We’re home at last from our East Coast vacation. We got to do and see a lot of wonderful things while we were away, but when our family recounted “high points/ low points” on the drive back to Texas, my four-year-old said without hesitation that her favorite part of this trip was “getting to play in the snow.”
As much as we would love to have brought just a little of that snow back home with us, we also loved shedding our winter coats and riding bikes in the warm afternoon sun yesterday. Abby even learned to ride without training wheels!
In the meantime, since we get snow so infrequently in East Texas, we’ll just have to content ourselves with reading about snow and imagining what it would be like to get more of it than we actually do. Fortunately, we have a home library full of snowy books to warm your heart.
12 Snowy Books to Warm Your Heart
Below are a few of our family’s favorite picture books about snow.
The story is written in whimsical, rhyming verse. Its beautifully detailed illustrations keep my kids begging to read it and study the pictures again and again.
In an attempt to explain why snowmen sometimes look a little disheveled the day after they’re made, the author imagines what they must have been doing while the rest of the world was asleep.
Jane Yolen’s Owl Moon shares a simple, yet magical account of a nighttime walk taken by a young girl and her father.
They move quietly in the stillness of the snowy wood. Watching…. Listening…. Hoping they might hear or spot an owl.
This Caldecott Award winner is an enchanting read, made especially so by John Schoenherr’s gorgeous illustrations. It will have your children wishing they could take such a walk with you.
And you’ll likely be wishing the same thing.
We found Lemonade in Winter on the new acquisitions shelf at our local library last winter and thought it a fun read.
The subtitle is “A Book About Two Kids Counting Money.” And indeed, it did have a little math mixed into this sweet story about entrepreneurial siblings and the difficulties they faced trying to sell ice cold lemonade in the dead of winter.
But it’s as much a parable about persistence as anything. Which is a good lesson for children of all ages — and their parents — to learn.
Of all the snowy books to warm your heart we own, Animals in the Snow is the one we’ve read more than any other. Primarily because its repetitive nature makes it an easy book for my littlest ones to “read” by themselves. Which they do. Over and over and over.
Just as she did in her children’s classic, Good Night Moon, author Margaret Wise Brown uses simple, understated language to craft an endearing story about very ordinary events. In this case, snowflakes falling on the homes of people, pets, and woodland animals. And two young children playing, building, and exploring their snow-covered surroundings.
Another Caldecott Award Winner, White Snow, Bright Snow contrasts the preparatory responses of adults to a coming snow storm to the celebratory reactions of children.
Why not use this book to launch a discussion: How do the various members of your family respond to snowfall? Do they view snow as a treat? Or a burden?
What tasks need to be done to prepare for a big snow? What are the individuals thinking as they busily go about these tasks?
I remember my mother reading Katy and the Big Snow to me when I was growing up. In fact, the copy I now read to my own children is the self-same copy she used to read to me.
My boys, especially, enjoy this tale of the diligent little snowplow. A snowplow that worked very hard at her job to ensure all the other townspeople could get their jobs done, too.
Yet another Caldecott Award winner, The Big Snow tells the story of various woodland animals preparing for winter.
Some hibernate through the cold months. Some fly south. Others pay regular visits to a cottage in the woods.
There a little old man and his wife provide food for them all until spring comes again. This book always inspires our children to refill all our bird and squirrel feeders, as we enjoy feeding woodland creatures through the winter, too!
For a glimpse of what other animals do during the winter, try reading Under the Snow.
It details the cold-weather habits of a lot of ground- and water-dwelling creatures, including newts, frogs, snakes, voles, salamanders, and carp. Read it and learn something new!
The simple text and beautiful watercolors make this a great selection for reading aloud.
One last Caldecott Award winner: The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats captures all the wonder and excitement and boundless possibilities that a first snowfall creates in the heart of a child.
I love the vibrantly colored collage pictures and the simplicity of the narrative. The book follows the boy as he creates tracks. Builds snowmen. Packs snowballs. Makes snow angels. In short, it shows him doing all those snowy day activities that have so thrilled boys and girls for time immemorial.
The Mitten gives readers a glimpse at what might happen to a warm, woolen mitten left out in the snow when all manner of woodland creatures take refuge inside.
Having raised a baby squirrel that used to snuggle into to the toe of a sock to sleep, I don’t doubt some animals would try to burrow down into the depths of the mitten to stay warm. Though it seems unlikely so many could fit inside at once, that would certainly explain why the lost mitten was so stretched out when it eventually resurfaced.
For another fun story of lost mittens, here’s a book from my childhood. Too Many Mittens tells the story of a set of twins with matching red mittens. When word spreads that one of their mittens is lost, replacements start pouring in as neighbors find possible matches and assume they belong to one of the boys.
Soon the twins have a whole drawer full of red, mismatched mittens. How will they ever get them back to their rightful owners?
This clever tale is another one I so enjoyed as a child that I now read the same weathered copy to my own children. Unfortunately, the book is out of print. I don’t recommend paying $50 for the marked-up copies available through Amazon. But you may be able to find it through Interlibrary loan or Paperback Swap.
That brings us full circle to Snowmen All Year, written by the same author as the first book in my list.
I’d be hard-pressed to pick my favorite between these two picture books about snow. The illustrations are rich and the poems are enchanting. And both volumes are available as board books. I love the images in this book of the snowman at the beach or diving into a swimming pool, as the little boy who made him imagines how nice it would be to be able to keep him all year long.
So that’s a dozen of our favorite snowy books to warm your heart. What titles would top your list of go-to picture books about winter weather?
For more ideas for celebrating winter, check out these links:
Winter-Themed Activity Pages – download our free Mitten Matching printables to keep kids learning, even on snow days
Let It Snow – How to make the most our of snow days (especially if you get them as rarely as we do in Texas)
50 Things to Do for Winter Fun – download our bucket list and make great family memories all winter long
All Things Winter – visit my “Let It Snow” board on Pinterest for even more frosty fun
Winter Learning – Find more fun and educational ideas for colder months on the Timberdoodle Winter Blog Hop