Looking for children’s winter books perfect for reading on a snowy night? We’ve got you covered here, with all things chilly and snowy. Check out these incredible stories!
We love children’s winter books, especially here in Miami!
It doesn’t snow in Miami.
This was a cruel reality when I was a child.
When winter break began, I watched holiday movies on television with such longing, wishing I could jump right into the picture on the screen to join an epic snowball fight or sit at the kitchen table with a steaming mug of hot chocolate while snow blanketed the world outside.
Instead, I was “stuck” in a tropical paradise.
While most people couldn’t wait to come to South Florida for a vacation, I just wanted the temperature to drop below seventy degrees.
Cousins would send pictures of snowmen while we were more likely sweating than shivering. Retail stores were filled with sweaters, mittens, and hats which, if purchased, were rarely worn.
Winter read-alouds help us get into the snowy spirit
What to do when it seemed the rest of the world was winter-white and rosy-cheeked?
I couldn’t just hop on a plane and head to the mountains, so I had to create a winter wonderland right in my own home.
The best way to do that? I used great children’s books about winter, of course.
I was a kid with a big imagination and a voracious appetite for story, so reading became my entryway into a magical, mystical world. The silent treks through the snowy plains I saw in books led me to create my own imaginary snow days, right smack in the middle of steamy Miami.
These children’s winter books helped me get into the winter spirit!
Children’s winter books encourage the imagination to take flight.
The best winter read-alouds allow the imagination to take flight. They inspire play in its purest form and foster a great sense of awe in children.
So the next day you’re snowed in — or looking longingly at palm trees and wishing they were white-capped mountains – grab a stack of these children’s winter books make a cup of cocoa, and cuddle on the couch with these perfect, cozy reads.
RELATED: We have more than 100 fabulous children’s book lists here on Happily Ever Elephants. Be sure to check them out!
Frequently asked questions
Children’s winter books are fabulous for storytime, or for sharing with kids over steaming cups of hot cocoa! On the chilliest of days, we love getting cozy under warm blankets and reading books about winter that talk about snow, building snowmen, and going sledding. We also love stories that teach us how animals prepare for the winter. These types of stories make for great winter read-alouds when you’re stuck indoors!
The Snowy Day, by Ezra Jack Keats, is one of the most classic children’s winter books of all time. The story about a boy quietly experiencing the first snowfall of winter is a gem. Owl Moon, by Jane Yolen, is another winter masterpiece about a father and daughter going owling together late one night in the dead of winter. Both of these stories are featured below. We have more children’s books about snow here, so be sure to check those out in addition to this list of children’s winter books!
I will forever love Philip C. Stead’s Samson in the Snow. This book is pure perfection. Not only does everyone love a giant wooly mammoth, but the snowy illustrations are magnificent, and the themes of friendship, compassion, and empathy make this quiet read-aloud an absolute must for every bookshelf! Samson is featured below.
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RELATED: Have you checked out our excellent list of kindergarten read-alouds? They make storytime rock!
These are our favorite children’s winter books
Samson, a giant woolly mammoth, shares his dandelions with a red bird who is looking to cheer up a sad friend. When the bird flies away, Samson is left wondering what it would be like to have a real friend of his own. Samson subsequently awakens from a deep sleep, only to find the world covered in snow. He immediately worries about the red bird, so he sets off to find her to ensure she’s warm. As Samson journeys through the snow, he finds that warmth can be found in more ways than one. A testament to compassion, kindness, and friendship, we love this quiet, beautiful story! For our full review of Samson in the Snow, click here!
Late one night in the dead of winter, a young girl and her father set out to go owling. They barely speak on their journey through the snow, for you don’t need words to go owling. Instead, they maintain hopeful hearts and exercise patience as they wait to witness the resolute stare of a wise old owl. A poetic masterpiece and an exquisite mentor text to explore personal narratives, this is a story that has captivated both children and adults for years.
In this classic, a young boy wakes up to discover snow has fallen during the night. He goes outside to experience the first snowfall of winter fully, and as he plays, his eyes open to the wonder and possibility of the new world at his fingertips, for everything changes when draped in a blanket of soft white.
