Winter: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about winter?

Winter can be a cold but fun time of year. These books can help you make the most of cold days!

Top 10 Books About Winter

Sleepover with Beatrice & Bear book
#1
Sleepover with Beatrice & Bear
Written and illustrated by Monica Carnesi
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This book about best friends bunny and bear is a perfect example of a great friendship! There’s some humor involved, as well as beautiful illustrations that really add to the story. I love that bunny doesn’t despair when she realized she’ll have to spend the winter without bear, but she instead focuses on spending her time alone creating something fun for them to enjoy together once bear wakes up. :)

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.

Bunny Slopes book
#2
Bunny Slopes
Written and illustrated by Claudia Rueda
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from The Goodfather

Currently one of our family’s go-to favorites. The story is simple, but there are some creative elements and surprises that make it interactive and fun to read and reread.

Time to tackle the bunny slope! Shake to help Bunny make it snow, tilt to help Bunny ski down the slope, and turn to help Bunny escape a cliff in his path. Is there any obstacle Bunny can’t conquer? Bringing grins and guffaws with each turn of the page, readers will find Claudia Rueda’s innovative bookmaking as entertaining as the twists and turns of a ski slope—and as satisfying as a cozy cup of hot cocoa.

Max and Marla book
#3
Max and Marla
Written and illustrated by Alexandra Boiger
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

The watercolor illustrations in this book are gorgeous and beautifully convey this story of two friends who brave a winter wonderland to show exactly what it takes to become true Olympians. Friendship, perseverance and preparation prevail in this humorously and child-friendly portrayal of overcoming failure and pushing through obstacles to achieve your goals.

Two fearless Olympians sled to victory in this delightful new picture book

Max and Marla are best friends. And aspiring Olympians! With their eyes on the prize, they know exactly what it’ll take to reach sledding success: preparation, practice and perseverance. So when rusty blades, strong winds and difficult slopes get in their way, Max and Marla realize true joy lies not in winning but in friendship. Obstacles turn into victories!

With delightful illustrations and charming text, Alexandra Boiger brings to life the story of two unstoppable pals—true Olympians who never give up!

My Pet Polar Bear book
#4
My Pet Polar Bear
Written by Mark Iacolina
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

Polar bears make the best pets! Follow a little girl and her pet polar bear as they hitch a ride to school, play in the bath, and sneak a bedtime treat! From the Board edition.

Baby Penguins Everywhere! book
#5
Baby Penguins Everywhere!
Written and illustrated by Melissa Guion
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Can there be such a thing as too many adorable penguins?

One day a penguin sees a most unusual sight: a hat floating in the icy water. Even more unusual? Out of the hat pops a baby penguin. But not just one baby penguin . . . or even two. But a third, and a fourth, and on and on! At first the mama penguin is happy for the company. Until she realizes that taking care of a family is very hard, very tiring work, and what she could really use is just a moment alone. Yet as newcomer Melissa Guion reminds us in her adorable debut picture book, alone time is all well and good, but, it’s family time that’s best of all.

Perfect for any mama penguin with a family, or classroom, full of mischievous little ones. And perfect for toddlers who will smile over all the little penguins and the silliness that ensues.

The Snowman Shuffle book
#6
The Snowman Shuffle
Written by Christianne C. Jones and illustrated by Emma Randall
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

Spin like a snowflake, swoosh like the wind, and shuffle like a snowman in this interactive board book. The rhyming text and fun instruction will delight both adults and children and chase away any winter blues!

Li'l Rabbit's Kwanzaa book
#7
Li'l Rabbit's Kwanzaa
Written by Donna L. Washington and illustrated by Shane W. Evans
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

This was a really cute story about Kwanzaa and about the community it creates, particularly when you are searching to help others. The element of intergenerational bonds is also sweet and uplifting and perfect for the holiday season.

Li’l Rabbit is not having a very good Kwanzaa. Granna Rabbit is sick, and so his family won’t celebrate his favorite part of Kwanzaa this year: a big feast called Karamu. Li’l Rabbit knows what to do! He’ll find Granna Rabbit a special treat for Karamu so she can celebrate anyway. He looks under a pile of logs, in the field, and in the pond and along the way meets Groundhog, Momma Field Mouse, and the frogs—but he doesn’t find anything for Granna Rabbit. Maybe I’m just too little to help Granna Rabbit celebrate Kwanzaa, Li’l Rabbit thinks. Or maybe he just needs a little help from his family and friends. Inspired by Brer Rabbit, a trickster character from the African-American folklore tradition, the story of Li’l Rabbit captures the true meaning of Kwanzaa—coming together to help others.

A Loud Winter's Nap book
#8
A Loud Winter's Nap
Written and illustrated by Katy Hudson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This funny story is a great one to teach kids that even if they think they don’t like something or they haven’t in the past, it might be worth trying out again—they just might like it! :) The illustrations are so beautiful, too!

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.

Peekaboo! In the Snow! book
#9
Peekaboo! In the Snow!
Written and illustrated by Cocoretto
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

My toddler really enjoys this whole series of lift-the-flap books and this winter-themed one is no exception! The flaps are incredibly sturdy and easy for little hands to open themselves and the text is simple enough that it’s one that you may find they can soon “read” to you.

Peekaboo! Who’s hiding in the snow? Lift the flap to find out! Perfect for guessing, prediction and memory skills - and simply joining in!

