Best Winter Books for the Family

As winter approaches, it’s a wonderful time to embrace the beauty of the outdoors and the unique opportunities it brings.  When outdoor play has finished, there’s nothing quite like warming up while reading a good book.

Whether you’re a parent looking for a cozy book to read with your little ones or an avid reader in search of the perfect winter read, there is a book out there for everyone. So grab a blanket, a cup of hot chocolate, and let’s dive into our favorite winter books.

Three kids reading books on the floor at the library
Cozy winter reading while visiting the local library

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Winter Books for Toddlers

Graphic images of the covers of all the winter themed board books

The Itsy Bitsy Snowman by Jeffrey Burton

The classic nursery rhyme gets a new winter themed twist.

A Little Book About Winter by Leo Lionni

Beautiful illustrations with a simple story, this book explorers all the winter things following two sweet little mice.

Little Owl’s Snow by Divya Srinivasan

Little owl notices all the changes that winter brings such as leaves falling and hibernation, culminating in the little owl’s first experience with snow.

Nature Stories: Little Snowflake by Igloo Books

This padded board book follows a cute little snowflake as it is formed in the clouds and falls to the ground.

Never Touch a Polar Bear by Rosie Greening

A touch and feel book about winter creatures during silly things.

Snow Kisses by Judi Abbot

Beautiful illustrations and simple rhyming text keeps little readers hooked as the little animals snuggle up with hot chocolate, go sledding, have a snowball fight, and other winter activities.

Ten in a Sled by Kim Norman

Arctic animals speed down the hill on a sled falling off one by one.  This book is perfect for practicing counting and great for singing together.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s First Winter by Eric Carle

Follow the very hungry caterpillar as he explores winter season activities.

Who’s Hiding in the Snow by Katharine McEwen

A lift a flap board book that lets your little one find all the hiding animals.

Winter Picture Books

Graphic images of the covers of all the winter themed picture books

Blizzard by John Rocco

The blizzard of 1987 brought 53 inches of snow to a town in Rhode Island and the author retells his experience from the excitement of the first snowflake to the relief of seeing the snowplow.

Bunny Slopes by Claudia Rueda

Help the bunny tackle the slopes by shaking, twisting, and turning the book along while you read.

First Snow by Nancy Viau

A sweet group of friends gathers outside to enjoy the first snow of the season with snowball fights, snowman building, and building igloos. 

Learning to Ski with Mr. Magee by Chris Van Dusen

Rhyming silly text that follows clumsy Mr. Magee as he learns how to ski.

The Mitten by Jan Brett

A little boy drops his white mitten into the snow and all sorts of woodland creatures climb inside. This book is a teacher’s favorite and a beautifully illustrated classic wintertime tale.

Ollie’s Ski Trip by Elsa Beskow

Ollie has a wonderful time in the snowy woods skiing, snowball fighting, and ice skating. Ollie’s adventures also take him to meet Jack Frost and the story’s villain, Mrs. Thaw.

Toddler boy bundled up in a thule ski trailer reading a book surrounded by snow outside the trailer.

Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner

While the top of the snow appears calm, the ground underneath is teaming with life and movement.  This book allows children to peek into the hidden ecosystem below the surface of the snow.

Owl Moon by Jane Yolen

A young girl and her father go searching for owls together in the stillness and quiet of a winter’s night.

Shelter by Céline Claire

A little fox family must now rely on the animals in the community they had previously denied aid to. This picture book teaches the lesson of generosity and neighborly help.

Snow by Cynthia Rylant

A young girl and her grandmother enjoy all the wonderful things the snow has to offer together.

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

This Caldecott medal winning book is a joy to read.  It follows a young boy as he experiences nature, demonstrates an amazing imagination, and learns perseverance. After reading the books together, watch the short film on Amazon together. 

Squirrels on Skis by J. Hamilton Ray

A silly book about learning to ski that is sure to have your little ones excited for snow and giggling the whole way through.

Winter Dance by Marion Dane Bauer

The woodland creatures are all busy preparing for winter, but the fox doesn’t know what he should do.  This book follows the fox on his search for the perfect way to celebrate winter.

The Winter Solstice  by Ellen Jackson

Why is the winter solstice our shortest day of the year?  This book explores the scientific reasoning behind our shift in daylight and shares a few of the ways different cultures celebrate this change.

Winter Elementary Books

Graphic images of the covers of all the winter themed elementary books

A Bed For The Winter  by Karen Wallace

This book pairs lively storytelling and illustrations with scientific knowledge to teach all about winter hibernation.

The Family Under the Bridge by Natalie Savage Carlson

A heartwarming and charming story of a family of three homeless children and their run-ins with a grumpy old man, who ultimately helps them find a home for Christmas. Set against a beautiful Paris winter, this beloved classic is a perfect read to warm your heart during the winter season.

The Last Bear by Hannah Gold

The novel follows the journey of a young girl named April who forms an unlikely bond with a polar bear stranded on an Arctic Island.  It’s a beautiful and inspiring tale about the power of empathy, resilience, and the importance of protecting our natural world.

The Little Rippers Volume 1, 2, and 3 by Rebecca Munsterer

These books are an action-packed kid’s series that follows a group of young skiers as they explore the magic of the mountain and learn valuable lessons about sportsmanship, perseverance, and the great outdoors.  With an engaging storyline, this series is a must-read for any young reader who loves to hit the slopes.

Pete the Cat: Snow Daze by James Dean

Readers join Pete and his friends as they embark on a snowy adventure filled with sledding, hot chocolate, and lots of fun.  This colorful first reader filled with catchy rhymes is sure to delight young readers and get them excited for winter fun.

A young girl sits on a chair and reads a book to three other little girls
Reading with friends is always more fun.

