Brrr! It’s winter in New England! As the calendar turns to the official start of winter, the cold weather is upon us and we’ve already had our first snow here. As a child, this was an incredibly exciting time of year, the anticipation of the holidays, thinking about the snowball fights and sledding adventures ahead, along with counting down the days until winter school break. I loved my time outside enjoying the winter weather, but equally loved curling up with a book for hours on end.
As the mom of a preschooler, our winter days are pretty much the same. While we love spending time outside, finding a cozy spot to snuggle under a blanket and read together is a favorite activity of ours. My son and I take a weekly trip to the library to discover new books. He loves picking out his books and beams with pride when he brings them to the front desk to check out, just like the grown-ups. The anticipation to get them home and crack them open is almost unbearable!
Lately, we’ve been reading many winter-themed books, some are new to us while some are old favorites; some are about people, others about animals; many he can relate to, while others open up new experiences or perspectives to him. I thought we’d share a few books we are enjoying right now. Head to your library to check them out!
1. Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter
by Kenard Pak
Join a brother and sister as they say farewell to fall and welcome winter through a series of interactions and exploration with nature and their town.
After the Book: Create a winter book together, asking children to draw some of their favorite winter activities on each page. Throughout the season, go back to the book to discuss what you did or add to the pages. Encourage or assist children in writing about the activities on each page.
2. Mice Skating
by Annie Silvestro
Most of Lucy’s friends just want to stay inside, but Lucy loves playing in the snow! Lucy works hard to convince her friends to join her.
After the Book: Ask children about favorite activity to do with friends. Talk about a time they tried a new activity with friends.
3. Soup Day
by Melissa Iwai
On a cold and snowy day, a young girl helps her mother shop for and prepare soup.
After the Book: Cook together! You can even make a list of ingredients, head to the grocery store together, and spend time together creating the dish.
4. Tracks in the Snow
by Wong Herbert Yee
A curious girl follows tracks in the snow to figure out who made them, only to realize they are hers from the day before.
After the Book: When it snows, go on a snow walk around the neighborhood. Leave snow tracks to follow later or look for tracks others have left behind. Talk about everything you see.
5. When the Snow Falls
by Linda Booth Sweeney
Two children head out on a snowy adventure with Grandma, which ends with the warm comfort of family.
After the Book: Ask children what their favorite family adventure has been or go on a new family adventure. It can be as simple as talking a walk to the local playground via a different route. Talk about what you see and what you are doing.
6. The Three Snow Bears
by Jane Brett
This is a snowy take on the classic story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
After the Book: Reenact the book with children. You can use puppets, stuffed animals or just your imagination. Do things like, put out bowls of various sizes or shoes of various sizes and have children try out each one.
7. The Snowy Day
by Ezra Jack Keats
This classic adventure of a little boy in the city on a very snowy day.
After the Book: Make a snowy collage together using materials such as tissue paper, cotton balls, or recycled materials around the house (colored holiday card envelopes or used wrapping paper work well). Note how the illustrations in the book are collages as well.
Whatever you are reading, winter is such a perfect time to nurture your child’s love of reading. We are gearing up for our next trip to the library, so let me know, what books are some of your favorites?