The Itsy Bitsy Snowman book
#10
The Itsy Bitsy Snowman
Written by Jeffrey Burton and illustrated by Sanja Rescek and Jeffrey Burton
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

A fun and playful seasonal twist on “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” makes this favorite nursery rhyme perfect for wintertime! The itsy bitsy snowman went sledding into town, looking at the snowflakes softly falling down. Out came his friends to lend a happy hand. And everything was perfect in his winter wonderland. Little ones will love this fresh winter spin on a classic nursery rhyme, as one little snowman sleds through a winter wonderland.

Table of Contents
Jump to books about Winter and...

Books About Winter and Snow

Bunny Slopes book
#1
Bunny Slopes
Written and illustrated by Claudia Rueda
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from The Goodfather

Currently one of our family’s go-to favorites. The story is simple, but there are some creative elements and surprises that make it interactive and fun to read and reread.

Time to tackle the bunny slope! Shake to help Bunny make it snow, tilt to help Bunny ski down the slope, and turn to help Bunny escape a cliff in his path. Is there any obstacle Bunny can’t conquer? Bringing grins and guffaws with each turn of the page, readers will find Claudia Rueda’s innovative bookmaking as entertaining as the twists and turns of a ski slope—and as satisfying as a cozy cup of hot cocoa.

Baby Penguins Everywhere! book
#2
Baby Penguins Everywhere!
Written and illustrated by Melissa Guion
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Can there be such a thing as too many adorable penguins?

One day a penguin sees a most unusual sight: a hat floating in the icy water. Even more unusual? Out of the hat pops a baby penguin. But not just one baby penguin . . . or even two. But a third, and a fourth, and on and on! At first the mama penguin is happy for the company. Until she realizes that taking care of a family is very hard, very tiring work, and what she could really use is just a moment alone. Yet as newcomer Melissa Guion reminds us in her adorable debut picture book, alone time is all well and good, but, it’s family time that’s best of all.

Perfect for any mama penguin with a family, or classroom, full of mischievous little ones. And perfect for toddlers who will smile over all the little penguins and the silliness that ensues.

The Snowman Shuffle book
#3
The Snowman Shuffle
Written by Christianne C. Jones and illustrated by Emma Randall
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

Spin like a snowflake, swoosh like the wind, and shuffle like a snowman in this interactive board book. The rhyming text and fun instruction will delight both adults and children and chase away any winter blues!

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Itsy Bitsy Snowman - A fun and playful seasonal twist on “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” makes this favorite nursery rhyme perfect for wintertime! The itsy bitsy snowman went sledding into town, looking at the snowflakes softly falling down. Out came his friends to lend a happy hand. And everything was perfect in his winter wonderland. Little ones will love this fresh winter spin on a classic nursery rhyme, as one little snowman sleds through a winter wonderland.

  2. A Song for Snow - A young owl experiences the magic of a first snowfall—the quiet wintery wonder, the pristine beauty, and snowballs!—in this follow-up to the adorable Hoot and Peep It’s Peep’s first winter, and it’s going to snow very, very soon. Peep has so many questions for her older brother Hoot: Does snow drop, polppety splop, like the rain’s song? Does it scrinkle scrattle like falling leaves? But Hoot can’t remember snow very well. The one thing he knows for sure is that it is worth waiting for. But Peep doesn’t have his patience, and as she flies around the gorgeous Paris skies, she tries her best to make up her own snow song. But once those first snowflakes start to fall, Peep realizes just how wise her older brother really is for waiting…and just who she wants to cuddle up to when the snow starts to really sing. With all the wonder and the joy of a first snow day, and perfect for fans of The Quiet Book and Little Owl’s Night, this tender follow-up to Hoot and Peep is certainly worth waiting for, too.

  3. Violet the Velvet Rabbit - While collecting pinecones for the winter feast, Violet Rabbit accepts the dare to ski down Snowdrop Slove, starts an avalanche and ends up on very thin ice—so it is up to the Superfairies to rescue her.

  4. Mice Skating - For most field mice, winter means burrowing down and snuggling in. But not for Lucy! She loves snow crunching under her paws and wearing a fluffy wool hat. But most of all, Lucy loves to skate. The other mice just don’t understand. Can Lucy find a way to make her friends come out and “mice skate” too? A funny, punny, warmhearted love song to winter—and to one brave, bold mouse.

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Books About Winter and Kwanzaa

Li'l Rabbit's Kwanzaa book
#1
Li'l Rabbit's Kwanzaa
Written by Donna L. Washington and illustrated by Shane W. Evans
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

This was a really cute story about Kwanzaa and about the community it creates, particularly when you are searching to help others. The element of intergenerational bonds is also sweet and uplifting and perfect for the holiday season.

Li’l Rabbit is not having a very good Kwanzaa. Granna Rabbit is sick, and so his family won’t celebrate his favorite part of Kwanzaa this year: a big feast called Karamu. Li’l Rabbit knows what to do! He’ll find Granna Rabbit a special treat for Karamu so she can celebrate anyway. He looks under a pile of logs, in the field, and in the pond and along the way meets Groundhog, Momma Field Mouse, and the frogs—but he doesn’t find anything for Granna Rabbit. Maybe I’m just too little to help Granna Rabbit celebrate Kwanzaa, Li’l Rabbit thinks. Or maybe he just needs a little help from his family and friends. Inspired by Brer Rabbit, a trickster character from the African-American folklore tradition, the story of Li’l Rabbit captures the true meaning of Kwanzaa—coming together to help others.

My First Kwanzaa book
#2
My First Kwanzaa
Written and illustrated by Karen Katz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This book is laid out simply with the words of Kwanzaa, definitions, and telling how they apply. The illustrations are cute and the book is informative!

