Looking for a winter book to read aloud to your children? You’ll love these winter-themed picture books. Discover wonderful stories with beautiful illustrations. They’re fabulous celebrations of the winter season that I’ve enjoyed reading with my own children and students. Plus, this list contains the newest published winter books from 2023!
I hope you find tie to celebrate the winter season with charming children’s books about winter, snow, animals, and snowy activities. Curl up with a book, some hot cocoa, and a blanket and snuggle in.
Won’t these cozy picture books make the best read aloud books?
Winter Books to Read Aloud to Kids
Snow Still by Holly Surplice
A sweet, simple story about winter shows a little fawn taking slippery steps into the fresh world of snow with bunnies playing near a tree, birds resting on a high branch, and an owl soaring overhead. Each page is only two words that always starts with the word snow. Finally, the fawn finds his parent and they all curl up to sleep. “Snow sleep.“
The Itsy Bitsy Snowman by Jeffrey Burton, illustrated by Sanja Rescek
This winter book gives readers a playful twist to the familiar “Itsy Bitsy Spider” but with a snowman who climbs up the snowy hill, zips, slides, and plays in the wintery snow.
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
Memorable from my own childhood, this classic story still holds the same wonder and thrill of the first snow. Peter spends the day outside, crunching in the snow, making tracks, and playing. But can he save the snowball for later? Gorgeous artwork and a timeless story.
The Deep and Snowy Wood by Elwyn Tate
“In the deep and snowy wood,” a mole digs, a deer runs, and a squirrel hops. Where are the animals going? To greet Santa because it’s Christmas Day! It’s a delightful story for preschoolers with rhyming, repetition, and simplicity. I love it!
When the Snow Falls by Linda Booth Sweeney, illustrated by Jana Christy
Playful poetic language invites readers into a wonderland of multigenerational, multicultural family time in the snow. “Woods hush. Fields glisten. Wren sings. We listen.” The children sled, make snow angels, watch the snowy roads, and return home to a cozy fire next to grandma and grandpa. “Cocoa warms. Mittens puddle. Day dawdles. We cuddle.” This book feels like a warm and cozy hug.
Snow Friends by Margery Cuyler, illustrated by Will Hillenbrand
Experience the snow from a dog’s perspective in this darling, playful, wintery read aloud. Oscar’s boy wants to stay inside and read so Oscar goes outside to play in the snow– and makes a new friend. When his boy arrives, he makes a new friend, too.
Winter Dance by Marion Dane Bauer, illustrated by Richard Jones
This beautifully illustrated and written picture book enchants readers with repeated text and soft forest scenes. “Winter is coming, what should I do?” the fox asks. As he asks the different forest creatures, one by one, they tell him what they do in the winter, like make a chrysalis, burrow in the mud, gather and hide acorns. But it’s not until he sees another red fox that he learns what to do. “When a million snowflakes fill the air, twirling, tumbling, spinning, waltzing, you and I join them.” It’s absolutely a joyful celebration of winter with an exceptional use of vivid verbs.
Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter by Kenard Pak
Hello. Hello, robins and cardinals who are ready to fly south. Hello, deer, whose fur is thickening up for winter. Hello, evergreens whose pine-needle branches “shiver in the wind while you sleep.” Slowly, the illustrations shift from fall to snowy white winter and so does the text. Hello to frost and icicles. And goodbye, autumn. This is a lovely, cozy, by-the-fire book to share with your little ones.
Just Snow Already by Howard McWilliam
The boy is SO excited for the snow. He keeps checking out the window and is frustrated that NOTHING is happening out there. (But we can see that there is — a firetruck, a cat stuck in a tree, a cool monster truck, a dog chase, etc.) The boy plans and imagines all that he can do in the snow…and wonders what if it will never snow again. Will it ever snow? Funny and relatable.
Snowflakes on Our Tongues written by Mike Ornstein, illustrated by Pauline Gregory
Something silly is happening at Pumpernickel Farm! When it snows, the animals like to stick out their tongues…and catch snowflakes! But what about the farmer? Yes, just like his animals, he likes to have a little fun when it snows, too…and he catches his own snowflakes on his tongue! Repetitive structure, rhyme, and silliness will make this a new favorite preschool read aloud!
Something’s Fishy by Jean Gourounas
Penguin gets grumpier when her loud friends interrupt her solitary ice fishing. The friends wonder why the fish aren’t biting, but their entire conversation does not include Penguin which is super funny. Fantastic words peppered throughout, illustrations to love, and a funny surprise ending make this picture book a winter hit!
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost, illustrated by P.J. Lynch
Gorgeous wintery atmospheric illustrations illuminate the beauty of Robert Frost’s poem with exquisite detail. As a girl and her horse journey through the snowy woods, she stops to take in the beauty of the frozen lake and dark woods. Her horse shakes his bells as if to question why she’s not stopping at a farmhouse. Eventually, she gets back on to continue her journey of miles to go before she can sleep. And we wonder where she’s going…
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt: Snow Globe Edition by Michael Rosen, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury
I love this cover –it’s a fun snow globe for kids to shake and move, watching the white “snow” balls circle around the dad and kids. Inside is not just the familiar story but also delightful 3D illustrations that pop up. Charming and irresistible for the preschool set!
