helps him appreciate all the transitions that have occurred.

Winter Sleep

Best Books for Encouraging Snow Play:

girls in snow holding books

These are books that really captivate the magic and playfulness of snow. It can help both children and adults muster the courage to put on their snow clothes when they find the comfort of indoor fun more appealing.

The Snowy Day

This book by Ezra Jackson Keats is a classic. It’s a Caldecott winner from 1962. It describes the experience of a boy going out to enjoy the first big snow of a season and all the fun he has on his outdoor snow day.

I love the part at the end where he feels sad about his snowball that melted in his pocket but has his sadness replaced with excitement when he sees snow out his window the next day.

The Snowy Day

Snow 

This book by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Lauren Stringer will have you eagerly looking forward to your first snow. It beautifully captures all the excitement and anticipation of snow in all it’s forms.

I love the way it depicts all the different snow experiences you’re likely to enjoy: deep snow, light snow and the first snow.

Snow by Rylant

Little Snowflake

This book by Suzanne Fossey is a cute story of a little snowflake who does not want to give up on his dream of being part of a snowman.

The snowflake’s journey gets off to a rough start but with the help of some friends the book ends on a happy note.

Little Snowflake

Best for Encouraging Snow Observation

reading book at ski lodge

For readers who are a little older these are some great books on encouraging exploration and observation while having fun on the snow. I think these are great reads for anyone that loves to engage their children in learning experiences while they’re also playing outside.

Over and Under the Snow

This book by Kate Messner takes you on a cross country ski journey as a boy describes the experience of enjoying skiing on top of the snow and what’s happening under the same snow on which he’s skiing.

The pictures tastefully depict a magical outing and really help kids to think about a world of activity that’s happening under the enchanting snow.

Over and Under the Snow

Snowflake Bentley

This book by Jacqueline Briggs Martin is the story of the Wilson Bentley who was the first photographer of snowflakes. It’s another classic that won the 1999 Caldecott medal. I love the way this book helps a child appreciate the beauty and intricacy of a single snowflake.

In addition to being a story that helps you appreciate a snowflake it’s also a story of perseverance and discovery. Since it is a longer read it caters better to kids with a longer attention span but can give all kids an appreciation for Snowflake Bentley’s work.

Snowflake Bentley

Ten Ways to Hear Snow

This is such a fun one! Written by Cathy Camper and illustrated by Kenard Pak I love the way this book captures the magic of snowy silence and then Lina’s experience hearing, observing and noticing the way you can hear snow.

This book has all the elements of a fun read with kids and really captures some of the magic that is experienced with snow.

Ten Ways to Hear Snow

The Story Of Snow

This book written by a nature photographer and snow scientist is such a great nonfiction read. It answers questions like “How do snow crystals form?” and “What shapes can they take?”.

It’s the perfect follow up book after reading Snowflake Bentley and captivated my attention as much as my kids.

The Story of Snow

Best Books for Encouraging Skiers/Snowboarders: 

skiing and reading

Have you been dreaming of getting your little kids to ski or want to encourage any of your kiddos that are reluctant skiers/snowboarders?

Check out the books below that we love for inspiring the next generation to love the slopes as much as you do.

A-B-Skis

This book written by Olympian Libby Ludlow and illustrated by Nathan Y Jarvis is a favorite at our house. If you’re a frequent resort skier or snowboarder then you’ve possibly seen this book at a gift shop at your favorite resort.

We love this book for its creative lines and rhymes as your child picks up ski lingo and verbiage while also learning the letters of the alphabet. I love that this book also includes Libby and Nathan’s pro tips for having a great day of fun on the mountain with your little skier.

I can’t recommend this book enough to any parent excited for their little ripper to share in their enthusiasm for the sport of skiing.

A-B-skis

Goodnight Chairlift

This is another favorite of ours by Libby Ludlow. The inspiration for this book came when her son wondered what happened to the chair lift at night time–“Does it also go to sleep?”.

I love the rollicking rhymes and the way the story helps you appreciate what happens on the mountain after the skiers go to sleep. Do your kids know that snowcats come alive?

his is the perfect bedtime story after a great day on the mountain. One of my favorite parts of the book is all the ski/snowboard lingo included in the text and the glossary of terms at the end of the book. My kids favorite part is searching for all the hidden pictures.