A simple way to get acquainted with Kwanzaa.

“Hooray! Hooray! It’s time to get ready for Kwanzaa.”

During the seven days of Kwanzaa, we celebrate the importance of family, friends, and community. This warm and lively introduction to a very special holiday will help even the youngest children join in!

Author and illustrator Karen Katz’s wonderful series of picture books for the very young offer a simple and fun way to get familiar with the traditions of holiday celebrations from different cultures.

Kevin's Kwanzaa book
#3
Kevin's Kwanzaa
Written by Lisa Bullard and illustrated by Constanza Basaluzzo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This book does a great job of simply explaining Kwanzaa through they eyes of a boy. I like that the book has extra information and facts to go along with the story, as well as a glossary and instructions to make a Kwanzaa craft at the end of the book.

Kevin is excited for his turn to light the candles on the last night of Kwanzaa. As he narrates through the week of Kwanzaa, readers learn about the origins, purpose, and rituals of this holiday.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Story of Kwanzaa - It’s Kwanzaa-time! Light the candles on the kinara! Fly the bendera, and tell stories from Africa! The festival of Kwanzaa was originated by Dr. Maulana Karenga to honor the customs and history of African Americans. The seven principles of Kwanzaa, called the Nguzo Saba, serve to remind African Americans of the struggles of the past, and also focus on present-day achievements and goals for the future. Activities at the end of the book include making your own cow-tail switch and baking benne cakes.

  2. Seven Spools of Thread - Lemony Snickers - Seven Spools of Thread is a wonderful book for celebrating Kwanzaa. The book features seven sons who must learn to work together to receive their inheritance. The illustrations are fantastic and celebrate the tradition of Kwanzaa with a proud, vibrant fusion of colors. The book teaches a great lesson about looking outside your circle to help those around you.

  3. Together for Kwanzaa - The Book Snob Mom - The illustrations in this book are gorgeous! It is definitely on the long side, but it’s a fine story explaining the principles of Kwanzaa and emphasizing the bond between siblings.

  4. My First Kwanzaa Book - Introduces Kwanzaa, the holiday in which Afro-Americans celebrate their cultural heritage.

Want to see more children's books about Kwanzaa?

Books About Winter and Animals

A Loud Winter's Nap book
#1
A Loud Winter's Nap
Written and illustrated by Katy Hudson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This funny story is a great one to teach kids that even if they think they don’t like something or they haven’t in the past, it might be worth trying out again—they just might like it! :) The illustrations are so beautiful, too!

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.

Peekaboo! In the Snow! book
#2
Peekaboo! In the Snow!
Written and illustrated by Cocoretto
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

My toddler really enjoys this whole series of lift-the-flap books and this winter-themed one is no exception! The flaps are incredibly sturdy and easy for little hands to open themselves and the text is simple enough that it’s one that you may find they can soon “read” to you.

Peekaboo! Who’s hiding in the snow? Lift the flap to find out! Perfect for guessing, prediction and memory skills - and simply joining in!

Snuggle Down Deep book
#3
Snuggle Down Deep
Written by Diane Ohanesian and illustrated by Emily Bornoff
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

Honorable Mentions
  1. 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.

  2. Little Owl's Snow - Little Owl experiences his first snow and first winter in this perfect follow-up to Little Owl’s Night and Little Owl’s Day! “Winter’s almost here!” says Little Owl, as he observes leaves falling, animal friends hibernating, and a chill from his feathers to his feet. And just as he and his friend racoon are watching their breath make fog in the cold air, it happens: Snow! Here is the perfect follow-up to Little Owl’s Night and Little Owl’s Day, and a wonderful introduction to the changing of the seasons!

  3. Snowmen at Night Lap Board Book - This delightful wintertime tale reveals all! Caralyn Buehner’s witty, imaginative verse offers many amusing details about the secret life of snowmen and where they go at night, while Mark Buehner’s roly-poly snowmen are bursting with personality and charm. From the highly successful team that created such winning titles as Fanny’s Dream, Snowmen at Nightis fabulous, frosty, and fun!

  4. Teach Your Giraffe to Ski - When the snow begins to fall and your giraffe takes to the slopes, a rollicking adventure ensues! Your giraffe wants to learn how to ski—but not on the bunny hill. She wants to go down the big scary slope! Enjoy this riotous journey as the narrator tries to rein their giraffe in—and learns something about courage along the way.

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Books About Winter and Fall

Sleepover with Beatrice & Bear book
#1
Sleepover with Beatrice & Bear
Written and illustrated by Monica Carnesi
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This book about best friends bunny and bear is a perfect example of a great friendship! There’s some humor involved, as well as beautiful illustrations that really add to the story. I love that bunny doesn’t despair when she realized she’ll have to spend the winter without bear, but she instead focuses on spending her time alone creating something fun for them to enjoy together once bear wakes up. :)

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.

Tap the Magic Tree book
#2
Tap the Magic Tree
Written and illustrated by Christie Matheson
board book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The acclaimed interactive picture book about the changing seasons. “Like Hervé Tullet’s Press Here, Matheson’s Tap the Magic Tree proves you don’t need apps for interactivity,” praised the New York Times.

Every book needs you to turn the pages. But not every book needs you to tap it, shake it, jiggle it, or even blow it a kiss

Fairy Friends: Seasons book
#3
Fairy Friends: Seasons
Written and illustrated by Merrilee Liddiard
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Fairy Friends Be the first to review this product From the creators of BabyLit® . . .

