Books to Celebrate the Winter Season

Reading recommendations from our own Dr. Alice Mar

Winter is here! It’s the perfect season for curling up with a good book and a big cup of hot chocolate. Here is a list of winter themed books that kids of all ages can enjoy as you snuggle up together by a fire.

Picture Books

Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner

This picture book shows the differences between the quiet empty world above the snow and the world underneath the snow full of hidden squirrels, bears, bullfrogs and other critters.

Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson

All of Wilson’s books are the perfect combination of engaging rhymes, charming illustrations, and a sweet story. In this one, Bear sleeps through the winter while other forest creatures come into his cave for shelter.

The Mitten by Jan Britt

Animals seek shelter in a different location in this book. A boy drops his mitten in the snow and one by one woodland creatures crawl into it. Kids will giggle as the increasingly larger animals try to climb into the mitten.

Polar Bear Night by Lauren Thompson

This is a perfect book to read at bedtime. Soft colors and gentle wording follow a little polar bear cub as she wanders through the Arctic night.

Mama, Do You Love Me? by Barbara Joosse

This is another gentle Arctic themed book featuring a Native American mother and toddler.

The Three Snow Bears by Jan Brett

This book is a retelling of the classic Goldilocks story but with polar bears as the main characters.

Owl Moon by Jane Yolen

A heartwarming story of a father and daughter who go out looking for owls one winter night.

Flight School by Lia Judge

This book is about a penguin who just wants to fly with the other birds. Be sure to catch the sequel, Penguin Flies Home.

Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester

The first in a series of books about a slightly eccentric penguin. If you like this one, the good news is that there are ten more in the series.

Snow Globe Family by Jane O’Connor

The story of two families—one little family who lives inside a snow globe and one big family who lives in the house where the snow globe is. Both families experience their own kind of snowstorm.

Chapter Books

Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater

The classic tale of a house painter who ends up with a houseful of penguins. If you’ve seen the movie but never read the book, it’s worth a read.

The Adventures of a South Pole Pig: A Novel of Snow and Courage by Chris Kurtz

The story of Flora the pig who just wants to be a sled dog. Maybe, just maybe, she will get a chance to be one on a trip to Antarctica.

Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman

A beautiful story that weaves in many of the Nordic myths. If your family has enjoyed the Avengers and like Thor and Loki, this book will be right up your alley.

Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu

If you enjoy modern retellings of winter fairy tales, look no further than Breadcrumbs. This book reimagines Hans Christian Anderson’s Snow Queen.

Skating Shoes by Noel Streatfeild

A classic story of friendship centered around ice skating.

Twelve Kinds of Ice by Ellen Bryan Obed

One of the more unusual books I’ve read out loud with my kids. Obed remembers the winters of her childhood through vignettes about different kinds of ice. The gorgeous pencil and watercolor illustrations by Barbara McClintock add to the charm.

The Lion and the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

This book always seems perfect for winter due to the perpetual winter that the Witch has put over Narnia.

The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper

A lesser known fantasy book set in winter, Susan reimagines Arthurian legends and peaks at the December solstice in this spellbinding read. It is technically the second in a five book series but it is not necessary to read the first one in order to enjoy this one.

The Greenglass House by Kate Milford

If your family is into mysteries, The Greenglass House is a fantastic book set in an undisclosed location where everyone is snowed in. It’s a great read for a snowy day or for a day where you just wish it was snowy.