January is here and for many people, that means snow. Whether you live where there is snow all winter long, or where it snows frequently, or where it snows rarely, kids LOVE snow!
I thought I would share some of the most popular children’s books about snow. Most are story books, but 1 or 2 are science or art related. A good list for hitting the library!
10 fun children’s books about SNOW
1. Katy and the Big Snow: Katy, a brave and untiring tractor, who pushes a bulldozer in the summer and a snowplow in the winter, makes it possible for the townspeople to do their jobs. In this enduring winter favorite from the Caldecott Medal winner Burton, Katy the snowplow finally gets her chance to shine when a blizzard blankets the city and everyone is relying on Katy to help dig out. Children love sharing Katy’s shining moment of glory and will inevitably admire her “chug, chug, chug” endurance.
2. Snow Day!: After hearing the weatherman forecast snow, two young children gleefully fantasize about various activities they can do if it snows enough to close school. Each activity snuggling on the sofa with hot chocolate, building a snow fort filled with a zillion snowballs, sledding seems to include their father.
Unfortunately, the snow doesn’t appear, leaving the family members rushing through their morning routines so as not to be late for school. Then comes the surprise: the narrator is the father, who happens to be a teacher. The illustrations, in muted oils, show the jubilant family anticipating the snow and the activities that they would undertake. The figures fill the pages giving a sense of intimacy, and the scenes are viewed from a variety of perspectives, adding to the excitement and chaos. Children (and parents) will
identify with the strong wish for a day away from the routine, as well as the mad rush when things don’t pan out.
3. Snow Globe Family: Oh, when will it snow again? wonders the little family who lives in the snow globe. They long for a swirling snowstorm—if only someone in the big family would pick up the snow globe and give it a great big shake.
Baby would love to. She alone notices the little family. She gazes longingly at their snowy little world, but the snow globe is up way too high for her to reach. Then, when a real snowstorm sends the big children outside sledding in the moonlight, Baby finds herself alone in the parlor. . . . Will the snow globe family at last get a chance to go sledding too?
As readers follow the parallel adventures of both families, big and little, they will take special pleasure in the miniature world of the snow globe, where the skating pond is the size of a shiny quarter and a snowman is no bigger than a sugar cube.
4. Snow Is Falling: Snow is falling. Snow is wonderful – for sledding, for skiing, and for building snowmen. But did you know that snow can actually keep things warm? Find out how snow helps plants, animals, and people to survive. But when a blizzard blows, watch out! The snow that is so useful can be dangerous too.
Franklyn M. Branley and Holly Keller team up for a fun and colorful exploration of the world of snow, including experiments and activities for cold winter days. A Let’s Read and Find Out Science book, for Stage 1.
5. Snow: A colorful classic by P.D. Eastman. “Joyful verse relates the many ways to enjoy snow. First graders will love it.”–Chicago Tribune.
6. Snowflake Bentley: (A personal favorite of mine!) From the time he was a small boy, Wilson Bentley saw snowflakes as small miracles. And he determined that one day his camera would capture for others the wonder of the tiny crystal. Bentley’s enthusiasm for photographing snowflakes was often misunderstood in his time, but his patience and determination revealed two important truths: no two snowflakes are alike; and each one is startlingly beautiful. His story is gracefully told and brought to life in lovely woodcuts, giving children insight into a soul who had not only a scientist’s vision and perseverance but a clear passion for the wonders of nature. A Caldecott Medal winner in 1999.
7. Tracks in the Snow: Just outside my window, There are tracks in the snow. Who made the tracks? Where do they go?
A little girl follows tracks outside her window after a fresh snowfall, only to realize that the tracks in the snow are her own from the day before—and that they lead her home. This diminutive and sweet picture book is as cozy as a cup of hot chocolate. This lovely celebration of snow and winter is just right for the littlest readers.
8. The Big Snow: The woodland animals were all getting ready for the winter. Geese flew south, rabbits and deer grew thick warm coats, and the raccoons and chipmunks lay down for a long winter nap. Come Christmastime, the wise owls were the first to see the rainbow around the moon. It was a sure sign that the big snow was on its way.
This book won the Caldecott Medal as the best illustrated American children’s book in 1949. The book’s color and black-and-white water color illustrations convey a cross between realistic images of animals and anthropomorphic facial expressions and poses. Each is done in a way that evokes the beauty of nature. Think of this book as having more realistic versions of Walt Disney’s Bambi images.
9. The Three Snow Bears: Aloo-ki glances up from fishing and sees her sled dogs floating off on an ice floe. She races after them and comes upon an igloo. Being a curious girl, she goes inside only to find no one home. That’s because the polar bear family who lives there is out walking while their breakfast cools off. Aloo-ki eats some soup, tries on their boots, and finally crawls into the smallest bed for a nap. Meanwhile, Papa, Mama, and Baby Bear see her dogs adrift, swim out to rescue them and return home to find Aloo-ki fast asleep in Baby Bear’s bed.
Jan traveled to the far North to meet the Inuit people and see the amazing land where they live. Dramatic illustrations capture the shimmering ice, snow and deep blue seas of the Arctic, and when Jan adds a raven-haired Inuit girl and her appealing huskies, an endearing family of polar bears, and playful Arctic animals in the borders, the result is one of her most beautiful picture books.
The decorative Inuit patterns and clothing Jan uses throughout are sure to attract adult fans and collectors while children will want to listen to and look at this exciting version of a well-loved story over and over again.
Who needs words to tell a story? In Raymond Briggs’s charming tale, told with 175 softly hued, artfully composed frames, a little boy makes friends with a snowman. He wakes up on a snowy day, tells his mother he’s going outside, then begins a flurry of snowman-building. That night, he can’t sleep, so he opens the front door and lo! the snowman has come to life. The amiable yet frosty fellow enjoys his tour of the boy’s cozy home; he admires the cat, but is disturbed by the fire. The boy shows him other wonders–the TV and a lamp and running water. Predictably perhaps, he is disturbed by the stove, but likes ice cubes quite a bit.
Soon it is the snowman’s turn to introduce the boy to his wintry world. They join hands, rise up into the blizzardy air–presumably over Russia and into the Middle East–and then safely back to home sweet home. The boy pops into bed before his parents get up… but when he wakes up the next morning he races outside only to find his new buddy’s melted remains, scattered with a few forlorn lumps of coal. Since the book is wordless, you can make up any ending you want… like “Then, in a puff of pink smoke, the snowman recomposed himself and went to live in the boy’s garage freezer.” Or you could just resign yourself to a peaceful “And that was that.” Raymond Briggs’s The Snowman won the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, and this wintertime classic continues to win the hearts of kids every year.
Do you have a favorite snow book you would like to share? Feel free to do so in the comments!