Goodnight Chairlift

Gilbert the Moose Learns How to Ski

This book by Heidi Shadiz-Pieros is bound to help any timid skier. When Gilbert the Moose falls down he stands back up and tries again.

It describes Gilbert’s experience of crossing tips and experiencing many crashes. Even though skiing isn’t easy at first Gilbert doesn’t give up and continues to keep trying. I love Gilbert’s growth mindset and powerful self talk that he can do it.

It’s the perfect story on persevering even when skiing is hard.

Gilbert the Moose

Learning to Ski with Mr. Magee

If you’re wanting a book that inspires your kid to cruise down the slopes with confidence then this wouldn’t be my pick, but I couldn’t leave it off the list. Chris Van Dusen has such fun illustrations (Mercy Watson come to mind?) and his characters have such vibrant expressions.

This one is about Mr. Magee’s first ski where he has a run in with a moose. It’s bound to bring some laughs as you see what happens to Mr. Magee.

Leraning to Ski with Mr. Magee

Best for Appreciating Winter Around the World: 

Below are some books that capture the magic of winter in various places across the globe. We think these are great reads for helping children know what it’s like to experience winter somewhere else.

Winter Tales: Folk Stories from Around the World

This is book by Dawn Casey is a treasury of many winter tales from countries all over the world. It has lots of stories that capture the magic of winter and can be read one story at a time throughout the winter or from cover to cover.

In addition to lots of fun stories it also has beautiful artwork throughout the book.

winter tales

The Mitten

The Mitten is Jane Brett’s adaptation of a Ukrainian folktale. Jan Brett’s stories have always been a favorite in our house.

Her illustrations are creative and captivating. This is the story of Nicki who neglectfully loses his new mitten in the snow. All the animals decide to come cozy up in the mitten and the mitten somehow accommodates them.

the mitten

Winter Books for Toddlers and Winter Books for Preschoolers

The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s First Winter

We love Eric Carle’s board books for babies. This is the perfect book for a baby that may put the book in their mouth or want to read it upside down etc.

This one is a great one with all of the elements you’ve come to love from Eric Carle’s books: repetition, fun illustrations and sensory mindfulness.

hungry caterpillsr

Arctic Animals 

This book by Jill McDonald is from the popular Hello! World series. I love all the Arctic animals included in this book and the vibrant pictures that captivate young kids.

arctic animals

Snow

This book by Uri Shulevitz is a Caldecott honor medal from 1999. I love the simple language used. It’s a quick, simple read and a great one for beginning readers or young babies/toddlers.

The pictures and story showcase the novelty of snow from its first flake to the slow accumulation of snow piling up across the city.

snow by Uri

Winter Books for Kids: Chapter Books

We love these chapter books. Some of them deal with some heavier topics and may be better suited to older kids/teenagers so keep that in mind before you pick it up as a read aloud.

Brian’s Winter

This book is the alternate ending to the Hatchet book written by Gary Paulsen. It’s Brian’s experience staying stranded in the Canadian Wilderness.

Brian has lots of exciting winter adventures and thrills and it’s fun to see how things might have worked out different if he had never been picked up.

Brian's Winter

Julie of the Wolves

This is the story of an Inuit girl who escapes an arranged marriage and survives on the Alaska tundra by joining a pack of wolves. It’s Jean Craighead George’s Newberry Medal winner from 1973.

It’s captivating and a hard book to put down for adults as well as teens.

Julie of the wolves

My Side of the Mountain

This is another book by Jean Craighead George about a story of a teenager, Sam, who leaves the big city to survive in the Catskill Mountains.

Jean Craighead George has a knack for contrasting Sam’s two worlds and capturing the adventure of the natural world.

my side of the mountain

The Long Winter

This book by Laura Ingalls Wilder is part of the Little House on the Prairie series. It tells the Ingalls’ story of a difficult winter on the Dakota prairie.

It’s reading levels 3-6 and makes for a fun read aloud because you can stop and pick up right where you left off without missing a beat.

The Long Winter

Winter Books for Kids

When I think of winter I can’t help but think of cozying up by a fire and reading books with my kids. I’m looking forward to pulling out all our favorite winter stories again soon and hope you’ll also enjoy reading with your kids wherever you’re enjoying the season.

reading in a cold tent

What’s missing from our book list? Please comment below if there’s another favorite we should add. We always love community feedback.

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Winter Books

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