Children's Fiction: Let's Celebrate Winter!

It’s still getting darker earlier, and the temperatures continue to drop. We have made it to a new year and January is the perfect time of year share a fun book with family, while making paper snowflakes while staying warm this winter. Below are some perfect picture books to share with your little ones-- toddlers through first grade.

Raymond Briggs brings us his classic tale from 1978, The Snowman. This is a wordless story, but inspires families to develop their own text and story based on the illustrations. The illustrations are soft and simple, yet colorful and vibrant. The story follows a little boy who builds a snowman, who then comes alive in his dreams. Soon, the snowman and boy go on a fanciful flight through the countryside.

The First Day of Winter, by Denise Fleming, reads in the tradition of the song The Twelve Days of Christmas, but is not a holiday story. The book tells the story of gifts given to a boy, and how he uses them to build a snowman. This is a great seasonal story and the illustrations are class to Fleming who uses pulp painting. This book also introduces numbers through the use of the days of winters and number of items given. The numbers are easily visible for young readers and listeners.

Our next book, Snow, by Uri Shulevitz, is a New York Times Outstanding Book of the Year and a Caldecott Honor Book. Shulevitz shares the story of a boy and his dog as they eagerly await the first snowfall of the year. Nobody in the town believes the snowflakes will amount to anything, but the boy has faith. The watercolor and pen-and-ink illustrations work perfectly together with the lovely text to make the story of hope for snow dazzling and whimsical.

Lois Ehlert, author and illustrator, uses found objects in her story Snowballs, to tell the story of making a snow family, and how they melt away. The pictures are made with objects Ehlert has found, and can be used to point and have children describe and name the objects. The back of the book also includes a description of what makes snow. There is also a recipe to make popcorn balls. As always, Ehlert’s story is interactive and fun for all families. Her website is worth checking out, as it includes activities for all over her books.

Other books worth checking out: Snowflake Bentley, Snowflakes in Photographs, Snow, Into the Snow, It's Snowing! (non-fiction), Snow (non-fiction) and The Three Snow Bears.