Parents and children alike will be swept away by the whimsical imaginings of Merilee Liddiard’s Fairy Friends: A Seasons Primer. Springtime fairies are robed in flower petals, summer sprites float on leaves, autumn fairies gather falling leaves, and winter fairies skate on ice. Discover, play, and spark your imagination at any time of year with Fairy Friends’ enchanting illustrations to lead the way.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Tree - Through a hole in the book’s cover, an owl invites you inside to meet a majestic tree and all its forest inhabitants during the changing seasons. With clever peekaboo holes throughout, each page reveals a new set of animals playing and living in the tree—baby bears frolicking in the spring, bees buzzing around apples in the summer, squirrels storing nuts in the fall, and finally the lone owl keeping warm during the winter chill—until another year begins… . Children will love seeing a new set of animals appear and then disappear as each page is turned, and along the way they’ll learn about the seasons and how a forest and its inhabitants change throughout the year.

  2. A Year with the Wind - Charming illustrations and fun, engaging rhymes will enchant toddlers as they learn about the wind; holding kites high in the spring, pushing sailboats in the summer, tossing leaves around in the fall, and making snowflakes dance in the winter. Hanna Konola’s illustrations are popular the world over.

  3. Why Evergreens Keep Their Leaves - One autumn evening, Little Redbird settled down for one last sleep before flying south for winter. As she slept, a strong gust of wind shook her from her cozy nest . . . . . . Little Redbird hurts her wing and misses her chance to fly south for the winter. As she searches for a new home amongst the trees, she begins to realize that not all trees are fit for the winter cold. As more and more trees refuse her shelter, too preoccupied with their preparations for the frost, Little Redbird fears the worst. That is, until she comes across a friendly bunch of evergreens. In the spirit of Oscar Wilde’s The Happy Prince, Why Evergreens Keep Their Leavesis a timeless story of kindness and why the fir, spruce, and juniper trees are evergreen all winter long.

  4. Emily Dickinson - Let your children discover the works of poet Emily Dickinson in “Emily Dickinson.” As the premier title in the Poetry for Kids series, “ Emily Dickinson” introduces children to the works of poet Emily Dickinson. Poet, professor, and scholar Susan Snively has carefully chosen 35 poems of interest to children and their families. Each poem is beautifully illustrated by Christine Davenier and thoroughly explained by an expert. The gentle introduction, which is divided into sections by season of the year, includes commentary, definitions of important words, and a foreword.

Want to see more children's books about fall?

Books About Winter and Christmas

Snowmen at Christmas book
#1
Snowmen at Christmas
Written by Caralyn Buehner and illustrated by Mark Buehner
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

I LOVE the Snowmen books by the Buehners and this is no exception. Fantastic and super catchy rhymes make this super enjoyable to read aloud (and listen to!) and clever re-interpretions of everything Christmas into a snowman world give plenty of things for children to “I spy” as you go through the story.

Snowmen at Night shared with us the magical, slip-sliding adventures of snowmen after dark . . . but have you ever wondered what snowmen do for Christmas? Well, now’s your chance to find out! The snowmen are back, and this time they’re celebrating Christmas—the snowman way! This snappy and entertaining companion to the New York Times bestseller Snowmen at Night depicts all the best parts of the holiday, replete with icy treats and a snowman Kris Kringle. Told in the same bouncy verse as the original, Snowmen at Christmas is perfect for a snowy evening read-aloud.

Refuge book
#2
Refuge
Written by Anne Booth and illustrated by Sam Usher
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A timely rendition of the nativity follows Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus as they travel in a strange land, hoping to find refuge in the kindness of strangers. $1 from the sale of each print book sold until October 2017 will go to the UN refugee agency, UNHCR. Everyone knows the story of how Jesus was humbly born in a manger when was no room at the inn. But here is a lyrical depiction of what came next: the new family’s travels through the desert, fleeing Herod’s soldiers in order to find a safe place to welcome their son into the world. A refreshing look at the classic Christmas story that’s never been more relevant, Refuge asks readers to consider the modern day implications of being forced to flee your home country.

The Nativity book
#3
The Nativity
Written by and illustrated by Julie Vivas
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

The biblical story of the Nativity is one about faith, love—and a miracle. With illustrations that are enchanting and unexpected, Julie Vivas reveals the human side to Mary’s story, beautifully imagining the Angel Gabriel delivering the news to her, the exhausting journey with Joseph to Bethlehem, and at last the deliverance of the baby Jesus.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Day Santa Stopped Believing in Harold - The Book Snob Mom - This book is spunky, clever and delightful, and the perfect book for that tender age where the doubt begins to creep in. The illustrations are amazing (LOVE Cale Atkinson) and a perfect compliment to this story about the tandem doubts of Harold who doesn’t believe in Santa… and Santa who doesn’t believe in Harold.

  2. The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey - B is for Bookworm - This story was beautiful and I loved that it showed you the carvings at the bottom of the pages as they were being made. It was so sweet to learn about the nativity scene through the eyes of the young boy and see how it softened Jonathan Toomy’s heart.

  3. The Legend of the Poinsettia - In Mexico, the poinsettia is called flor de la Nochebuenao flower of the Holy Night. At Christmastime, the flower blooms and flourishes, the quite exquisite red stars lighting up the countryside. This Mexican legend tells how the poinsettia came to be, through a little girl’s unselfish gift to the Christ Child. Beloved Newbery honor-winning author and Caldecott honor-winning illustrator Tomie dePaola has embraced the legend using his own special feeling for Christmas. His glorious paintings capture not only the brilliant colors of Mexico and its art, but also the excitement of the children preparing for Christmas and the hope of Lucida, who comes to see what makes a gift truly beautiful.

