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Hibernation and Winter: Books For Kids

Winter comes, the leaves fall, and all sorts of animals hunker down for their annual hibernation! For hard facts for your budding zoologist, you'll want to turn to the non-fiction section or an encyclopedia, but for a gentle introduction to the animals who hiberate and a little of what that's like, these are some of our very favorite books about hibernating bears (and snakes and skunks and more!)

Sleepover with Beatrice & Bear book
#1
Sleepover with Beatrice & Bear
Written and illustrated by Monica Carnesi
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from Mom of Boys

This is such a fun story of best friends who can't always be together. Beatrice wonders where Bear has gone and when she finds out he is hibernating because it's Winter she decides to try and go along with him. When that proves to be difficult she finds another way to close the distance between the two friends. It is fun to read this with little ones who may not know what different seasons mean for different animals.

Beatrice & Bear meet one spring day and become best buddies. They play together through summer and fall. Then winter comes and Beatrice can't find Bear anywhere. She hears he's gone to hibernate -- but where on earth is that? When Beatrice learns that hibernation is not a place and that Bear will be sleeping all winter long, she fears it will be a lonely season...unless she can come up with a brilliant plan. This delightful story of an irrepressible bunny will engage readers on many levels as it celebrates creativity, making the best of circumstances, and the joy of the changing seasons.

The Curious Cares of Bears book
#2
The Curious Cares of Bears
Written by Douglas Florian and illustrated by Sonia Sanchez
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

One family of bears does all their favorite things before it's time to hibernate for the winter in this follow-up to The Wonderful Habits of Rabbits by the award-winning author and illustrator team of Douglas Florian and Sonia Sánchez, now available as a board book! The cares of bears are curious indeed, as you will discover, if you care to read. Join a family of bears as they have all kinds of fun throughout the seasons! From climbing up trees and stealing honey to giving bear hugs and lazing in lakes, these bears have many curious cares. But when winter comes, it's time to hibernate. Can the cares of these bears wait until spring? The rhyming text makes this story a perfect read-along book for storytime!

Bear Can't Sleep book
#3
Bear Can't Sleep
Written by Karma Wilson and illustrated by Jane Chapman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Bear’s many animal friends try to help him get to sleep in time for winter hibernation in this companion story to Bear Snores On. It’s winter, and deep in the forest, Bear should be fast asleep. But when his friends come by to check on him, they realize that Bear is still awake! They brew him hot tea and sing him lullabies, but nothing seems to work. Can Bear get to bed? Or will he be up all winter?

A Loud Winter's Nap book
#4
A Loud Winter's Nap
Written and illustrated by Katy Hudson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
Thoughts from Mr. Staccato

Tortoise does not like winter and as such is adamant about going to sleep. Unfortunately, he's not too adept at picking his hibernation locations because he keeps picking spots next to his friends who are enjoying their winter activities. With each thwarted attempt at sleep, he grows grumpier and grumpier, but then something happens that changes his mind about the snow and cold. Maybe winter isn't so bad after all.

Unmoved by his friends' attempts draw him out with singing classes and snowball fights, Tortoise tries to settle down for his annual winter nap and instead stumbles into a wonderfully icy experience.

Go Home, Little One book
#5
Go Home, Little One
Written and illustrated by Cate James
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Join Florence the hedgehog and she sets out on a winter adventure in this beautifully illustrated picture book. Winter is approaching, and Florence the hedgehog wants to go outside and play in the woods with her squirrel friends before it's time to hibernate. As it starts to get cold, Florence isn’t sure she’s having fun anymore. With the help of her friends, is she able to make it home in time for dinner and her long winter snooze?

  1. Snuggle Down Deep - Follow along as animal families snuggle down deep for the wintertime in this rhythmic and charming picture book perfect for little ones while they snuggle down for hibernation. It's wintertime, a quiet time, no creatures left in sight. They're dreaming, snoozing, snoring through each morning, noon, and night.... As winter arrives and fluffly snowflakes begin to fall, animal families gather together to snuggle down deep against the cold. They prepare and cozy up their dens, nests, and underground tunnels. Then they curl up nose to nose, cheek to cheek, snuggle down deep, and sleep.

  2. Froggy Gets Dressed - Rambunctious Froggy hops out into the snow for a winter frolic but is called back by his mother to put on some necessary articles of clothing.

  3. The Big Snow - Despite their elaborate preparations for the winter, the animals and birds are delighted by a surprise banquet after a big snow.

  4. When the Snow Comes - Little Yak lives high in the mountains and he's about to see snow for the very first time! But then he notices that all his friends are busy preparing for winter in their own, special way. Pika gathers grass, Blue Thrush flies south, and Brown Bear settles in for a long nap. But what do yaks do? This delightful book is the perfect winter read.

Did you enjoy our children's book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!