Running on the Roof of the World by Jess Butterworth

TMM team member Amanda says, “Running on the Roof of the World follows the adventures of 12-year-old Tibetan children Tash and Sam as they cross overland to India in order to help free Tash’s parents from the Chinese government. As they struggle on this long journey, they learn how to rely on each other through disagreements, physical hardship, and the trauma of losing their parents.”

The Sea in Winter by Christine Day

A ballerina navigates the struggles of recovery from an injury while grappling with family secrets and personal doubts. With descriptions of her snowy, icy landscape, this book captures the quiet beauty and magic of winter.

Snow Day: A Graphic Novel by Aron Nels Steinke

A humorous story about a group of kids navigating the joys and challenges of a snow day.  With lively graphics and relatable characters, this novel is perfect for a younger reader who will enjoy stories of friendship and adventure.

Ty’s Travels: Winter Wonderland by Kelly Starling Lyons

Ty and his family embark on a winter adventure filled with fun and surprises.  With beautiful illustrations and engaging storytelling, this book is a perfect way to spark the imagination of your new reader.

The Winter Room by Gary Paulsen

A captivating novel that takes readers through the harsh Minnesota winters, as seen through the eyes of two young brothers.  With vivid descriptions of rural life, this book is a heartwarming and beautifully written tale of family, tradition, and survival.

Winter Middle & High School Books

Graphic images of the covers of all the winter themed middle and high school books

Alone by Megan E. Freeman

Maddie is all alone.  No power, no phones, and no one to talk with except her dog George.  Through trials Maddie learns how to adapt to her environment and with creativity invents ways to survive her harsh landscape.

The Ice House by Monica Sherwood

Due to a climate disaster, the world that once had seasons is now in a state of eternal winter.  With two families stuck inside together the two children build a large snow fort in their yard to escape.

Ice Dogs by Terry Lynn Johnson

A thrilling novel that follows the story of a 14-year-old girl named Victoria as she fights for survival in the Alaskan wilderness with her sled dogs after a freak accident left her stranded.  Full of heart-pumping action and vivid descriptions of the unforgiving Arctic landscape, it is a must-read for animal lovers and adventure seekers.

Middle schooler enjoying a winter themed book while laying down in a tent
Special books make it easier to hang out in a tent during winter camping to warm up

Ski Weekend by Rektok Ross

Best for high schoolers, this survival thriller tells the story of a sister’s desperate attempt to keep her brother alive in the cold wilderness after a car crash.

Snow Struck by Nick Courage

“Snow Struck” takes readers on a thrilling journey through a small town in the midst of a massive snowstorm.  This book is a must-read for anyone interested in a gripping tale of survival and redemption in the face of nature’s fury.

The Winter King by Christine Cohen

Cora is a fatherless young girl who lives in a village in eternal winter and under the rule of the Winter King. The elites in the village maintain control and demand offerings of food and money from the people who barely have enough to feed themselves. 

Winter Books for Adults

Graphic images of the covers of all the winter themed books for adults

Beartown by Fredrik Backman

A powerful and emotional novel about a group of teen hockey players in a small hockey-obsessed town. The young teens and members of the town must decide whether to prioritize loyalty or justice after one of the players commits a crime.

The Ocean in Winter by Elizabeth de Veer

This beautifully written novel follows the lives of three siblings as they come together to confront a family crisis during their winter vacation at the beach.  With vivid descriptions of the natural setting, and complex, relatable characters, this is a must-read for anyone who enjoys heartfelt family drama.

One Perfect Day by Lauraine Snelling

A heartwarming and uplifting novel about a widowed mother of three who discovers that one perfect day can change everything.  With charming characters, a picturesque winter setting, and a poignant storyline, this book is great for anyone looking for a feel-good story that will leave you smiling.

Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney

A psychological suspense novel that follows a married couple as they try to save their marriage through a weekend away in a remote cabin in Scotland.  This book is filled with twists and turns as the couple’s secrets are revealed and the author reveals unexpected twists and turns.

This Land of Snow: A Journey Across the North in Winter by Anders Morley

A captivating memoir of a young woman’s journey from Norway to Siberia.  Through stunning landscapes, intimate encounters, and personal reflections, the book offers a unique exploration of the power and beauty of the winter wilderness.

The Winter Garden by Nicola Cornick

This tale follows the lives of two sisters as they unravel family secrets and discover the power of love and forgiveness.  With richly drawn characters and a beautiful winter setting, this novel will keep readers hooked until the last page.

Winter Sisters by Robin Oliveira

When a devastating blizzard hits a small town two young sisters go missing.  As the town searches for the girls’ secrets are revealed and the community must come together to unravel the truth and heal.

Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin

A young thief falls in love with a dying woman and embarks on a mystical journey to save her.  With unforgettable characters, this novel is a literary masterpiece that will transport readers to a magical and enchanting world.

Winter Books for the Whole Family

From heartwarming stories that capture the essence of winter to thrilling tales of adventure and survival, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re looking to curl up by the fire with a classic tale by yourself or soak in tiny giggles from silly stories you read as a family, these books offer a perfect way to spend cold winter days.

So, grab a cup of hot chocolate, snuggle up with your loved ones, and dive into these winter reads. With rich characters and memorable settings, these books are sure to bring warmth and joy to your family during the cold winter months. Happy reading!

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Best Winter Books for the Whole Family

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  • Anna is a proud Washingtonian living in the Cascade mountain range with her park ranger husband and their three kids. Their family is lucky enough to live in a ranger house in a state park and have lots of access to the outdoors year-round. Anna is expecting her fourth child in early March and is on a mission to find the best gear for the tiniest of explorers.

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