The snow is coming! Perfect for your youngest children, five little penguins watch the snow fall and bundle themselves up before heading outside to play. But, oh no! The littlest penguin decides to stay behind to wait for mama. When their snowy fun is finished, the penguins return inside, warm up in their coziest jammies, and relax with cookies and sippies. This is a perfect children’s winter book to celebrate the season’s arrival! For more great children’s books about penguins, click here!
This is one of the most beautiful winter read-alouds! The main character says goodbye to the leaves and sees the animals getting ready for the cold weather to come. The evenings become longer, the shadows reach farther, and soon, the clouds cover the sky like a blanket. Then the frost and icicles come, ushering in a snowy, quiet winter season. This children’s winter book is just magical, and I love Pak’s book welcoming fall, too. His work is wondrous!
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Written as an invocation, this quiet beauty tells the story of a young girl who wishes for just a bit more time for family togetherness. The child yearns for a snow day so her mother, a pilot, will be grounded and forced to stay home. Through Krommes enchanting scratchboard illustrations, readers witness what happens while the child sleeps soundly and her deepest desires are fulfilled: she will wake up to a blanket of snow outside her window. For our more detailed review of Before Morning, click here!
What happens when animals find a red sled during the night? They take it for a joy ride, of course! When reading this stunning, nearly wordless picture book, children will delight in the humorous expressions on the animal’s faces and will love giving voice to the onomatopoeia on each page. This is such a cozy winter read-aloud, and we love imagining the animals actually having this much fun!
One winter’s night, bear and wolf stumble upon each other while both wander in the snow. What fun it is to have a companion! The two delight in having a friend by their side, until it comes time to say goodbye. After all, bear must hibernate for the winter and wolf must run with his pack. This is a beautiful, timeless story, a calming read that is at once an ode to friendship and a testament to the power of being mindful and staying in the present.
Max and his pet owl, Marla, are the truest of Olympians. They are champions who know preparation is everything. When they take their sled up the mountain only to experience “technical difficulties,” the two don’t give up– they simply fix the sled and try the next day again. Max and Marla continue to face challenges but each day they continue to tackle them. Will they succeed? Maybe, but not in the way you may anticipate. That is the beauty of this sweet story!
Kevin Henkes knows how to engage children, and in this lovely winter read-aloud, he celebrates the sights, smells, and sounds of this magical season. With repetition and alliteration, this begs to be read aloud, and the beautiful illustrations are a perfect match to the lovely language. We also love the way the book shows the long winter season shift into spring at the end!
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Steig’s sweet story from the 1980s is a wonderful testament to the power of perseverance and the things we do for love. When Irene’s mother, a dressmaker, falls ill, she is unable to deliver a dress she made for the duchess before an important ball. So Irene takes it upon herself to deliver this dress, but she must battle the bitter cold, tons of snow and howling winds to get there. Irene almost gives up. But she braves the elements and her perseverance is rewarded greatly. A classic!
In this wordless Caldecott award winner, a girl in a red coat braves a harsh snowy day on her way home from school. As she walks, she comes across a lost and scared wolf pup. The girl befriends the pup and what follows is her journey through the sting of winter to return the pup to its family. She travels long and far though. So long and so far, in fact, that she loses her way. How will she ever get home? The emotion conveyed in every one of these stunning illustrations is simply exquisite. For our full review of Wolf in the Snow, click here.
This gorgeous children’s winter book tells how one farm prepares for the coming winter. It’s a beautiful explanation of what winter means for the farm, and how each season gives rise to winter’s well-earned rest. After sheltering people and animals and keeping everyone fed and warm, it is now time for the farm to sleep. This beautiful, quiet story is also on our great list of farm books for preschool.
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This is such a darling book about sweet little Lucy the mouse who doesn’t want to burrow like the other mice. Instead, she wants to feel the snow crunch under her feet, wear a fluffy hat, and show off her skating skills. But after an indoor snowball fight goes wrong, it doesn’t look like any of her friends will come out to mice-skate with her. What will Lucy do? This is such an adorable winter read-aloud!
Though Charles is desperate to find a wish tree, his brother and sister try to tell him there is no such thing. Yet Charles is determined and sets out through the snow on a journey to find one. With his trusty sled Boggan and a song in his heart, Charles discovers the enchantment of winter and the wonder of wishing.
RELATED: Do you have kids that are just beginning to read? Check out these fantastic lists for both kindergarten books and early reader books!
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