I have a guilty confession: I love cold weather. I love snow. I love ice, blizzards, snowball fights, and freeze warnings. Icy air blustering against rosy noses? Sign me up. Frozen earlobes? Yep. Dressing in twenty layers and waddling obnoxiously into my own front yard? I’m in.
Of course, I’d prefer all of this a great deal less if it weren’t for a warm house to snuggle into, waterproof shoes, warm clothes or non-arthritic knees. None of these are guarantees in life, so for now I’ll count my blessings, enjoy my wintery weather, and accept the fact that one day I might loathe the very thing that I celebrate.
Honestly, I’m not sure I would love winter quite so much if it wasn’t for my son. He’s seven years old and like most kids is a winter fanatic. I guess it rubs off on me. Some of my warmest (ha!) winter memories with him include building teeny-tiny snowmen, using recycled political yard signs to sled down the huge hill at a local elementary school, explaining to him what “snow day” means, following bird and squirrel tracks through the snow, bundling up for a trip to the park, building a fire, and boiling water for hot chocolate.
For those of you with kiddos, you might feel a similar kinship to winter. Or you might not. Cold weather can be a bit of a touchy subject. Regardless, I hope you decide to share a few of these wintery books with the youngest readers in your life. Until next time, keep reading together!
Penguin and Pinecone by Salina Yoon
Penguin and Pinecone is one of my top-five favorite books of all time. It’s timeless, endearing, and good silly fun that all ages will appreciate. Penguin’s new friend is cold. Very cold. Penguin remedies the situation with a handmade scarf, but it’s simply not enough to keep the frigid air out. What can Penguin do to help his friend? And what will he do if he meets other friends in need? Find out in this classic picture book.
Dear Yeti by James Kwan
Dear Yeti by James Kwan is a fun little book about two hikers who spend the day in search of the abominable snowman but ultimately come up empty handed. Just as peril and extreme cold sets in, the hikers get a helping hand (and a little something else) from their long-awaited friend.
The Thing About Yetis by Vin Vogel
Speaking of Yetis, they’re hard to figure, right? One moment they’re gallivanting on snowy dunes, avoiding hikers and whatnot. The next moment they’re pouting about how they miss fireflies, campfires, and beach balls. One thing is for sure, no two yetis are alike, and they’re all special in their own way. The Thing About Yetis by Vin Vogel is a story about one special Yeti who pines for a summer’s day in the midst of a snowstorm.
Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
Snowy Day is a jewel of children’s literature and hardly needs anything said about it. I picked it because of its nod to simplicity and small pleasures in life and because of its lovable main character, Peter.
The Snowman by Raymond Briggs
The Snowman by Raymond Briggs is one of my favorite wordless picture books. It’s going on 40 years old, but I didn’t discover it until last year. Its timeless story and charming illustrations will make this book a perennial winter favorite with your family.
No Two Alike by Keith Baker
Another nod to simplicity, No Two Alike by Keith Baker is a super fun book full of spot-the-differences that is best when shared. The soft, cool illustrations transport readers into the heart of wintertime and the quirky main characters help propel the simple text.
When Blue Met Egg by Lindsay Ward
I had the extreme honor of hearing Mary Kole (the editor) read When Blue Met Egg by Lindsay Ward a few years ago. It immediately shot to the top of my favorite picture books list. I love the optimism and hope exhibited by Blue even when it seems like her world has come undone. If you love whimsy, happy endings, and New York City then you’ll totally dig this book.
There Was a Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow by Lucille Colandro (illustrated by Jared Lee)
My son’s class read There Was a Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow a few years ago and when he brought it home it made me laugh like crazy. It’s a silly twist on the classic children’s story and the ending is weirdly entertaining and totally worth the wait.
Sick Simon by Dan Krall
Simon is sick. Really sick. And you know something, he absolutely, positively does not care. Life must go on! His classmates, parents, and friends might think a little bit differently, however, once they start getting sick too! Sick Simon by Dan Krall is ewwy, gooey, gross fun for your young readers. While not technically a “winter” book, it is about cold and flu season, so it qualifies!