The Wish Tree by Kyo Maclear, illustrated by Chris Turnham
Charles and Boggan (a toboggan) cheerfully stroll through the forest looking for a wish tree. On their journey, they see many animals before finding the wish tree and making a wish.
Whose Tracks in the Snow? by Alexandra Milton
Look at the tracks in the snow. Find out who they belong to and learn more information about that animal. Kids will love noticing the shapes of the tracks and guessing the animals, then reading more about each creature. Whose tracks are like hearts? A shy red deer! This is a wonderful nature-filled winter book!
The Twist-a-Roo written by Kathleen Doherty, illustrated by Kristyna Litten
In a charming STEAM story filled with wordplay and GORGEOUS illustrations, Badger discovers a twist-a-roo, aka. a kaleidoscope. Even though Badger’s forest friends urge Badger to store food for the winter, Badger keeps playing. What will happen when Badger’s food storage runs out, and it’s snowy outside? A group of friends share their food with Badger, and Badger chases away their winter blues with the zippy-zappy fancy light show. You’ll be reading this delightful story again and again!
Snow Sisters by Kerri Kokias, illustrated by Teagan White
In this lovely winter book, simple text pairs with lovely illustrations showing how two sisters spend a snowy day. One inside, one outside; then, they trade places and retrace each other’s footsteps.
The Little Snowplow by Lora Koehler, illustrated by Jake Parker
The Big Snowplows don’t think the Little Snowplow is necessary on their crew because BIG is better. When a huge storm arrives, Little Snowplow shows the bigger trucks that he can be a BIG help and save the day.
The Little Snowplow Wishes for Snow by Lora Koehler, illustrated by Jake Parker
You’ll appreciate this picture book’s message that not all winters have snow. In this enjoyable story, it’s Little Snowplow’s biggest wish to see snow. He and his friends do every superstitious thing they can to make it snow, but it doesn’t. Just when he’s about to give up and on his birthday day, it snows! He excitedly skips his party and gets to work. Of course, his friends meet him later for a very fun postponed celebration. (Imagine trucks playing pin the tail on the yeti and making snow trucks.)
Lines by Suzy Lee
Watch the beautiful lines adorn each page as a solitary skater creates swirly, whirly designs on the ice. She spins, leaps, skates backward, and suddenly — a surprise –eraser marks. Now we see that she’s an illustration on crumpled paper. Until she’s back with new friends, skating on a busy pond. A delightful illusion that plays with the reader who wants to believe in the magic of those lines.
Yetis Are the Worst! by Alex Willan
Goblin tries to convince you that for sure, yetis are THE WORST. And he’ll prove that they’re not cool by finding them and showing you. He searches everywhere and never notices the hiding yetis (you will, though!) — until he falls into their home. That’s when he admits that yetis actually aren’t the worst. You’ll love this third hilarious story from Alex Willan’s The Worst series!
I Want Snow! by Tony Ross
The spoiled Little Princess will crack your kids up. She WANTS snow and has everyone running around the castle to get her some. The Prime Minister builds her a snowman out of stones. That doesn’t work. The Admiral built her a snow castle out of the sand. Finally, it actually snows. And you’ll never guess what the Little Princess decides about snow…
Ten Ways to Hear Snow by Cathy Camper, illustrated by Kenard Pak
Lina walks through the snow to her Grandma’s house. As she walks, she notices the sounds of snow. Her boots on the ground sound like “snyak, snyek, snyuk.” People sweeping snow off their cars make a “swish-wish, swish-wish.” She hears the snow with things like mittens, skis, snowballs, shovels, too. When she arrives at her Grandma’s they cook together, eat, and listen to the stillness of the snow. This story’s lovely illustrations combine with the sensory images in the text to give readers an immersive experience of this snowy day. One of my favorite winter books on this list.
The Snow Dancer by Addie Boswell, illustrated by Merce Lopez
Snow covers the ground while Sofia sleeps. When she wakes, she leaves the sleeping house and explores the quiet morning, leaping, twirling, crunching, and dancing ballet in the silence. Until the other kids noisily arrive outside, too. Amidst the hubbub of the kids loudly paying, Sofia shows a little girl just what a snow dancer does…which even includes joining in a huge snowball fight. Lyrical language and beautiful illustrations celebrate a young dancer’s day in the snow.
Snow by Cynthia Rylant
Evocative imagery paints dancing pictures of snow in our minds…“The best snow is the snow that comes softly in the night, like a shy friend afraid to knock, so she thinks she’ll just wait in the yard until you see her. This is the snow that brings you peace.” Some snow falls in “fat, cheerful flakes” sends you home early from someplace you don’t want to be like school or work. This picture book’s magical tribute to snow beautifully captures the enchantments of snowy weather.
Wintercake by Lynne Rae Perkins
Filled with rich, wonderful words, this is a sweet winter story that starts with a misunderstanding yet results in showing the power of kindness and starting new traditions. Thomas loses his fruit basket and assumes someone stole it. But then a stranger returns the basket he found. As a result, Thomas and his friend Lucy chase after the stranger to include him in their Winter’s Eve plans.
Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell
A girl in a bright red coat leaves school in worsening snow. The girl gets lost and finds a lost wolf cub and carries him, trudging toward the distant howling of his pack. It’s a beautiful moment until then she collapses, freezing and exhausted. The wolves gather around her, howling for her people who are looking for her. She’s found and returned home to snuggle by the fire with her parents and dog. Beautiful visual storytelling with a message of kindness.
A Day So Gray by Marie Lamba, illustrated by Alea Marley
A little girl takes her friend around the neighborhood to show her that it’s not all gray… In fact, it’s “deep soft brown, and shining blue, and silver splashes on bright yellow.” Closer observation shows the tans and oranges and reds, purples, grays, and greens… This celebration of details and shifting your perspective might be just what you need on a so-called gray day.
Mice Skating by Annie Silvestro, illustrated by Teagan White
When it’s winter, most field mice stay burrowed in their dens. But not Lucy. She loves the crunchy snow, the frosty air, and the fluffy wool hat that makes her warm, brave, and bold. Her friends think she’s weird, but Lucy’s determined to show them how fun winter can be.
The Most Perfect Snowman by Chris Britt
The other snowmen are much fancier than Drift and don’t include him in their snowman games. One day, three children change that for him, fancying him up. But after a snowstorm blows away most of his new clothes and a helpless bunny needs his help, Drift learns how to be the most perfect snowman.
First Snow by Bomi Park
Black and white with a dash of red illustrate this magical journey of a first snowfall, as seen through the eyes of a little girl building a snowman.
Bunny Slopes by Claudia Rueda
Claudia Rueda takes the concept of an interactive reader/narrator story and skillfully makes it her own. Bunny wants to ski and needs your help. Bunny asks YOU to shake, tilt, and tap so that there is snow, a hill, and so forth. It’s a fun adventure that ends with a warm cup of cocoa. Gorgeous illustrations and fun adventures.
The Mitten by Jan Brett
We adore this WINTER book! A boy named Nicki convinces his grandmother to knit him white mittens and drops one in the snow. One by one, the forest animals find the mitten and crawl inside until it’s overflowing with animals — even a bear. Eventually, a surprising and funny turn of events will bring the stretched mitten back to Nikki. The detailed border designs give this story a rich flavor plus the illustrations lend to the folk tale’s sense of place.
Winter’s Child by Angela McAllister, illustrated by Grahame Baker-Smith
I’m enchanted by the exquisite, finely detailed artwork in this beautiful winter story about a boy who loves winter and his new friend, Winter’s Child, who stays to play extra long, delaying spring.
Little Red Gliding Hood by Tara Lazar, illustrated by Troy Cummings
Little Red is an ice skater in need of a partner in this fractured fairy tale. She’s determined to win the pairs skating competition and win a new pair of skates. Will wolf be the perfect partner?
The Red Apple by Feridun Oral
Rabbit’s hunger drives him out of his burrow. He spies a red apple, but it’s so high on the tree that he needs all his forest friends to help him get it down. They all share the apple, and go back to sleep, cuddled together in Bear’s cave.
A Warm Winter by Feridun Oral
Mouse collects so many sticks that he needs his friend’s help to push and pull the pile to his nest. The sticks topple, and a snowstorm arises but all is well that ends well in this story about sharing.
The Bear Report by Thyra Heder
I LOVE this story! It all starts with a homework assignment (a report!) about polar bears. Olafur, the polar bear, arrives to help Sophie learn more about his species — and that they’re not mean like she thinks. He takes Sophie to his land and shows her all about his life. It’s so beautiful and eye-opening for Sophie. Sophie returns home to write the best report ever! Gorgeous illustrations throughout!
Max and Marla by Alexandra Boiger
Marla and her best friend Max (an owl) will charm you with their determination to be successful Olympians and positive attitude. The charming illustrations perfectly capture the characters and winter setting.
Snow by Uri Shulevitz
The skies are gray. And a little boy with the dog knows it’s snowing. (Even though no one else thinks the snowflakes will add up to something. Not the TV forecaster or the grandfather, or the lady with the umbrella.) We know the boy is right and watch through his eyes at the beautiful snow that arrives to coat the landscape of his city.
The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter’s Wonder by Mark Cassino
Easily understandable readers will read how snow is made from a speck to the snow crystal that falls to earth. Peaceful blue and white illustrations plus interesting information make this an enlightening winter read filled with scientific information about snow.
Winter Is Here by Kevin Henkes, illustrated by Laura Dronzek
Snow is falling, sticking to the trees in clumps and curls, and dripping from the roofs. “Winter is here,” writes Henkes. He elaborates on how the animals burrow and the children dress in many layers of clothing. Gentle, descriptive text and rich, soft illustrations show the wonders of the winter season.
Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin, illustrated by Mary Azarian
Even as a boy, Wilson Bentley loved snowflakes. He wanted to be able to save and share them with other people. Eventually, he began photographing the snowflakes to show that no two are alike and each is a miracle of beauty. See some of his photographs in the book, Snowflakes in Photographs.
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