  4. The Clown of God - This beautiful new edition of Tomie dePaola’s 1978 classic retelling of a French legend stars a little juggler whose unique talent leads him to what might be a Christmas miracle. Little Giovanni is poor and homeless, but he can do something wonderful: he can juggle. The people of Sorrento marvel at his talents, and before long, he becomes famous throughout Italy for his rainbow of colored balls that delight the nobility and townspeople alike. But as the years pass, Giovanni grows old, and his talents begin to fail him. No longer a celebrated performer, he is once again poor and homeless, begging for his food. Until one Christmas Eve, when Giovanni picks up his rainbow of colored balls once more. And what happens next just might be a miracle…

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Books About Winter and Friendship

Max and Marla book
#1
Max and Marla
Written and illustrated by Alexandra Boiger
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

The watercolor illustrations in this book are gorgeous and beautifully convey this story of two friends who brave a winter wonderland to show exactly what it takes to become true Olympians. Friendship, perseverance and preparation prevail in this humorously and child-friendly portrayal of overcoming failure and pushing through obstacles to achieve your goals.

Two fearless Olympians sled to victory in this delightful new picture book

Max and Marla are best friends. And aspiring Olympians! With their eyes on the prize, they know exactly what it’ll take to reach sledding success: preparation, practice and perseverance. So when rusty blades, strong winds and difficult slopes get in their way, Max and Marla realize true joy lies not in winning but in friendship. Obstacles turn into victories!

With delightful illustrations and charming text, Alexandra Boiger brings to life the story of two unstoppable pals—true Olympians who never give up!

Pablo in the Snow book
#2
Pablo in the Snow
Written by Teri Sloat and illustrated by Rosalinde Bonnet
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

What is soft, fluffy, and white? Pablo’s wool, of course. But this little lamb soon discovers that there’s something else as well: SNOW! From making trails to sledding with friends, having snowball fights and crafting snowmen, there’s tons of fun to be had in the snow. But winter days grow dark very fast, and Pablo finds himself lost on his way home. Not to worry―Mama and Papa help Pablo get back to the cozy barn so he can talk about his adventures.

The Storm Whale in Winter book
#3
The Storm Whale in Winter
Written and illustrated by Benji Davies
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In this sequel to The Storm Whale, the boy, Noi, is caught in a storm at sea and his whale friend comes to his rescue. When Noi’s dad sails out on one last fishing trip before winter, Noi waits for him at home. But as the storm worsens and his dad does not return, Noi decides to go looking for his dad. But the storm is powerful and dangerous, and soon Noi, too, is stuck in the icy sea. When it seems that all hope is lost, a friend comes to help Noi and his father. Poignant and evocative, this is a beautiful celebration of friendship and family, and the special bond between a father and son.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Snowmen All Year - By popular demand, a board book edition of the third title in this bestselling series The Buehners’ New York Times bestselling snowmen are here to stay! Children wonder what would happen if their favorite frosty friends didn’t melt with springtime. What would it be like to take a snowman to the beach? What costume would a snowman wear if you took him trick-or-treating? In this dazzling, silly book, the weather brings a year’s worth of surprise and laughter.

  2. Making A Friend - Beaver is good at making just about everything…but not friends. One winter day, Beaver sees some snowflakes in the sky and gets a great idea: he’ll make a friend. Yes! A snowman will be a great friend! Raccoon passes by as Beaver sets to work and offers a helping hand. The two work side by side to give their snowman everything a friend needs. But when the snowman proves to be a little cold, Beaver discovers that he may have unknowingly “made” another buddy instead. Perfect for snuggling together for a read-aloud, this sweet snowy friendship story from Tammi Sauer and Alison Friend will warm the hearts of young readers.

  3. First Snow - Snowflakes falling! What a treat! Friends gather outside to celebrate the first snowfall of the season with snowball fights, sledding, building igloos, drinking hot chocolate, and making the most of a windy, wintry day. With rhyming text and cheerful illustrations, this is a charming celebration of the winter season.

  4. Waiting for Snow - Badger cannot wait one more minute for it to snow. When his friend Hedgehog explains that everything comes in its time, Badger is as unconvinced and impatient as ever. But Badger’s friends have a few tricks up their sleeve to try to get the snow’s attention and distract their pal in the meantime. In the end, Badger sees there’s no trick—only waiting—until at last, it’s time.

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Books About Winter and Bears

My Pet Polar Bear book
#1
My Pet Polar Bear
Written by Mark Iacolina
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

Polar bears make the best pets! Follow a little girl and her pet polar bear as they hitch a ride to school, play in the bath, and sneak a bedtime treat! From the Board edition.

Bear Can't Sleep book
#2
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?

Shh! Bears Sleeping book
#3
Shh! Bears Sleeping
Written by David Martin and illustrated by Lou Fancher and Steve Johnson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

In the fall When leaves turn red Bears know soon It’s time for bed Comes winter Comes snow Bears are ready Bears go In their cave Warm and deep Winter is time For bears to sleep

A lilting read-aloud text and stunning pictures combine to make an irresistibly appealing picture book that follows these fascinating animal friends through the cycle of the year. A page of facts about bears will answer young readers’ questions as they begin to explore the wonders of the natural world.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Three Snow Bears - Jan Brett’s bestselling snowy “Goldilocks” retelling is now available in this popular large, durable format. Painted in her signature style, the familiar story and depiction of playful Arctic animals and birds dressed in colorful Inuit costumes make this classic tale a perfect choice for Jan’s youngest fans.

