I'm Lindsay Ferrier, a Nashville writer with a passion for family travel, exploring Tennessee, and raising kids without losing my mind in the process. This is where I share my discoveries, along with occasional deep thoughts, pop culture tangents and a sprinkling of snark. Want to get in touch? Use the CONTACT form at the top of the page.
January 29, 2013
“January is usually the worst month of the year,” my husband said this morning as he was getting ready for work. “But this year, it’s been great. We have our Winter Wonderland decorations. We’ve gone on winter hikes and bike rides on the new greenway. We’re actually enjoying winter for a change.”
It’s true. Not only are we loving our Winter Wonderland-themed house and trying to get outside as much as possible, but I also took a few minutes a week or two ago to reserve a big stack of winter and snow-themed books from the library. I read two or three with my five-year-old each day, and we’ve had a lot of fun reading them together. I’m glad we decided to embrace January this year instead of just getting through it. It’s definitely something I want to do again.
And it’s certainly not too late for you and your family to get in on the action if you need a wintertime pick-me-up. Check out this list of our absolute favorite winter-themed children’s books and reserve them at your library now. There are still plenty of cold weather days ahead!
Thomas’ Snowsuit by R. Munsch is hilarious- My son made me read it to him three times in a row yesterday. Thomas doesn’t want to wear his snowsuit (as you can guess by the cover), and much fighting and mayhem ensue. This book will have your kids rolling.
The Snowman by Raymond Briggs is all pictures, allowing your child to “read” the story to you. My five-year-old and I had a great time telling the story to each other before bed a few nights ago. For an added bonus, see if your library has the 27-minute DVD movie. It’s wonderful and my son really enjoyed watching it after reading the book.
The Mitten by Jan Brett is a wintertime classic, and my favorite thing about the book is that there are many, MANY mitten activities and printouts online. Read the book and then do a related ‘Mitten’ activity with your child- It’s a great way to spend a cold winter afternoon together.
Also, Jan Brett has lots of delicious winter-themed books (Gingerbread Friends is another recent favorite), as well as free activities and coloring pages to support them on her website. It’s worth a look under her name the next time you’re at the library.
Snow by Uri Shulevitz is a Caldecott Honor book and another classic winter tale. It perfectly captures that feeling I still remember as a kid, when all the adults around me said it wouldn’t snow, or it wouldn’t accumulate– AND IT DID!
I don’t think I’ve let a winter pass since my kids were born without reading Caldecott Medal-winning The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. Keats was one of my favorite authors when I was little, and this book is considered by many to be his best (although I’m partial to Whistle for Willie as well).
Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin is the Caldecott Medal-winning biography of Wilson Bentley, a pioneer in the art of photographing snowflakes. What makes this book really fun is to read it, then look at some of Bentley’s photographs online. They are truly amazing. My kids never looked at snowflakes the same way again after this “lesson!”
Snowballs by Lois Ehlert will definitely spark the creative impulse in your kids. The illustrations are as captivating as the facts about snow in the book — and at the end of the story, the author displays all the materials that were used in the illustrations, so that your child can go back and find each item and how it was used to create a snowman picture. Cool!
Stranger in the Woods by Carl R. Sams II and Jean Stoick is a true gem — It uses wildlife photography to tell the tale of wild animals’ reactions to a snowman that appears in the woods after a snowstorm. You AND your child will love this book. There’s also a DVD movie of this story, backed by the author. Check it out if your library has it!
Snowmen at Night by Caralyn and Mark Buehner answers the question of just what snowmen get up to when the sun goes down. The illustrations and story are fantastic, and you and your whole family can enjoy this book together.
Those are my top ten. Add your own favorites in the comments- We’re always looking for new winter stories!
Header image via Herry Lawford/Flickr