I’ve got you covered with so many wonderful stories, beautiful illustrations, and fabulous celebrations of the winter season.
The Best Winter Themed Picture Books for Kids
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.
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.
Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter by Kenard Pak
Hello starts out each page’s text. Hello, robins and cardinals who are ready to fly south. Hello, deer, whose fur is thickening up for winter. Hello, evergreens whos 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.
Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell
A girl in a bright red coat leaves school. Each page shows the snow worsening. The girl gets lost and so does a little wolf cub. She finds the wolf and carries him, trudging toward the distant howling of his pack. It’s a beautiful moment but then she collapses, freezing and lost. The wolves gather around her, howling for her people who are looking for her. Yes! She’s found and returned home to snuggle by the fire with her parents and dog. The minimal text is only sounds so I’d consider this a wordless book. It’s stunning how Cordell tells this story visually.
Something’s Fishy by Jean Gourounas
Penguin gets more and more grumpy as her friends interrupt her solitary ice fishing. The friends wonder why the fish aren’t biting. And why not. 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!
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!
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.
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. The Prim Minister builds her a snowman out of stones. That doesn’t work. The Admiral built her a snowcastle out of sand. No. Finally, it snows. And you’ll never guess what the Little Princess thinks about it.
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.
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 alls well that ends well in this story about sharing.
The Most Perfect Snowman by Chris Britt
The other snowman 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 Snowball by Giuliano Ferri (Board Book)
Mouse is pushing a snowball (cutout) up a hill. He is joined by his friends and on each page the snowball grows in size, and the cutout grows larger. Lovely.
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?
No Yeti Yet by Mary Ann Fraser
It’s the perfect snowy day for a Yeti Hunt says big brother. As the siblings play and search, little brother wonders what the yeti will smell like, sound like, and be like. A fun winter adventure!
Mina’s White Canvas by Hyeon-Ju Lee
Mina’s magical crayon makes everything she draws real — a door for Mr. Bear to leave his cave, fuzzy red socks for Miss Frog’s cold feet, and spots so Baby Bunny and Mama Bunny wouldn’t get lost from each other again. A wonderful winter day!
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.
The Little Snowplow by Lora Koehler, illustrated by Jake Parker
The Big Snowplows don’t think the Little Snowplow is necessary but Little Snowplow shows that he can be a big help, and save the day.
The Bear Report by Thyra Heder
I just 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.