  2. The Curious Cares of Bears - 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!

  3. What If ... ? Then We ... - Two polar bear friends have a thrilling adventure as they imagine solutions to a variety of possible situations; their story will show readers how to create their own tales in response to the question “What if…?” in this ingenious picture book. “What if . . . we got lost far, far, far away, and couldn’t find our way home? Then we would become the bravest explorers in the world.” So begin the adventures of two intrepid polar bears. Traveling on a ship imagined from an iceberg, the bears encounter magnificent sights and scary situations. When a city made of crayons melts, the bears use pencils to create a beautiful gray world. When all the words in the universe disappear, the bears invent their own language. When something really big and really scary happens, they whistle and hold hands until it’s not as big or scary anymore. And when they find their way back home, they’re ready to imagine a thousand more possibilities. This companion title to the Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book One Day, The End. is ultimately a book about imagination, friendship, and finding possibilities in the smallest moments.

  4. The Snowbear - Snow comes in the night, and Iggy and Martina make a snowbear. But then a sledge ridge takes them deep into the woods. How will they get back home again? The Snowbear is a spellbinding story about the magic of snow and the power of a child’s imagination. With a simple text and beautiful illlustrations, it will be read again and again. Themes of friendship, loyalty, and bravery make it a great choice for story time, as a bedtime read or on car trips. Children will love the crisp, wintry setting brought to life by Claire Alexander’s art.

Want to see more children's books about bears?

Books About Winter and Nature

Outside Your Window book
#1
Outside Your Window
Written by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Mark Hearld
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Introduces the sights and sounds of the changing seasons, along city streets and in country meadow.

Counting on Snow book
#2
Counting on Snow
Written and illustrated by Maxwell Newhouse
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Maxwell Newhouse, folk artist extraordinaire, has created a unique counting book. The premise is simple. He invites children to count with him from ten crunching caribou down to one lonely moose, by finding other northern animals - from seals to wolves to snowy owls - as they turn the pages. But as the animals appear, so does the snow, until it’s a character too, obliterating light and dark, sky and earth. A gorgeous exploration of the isolation and the beauty of northern winter, Maxwell Newhouse has created a deceptively simple picture book that can be enjoyed by all ages.

Claudia & Moth book
#3
Claudia & Moth
Written and illustrated by Jennifer Hansen Rolli
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

A small girl with a passion for nature turns to her new passion for art as the seasons turn colder.

Claudia loves butterflies. Blue ones. Yellow ones. Purple ones with dots. And since she can’t take them home, she paints them in all their beautiful colors.

But when winter comes, there are no more butterflies to paint…until she finds a little moth. Suddenly, Claudia sees winter in a whole new light.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Hat - When Lisa’s woolen stocking flies off the clothesline, Hedgie finds it and pokes his nose in. He tries to pull it out, but the stocking gets stuck on his prickles - and the fun begins. A mother hen comes by, then a noisy goose, a talkative barn cat, a playful farm dog, a mama pig and her piglets, and a pony. They all laugh at Hedgie, especially when he pretends he’s wearing a new hat. But in the end, it is clever Hedgie who has the last laugh. And where is Lisa when all of this is going on? She’s in the borders, getting ready for winter, until she realizes her stocking is missing and she enters the story to look for it.

  2. Over The River and Through The Wood - The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh—so hop in, hold tight, and join the journey in this dazzling holiday classic! In this stunning paper-over-board picture book, a blustering wind stings the toes and bites the nose, but hearts are warm and there’s lots to eat—for ‘tis Thanksgiving Day! Bundle up as you navigate a winter wonderland of sparkling snow-covered trees and adorable woodland creatures in this cherished holiday tale. Coupled with Emma Randall’s delightful illustrations, the familiar poem-turned-song is the perfect way to celebrate the season. Just remember to leave room for pumpkin pie!

  3. Baby Penguins Love Their Mama - A mother penguin stays very busy taking care of her many babies and teaching them important lessons about such things as sliding, waddling, preening—and love.

  4. Finding a Dove for Gramps - A boy and his mom continue the family tradition of participating in the annual bird count. Since Gramps went South for the winter, the boy hopes to spot Gramps’s favorite bird for him—a dove! But with so many different birds in the nature preserve, will he be able to spot one? This heart-warming family story about nature celebrates a holiday census that was first started in 1900 and happens every year.

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Books About Winter and Adventure

The Ice Castle book
#1
The Ice Castle
Written by Holly Anna and illustrated by Genevieve Santos
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

“In this fifth adventure, Daisy and Posey go on a winter adventure in the World of Make-Believe”—

Bears in the Snow book
#2
Bears in the Snow
Written by Shirley Parenteau and illustrated by David Walker
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Shrieks of joy ensue when Big Brown Bear devises a clever sled that can carry four bears in this quintessential winter adventure. Here’s a bright red sled On a snowy day. Where are the bears To come out and play? The little bears are ready to play in the snow. But — oh, no! Their sled is too small! It’s not as much fun to go sledding only two at a time, but what can they use to carry them all? Luckily, Big Brown Bear has an idea — and it starts with a belly flop!

Adventures with Barefoot Critters book
#3
Adventures with Barefoot Critters
Written and illustrated by Teagan White
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

A seasonal romp through the alphabet features a cast of adorable animal characters who gather honey in the springtime, build cozy campfires in the fall and share other indoor and outdoor activities that correspond with their letters.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Snow Place Like Home - There’s snow place like home in this seventeenth Galaxy Zack adventure! The Nelsons are ready for a galactic winter vacation on a great new planet! And Zack’s best friend, Drake, is coming too! From solar-snowboarding, hydro-freeze fishing, supreme snowball fights, and epic ice forts, the boys can’t wait to dive into the winter games. But at the resort, Zack realizes there are a bunch of hurdles he wasn’t prepared for. Will Zack find a way to beat out the winter blues before it’s time to snow home? With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Galaxy Zack chapter books are perfect for beginning readers.

  2. Greenglass House - At Greenglass House, a smuggler’s inn, 12-year-old Milo, the innkeepers’ adopted son, plans to spend his winter holidays relaxing, but soon guests begin arriving with strange stories about the house, sending Milo and Meddy, the cook’s daughter, on an adventure. Simultaneous eBook.

  3. Daniel's Winter Adventure - Join Daniel Tiger and Prince Wednesday on a wintry adventure in this adorable new 8x8 storybook based on a popular episode of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood! It’s a sparkling, snowy day in the neighborhood, and Daniel, Dad, and Prince Wednesday are all going out for some wintertime fun! Daniel can’t wait to try ice skating for the first time! © 2016 The Fred Rogers Company.

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Epilogue

23 books that are just too good to leave off of our winter list.

  1. Blueberry Pancakes Forever: Finding Serendipity Book Three - In this third middle-grade adventure from the author of Finding Serendipity, Tuesday McGillycuddy must grapple with a new villain in the Land of Story. After an unthinkable loss, time seems to freeze for Tuesday and her mother, the famous author Serendipity Smith. In the land of story, Vivienne Small’s world is frozen too—a perpetual winter has fallen. When a terrible villain takes Vivienne hostage, it’s up to Tuesday to save her friend—and herself. On her quest, she’ll discover what lies at the bottom of her heart, and at the heart of her writing. Beautifully told with warmth and joy, this great adventure is a celebration of life—and love. Don’t miss this heartwarming conclusion to the Finding Serendipity series!

  2. Penguins Don't Wear Sweaters! - You may have seen the cute pictures of penguins wearing sweaters—but did you know why they were wearing them? Debut author Marikka Tamura answers this question in this colorful, kid-friendly book that is told simply and charmingly. Penguins love the sea. Happy in the dark blue water. But what is this? One day something is floating in the water. Dark. Gooey. Oily . . . When the penguins become coated in an oil spill, many Big Boots arrive. The humans want to help the cold, greasy penguins, so they knit sweaters to keep them warm. The Big Boots mean well, but . . . penguins don’t wear sweaters! So after a good, soapy scrub, the penguins dive back into the deep blue sea, happily dressed only in their own penguin feathers.

  3. Cinders - Jan Brett sets her Cinderella story in a snowy Russian winter where one magical night, Cinders, the most picked upon hen in the flock, becomes the most loved by Prince Cockerel when she arrives at his ball looking so beautiful that even her bossy sisters don’t recognize her. Jan travelled to Russia and readers will be in awe of the Ice Palace aglow under a deep blue moonlit sky, exquisite ball gowns on the comely pullets, uniforms with gold braids and buttons on the cockerels, striking Russian architecture transformed into ice in the borders, and a very funny flock of chickens who provide an appealing, original look at this snowy Cinderella. Readers will find these dressed up chickens comical as they pour over the extravagant setting, including a “WOW”-inducing double gatefold of chicken couples whirling around the ballroom. A feast for the eyes sure to become a perennial favorite.

  4. Winter - Animals in a wintery countryside eventually settle down to sleep, in a text with flaps and pop-up illustrations.

  1. Make-Believe Class - One cold, gray, winter day, Miss Winkle leads Katie Woo and the rest of her class on an imaginary journey, challenging them to find ways to complete their lessons on a sunny island, under the sea, or on the moon.

  2. Once Upon a Winter - Feeling out of sorts with his twin sister, Olive, and their friends Lizzie and Sarah, Peter is drawn to new student Kai, but soon discovers that Kai is not very nice.

  3. The Sound of Kwanzaa - Hear the words, sing the songs, dance to the beat, and shout “Harambee!” as you jump into this joyful celebration of the sounds of Kwanzaa! The sound is Umoja—bringing us together. The sound is Kuumba—the songs of our ancestors. The sound is Kwanzaa! Lively verse and colorful illustrations guide you through the seven principles of this festive holiday. All you have to do is come close, gather round, and discover what Kwanzaa is all about!

  4. Santa's Kwanzaa - Santa lays the last present beneath the last Christmas tree and returns weary-eyed to the North Pole-to the surprise of a lifetime. From the twenty-sixth day of December to January first, Santa and his family delight in the Kwanzaa tradition, and have a jolly-good time. But as the last day approaches, Santa is still filled with the holiday spirit and wants to do something extra special to show his love for humanity. What more can Santa give? Painfully funny merry-making wraps up sweetly in this risible and enchanting celebration of two holidays under one cover!

  1. The Seven Days of Kwanzaa - Celebrate the culture, heritage, family, and tradition of Kwanzaa through this beautiful variation of a popular holiday song. On the fifth day of Kwanzaa, my people gave to me Five festive friends! Four spending dollars, Red, green, and black, Two drums-a-drumming, And a promise for unity. Sing in celebration of Kwanzaa with this cheerful holiday rhyme. This creative spin on a familiar Christmas song features rhyming text, and lively artwork from illustrator Jeremy Tugeau.

  2. Christmas Tapestry - The Book Snob Mom - This is a beautiful story about the true meaning of Chrismas and seeing the beauty of the big things that matter in the midst of little stumbling blocks. Patricica Polacco’s illustrations are always gorgeous, and heartwarming, and this story definitely brought tears to my eyes.

  3. Great Joy - It is just before Christmas when an organ grinder and monkey appear on the street outside Frances’s apartment. When it’s quiet she can hear their music, and when she looks out her window at midnight, she sees them sleeping outside. Finally the day of the Christmas pageant arrives, but when it’s Frances’s turn to speak, all she can think about is the organ grinder’s sad eyes—until a door opens just in time, and she finds the perfect words to share. With this luminous tale, Kate DiCamillo pairs with Bagram Ibatoulline to offer a timeless holiday gift.

  4. Nutcracker - “A classic, new and complete. One of the ten best illustrated children’s books of the year.” — New York Times Book Review The tale of Nutcracker, written by E.T.A. Hoffmann in 1816, has fascinated and inspired artists, composers, and audiences for almost two hundred years. It has retained its freshness because it appeals to the sense of wonder we all share. Maurice Sendak designed brilliant sets and costumes for the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Christmas production of Nutcracker and created even more magnificent pictures especially for this book. He joined with the eminent translator Ralph Manheim to produce this illustrated edition of Hoffmann’s wonderful tale, destined to become a classic for all ages. The world of Nutcracker is a world of pleasures. Maurice Sendak’s art illuminates the delights of Hoffmann’s story in this rich and tantalizing treasure.

  1. The Nutcracker : A Pop-Up Book for Christmas - Explore the world of the Nutcracker through five spectacular pop-up scenes full of lift-the-flap surprises. Children can open the pop-up presents, watch the midnight battle between the mice and the toy soldiers (with the tallest pop-up Christmas tree youve ever seen) then join Clara on her sleigh ride to the Land of Sweets. Sue Scullards astonishingly detailed illustration, combined with Nick Denchfield`s miraculous pop-up scenes, make this the most magical NUTCRACKER ever.

  2. The Night Before Christmas - In her fresh imagining of Clement C. Moore’s timeless classic, acclaimed watercolorist Holly Hobbie introduces an entirely new character to capture the magic and heighten the wonder of this exciting, mysterious time. Her inimitable illustrations glow with warmth and feeling and will transport you to a place where anything can happen.

  3. Santa Calls - Three kids venture to the North Pole to help Santa defeat an army of evil elves in this holiday classic from the brilliant mind that brought you The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. Art Atchinson Aimesworth—inventor, crime fighters, and all-around whiz kid—journeys north with his sister, Esther, and his pal Spaulding, by special invitation from Santa himself. Why did Santa call them to the North Pole? Art wants to know. But when Esther is taken by the Queen of the Dark Elves, Art must put his questions aside and save his sister. This reissue of William Joyce’s epic Christmas adventure now comes complete with lift-the-flap letters from Santa himself!

  4. Olive, the Other Reindeer - B is for Bookworm - A very fun book about a dog who thinks he might be a reindeer. :) So cute and the story will make you smile. The illustrations in this book are absolutely beautiful and so colorful!

  1. Auntie Claus (Deluxe Edition) - A deluxe gift edition of the modern Christmas classic, featuring an access code to a printable Christmas party kit, plus downloadable audio read by Academy Award-winning actress Ellen Burstyn! Auntie Claus is just another eccentric New Yorker—or is she? Young Sophie has often wondered about her unusual great-aunt, Auntie Claus. She lives in penthouse 25C at the Bing Cherry Hotel and is so curioso! After all, Auntie Claus serves Christmas cookies all year long and her tree is always the best-decorated in the city. And then there’s her annual “business trip,” right around the holidays. This year Sophie is determined to get to the bottom of Auntie Claus’s mysterious ways. Put on your mittens and bundle up for an adventure beyond your wildest dreams. Ho, ho, ho!

  2. The Night Before Christmas - B is for Bookworm - This edition of the classic story has the most beautiful illustrations! A Christmas classic, this one’s a must read of the season. I especially love the lift-the-flap pages that make the book extra fun.

  3. The Tale of Three Trees - The Goodfather - This is a very touching tale that is sure to become a holiday favorite. The beauty of the story is matched by the beauty of the illustrations. The story moves quickly enough to hold the attention of young readers while also having a depth that will inspire the heart of anyone reading.

  4. Room for a Little One: A Christmas Tale - That cold winter’s night, beneath the star’s light… …a Little One came for the world.

  1. All Is Merry and Bright - A gorgeous keepsake book that shines with holiday cheer and foil on every spread, All Is Merry and Bright is full of illumination and hope—perfect for the youngest readers in your life

  2. If Picasso Painted a Snowman - B is for Bookworm - Such a fun book showing how all artists have different styles. It walks through famous painters and what their snowmen might look like. I love this introduction to famous artists and their styles! It’s also super fun that there’s a blank canvas at the end for you to copy and create your own snowman with your own style.

  3. Little Mole, Please Open the Door! - It’s winter time in the forest, and the snow is falling heavy and cold outside. Mole is quietly relaxing in her warm and cozy home when—knock, knock, knock!—someone begins to knock at the door. One by one, all the little woodland creatures make their way to Mole’s safe haven, seeking refuge from the chilling weather. Will she open her door to everyone? Even the wolf?

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

Additional book lists you might enjoy: