Children’s Books

There are a lot of children’s books out there! More than any one parent or kid can read in a lifetime. We like to share our favorites to help you find only the best literary treasures around.

Favorite Winter Picture Books | from Blue Bells and Cockle ShellsI’m sorry for being so quiet this year! The current political climate has left me a bit discombobulated and I’ve taken on several new projects, as a result. So for the time being, I will be cutting back on blogging a bit, though hope to be here at least once a week still. Winter is here and I hope you are all able to enjoy the joys it bring. We certainly have been enjoying the snow we’ve gotten. Another of our big winter joys is reading picture books about winter. Here are our all time favorite books for winter. Be sure to check out our other lists to find books for every holiday and season.

Annie and the Wild Animals – When Annie’s cat disappears, she attempts friendship with a variety of unsuitable woodland animals. The borders of the pages foretell the emergence of spring and the birth of kittens.

Bear Hug – One bear is facing his first winter alone. Just as his parents taught him, he gathers leaves for his cave and fishes for food in the river. Then, across the babbling water, he meets a mate, and they weather the winter together in a big bear hug. When spring arrives, so does a new bear cub, and the proud parents begin to teach him what they have learned.

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.

Blizzard – Blizzard is based on John Rocco’s childhood experience during the now infamous Blizzard of 1978, which brought fifty-three inches of snow to his town in Rhode Island. Told with a brief text and dynamic illustrations, the book opens with a boy’s excitement upon seeing the first snowflake fall outside his classroom window. It ends with the neighborhood’s immense relief upon seeing the first snowplow break through on their street. In between the boy watches his familiar landscape transform into something alien, and readers watch him transform into a hero who puts the needs of others first. John uses an increasing amount of white space in his playful images, which include a gatefold spread of the boy’s expedition to the store. This book about the wonder of a winter storm is as delicious as a mug of hot cocoa by the fire on a snowy day.

Brave Irene – Irene Bobbin is the dressmaker’s daughter. Her mother, Mrs. Bobbin, isn’t feeling so well and can’t possibly deliver the beautiful ball gown she’s made for the duchess to wear that very evening. So plucky Irene volunteers to get the gown to the palace on time, in spite of the fierce snowstorm that’s brewing– quite an errand for a little girl. But where there’s a will, there’s a way, as Irene proves in the danger-fraught adventure that follows. She must defy the wiles of the wicked wind, her most formidable opponent, and overcome many obstacles before she completes her mission. Surely, this winning heroine will inspire every child to cheer her on.

Bunny Slopes – Time to tackle the bunny slope! Shake to help Bunny make it snow, tilt to help Bunny ski down the slope, and turn to help Bunny escape a cliff in his path. Is there any obstacle Bunny can’t conquer? Bringing grins and guffaws with each turn of the page, readers will find Claudia Rueda’s innovative bookmaking as entertaining as the twists and turns of a ski slope—and as satisfying as a cozy cup of hot cocoa.

Best in Snow – Discover the wonderful world of snow with this companion to the celebrated Raindrops Roll! With gorgeous photo illustrations, award-winning author April Pulley Sayre sheds sparkly new light on the wonders of snow. From the beauty of snow blanketing the forest and falling on animals’ fur and feathers to the fascinating winter water cycle, this nonfiction picture book celebrates snowfall and the amazing science behind it.

The First Day of Winter – Alive with swirling snow and lots of outdoor fun, the first ten days of winter bring special gifts for a special friend. This cumulative tale will have children chanting along as they discover all the trimmings needed for the most perfect snowman ever!

Flower Fairies of the Winter – A deluxe addition to the Flower Fairies classics, complete with all of Cicely Mary Barker?s original poems and illustrations. She re-creates the beauty of nature through her art and drawings from life with botanical accuracy and exquisite watercolors. Her Flower Fairies are a unique combination of naturalism and fantasy.

The Hat – Hedgie the hedgehog discovers the wisdom of the adage “Don’t go poking your nose where it doesn’t belong” only after curiosity gets this prickly fellow in a pickle. When Lisa’s red-and-white woolen stocking blows off the clothesline, Hedgie finds it and sticks his nose inside, only to discover his prickles prevent him from pulling out of it. Soon all the farm animals are coming around to chuckle at silly Hedgie’s stocking cap. But in the end, nimble-witted Hedgie gets the last laugh.

Here Comes Jack Frost – One cold morning a lonely boy wishes for something to do. His animal friends are hibernating, and he has nobody to play with—even all the birds have flown south. When he meets Jack Frost, the last thing he expects is to make a new friend . . . or to discover how enchanting winter can be!

The Jacket I Wear in the Snow – Rhyme follows rhyme as layer after layer of winter clothing (“bunchy and hot, wrinkled a lot, stiff in the knee, and too big for me!”) is first put on and then taken off to the relief of the child bundled inside. Clever rebuses and jaunty illustrations make The Jacket I Wear in the Snow especially fun for prereaders and new readers.

Katy and the Big Snow In this enduring winter favorite from the Caldecott Medal winner Virginia 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.

The Mitten – “Grandmother knits snow-white mittens that Nikki takes on an adventure. Readers will enjoy the charm and humor in the portrayal of the animals as they make room for each newcomer in the mitten and sprawl in the snow after the big sneeze.”

Mouse’s First Snow – One cold day Mouse and Poppa venture into the clear white world. From sledding down hills, to skating across the ice, to meeting fluffy snow angels, Mouse finds that wintertime is full of surprises. And before it’s time to go home, Mouse just might have time to “make” a special new friend!

No Two Alike – Follow a pair of birds on a snowflake-filled journey though a gorgeous winter landscape to explore how everything everywhere is wonderfully unique—from branches and leaves to forests and trees to friends and loved ones.

Ollie’s Ski Trip – Six-year-old Ollie is given his first pair of real skis. As soon as the snow begins to fall he heads off into the woods and meets sparkling Jack Frost, who shoos away damp Mrs Thaw. Jack Frost takes him on an adventure to the palace of King Winter. Ollie has a wonderful time in a huge snowball fight! But will Mrs Thaw return too soon for Ollie to enjoy the snow?

One Snowy Night – Percy the Park Keeper always feeds the animals in the park where he lives. But one cold winter’s night Percy discovers that his little friends need more than food and he must find a way to help them find a warm place to sleep for the night. Percy’s hut is nice and warm but Percy discovers that if you invite one animal in you’ll have to invite them all in and his hut is only small – it’s certainly going to be a squash!

One Winter’s Day – When a fierce windstorm blows away Little Hedgehog’s nest, he puts on his winter clothes and sets off for Badger’s warm house. On his way, Hedgehog meets his friends, all shivering in the wind and snow. One by one, Hedgehog gives away his cozy mittens, hat, and scarf. But will Little Hedgehog make it through the storm to safety without his warm clothes? A delightful story about sharing with others, with soft flocking wherever Little Hedgehog’s mittens, hat and scarf appear.

An Orange in January – Plump, juicy oranges are one of the great pleasures of winter?and one that is usually taken for granted. Now here?s an eloquent, celebratory picture of how those oranges have found their way to the grocery store shelves, and then into kids? tummies! With vivid, glowing paintings, this unique picture book offers a poetic lesson about a plant?s growth cycle and about the produce industry. We follow an orange from blossom to ripe fruit, from tree to truck to market . . . and into the hands of a boy who shares this treat with his friends on the playground, ?so that everyone could taste the sweetness of an orange in January.?

Over and Under the Snow – Over the snow, the world is hushed and white. But under the snow is a secret world of squirrels and snowshoe hares, bears and bullfrogs, and many other animals who live through the winter, safe and warm.

Red Sled – In this almost wordless picture book, a host of woodland creatures take a child’s sled for a nighttime joy ride. Their whimsical ride is gorgeously depicted in bold watercolor, complemented by humorous expressions and pitch-perfect sound effects. With a timeless tone and classic characters, Red Sled will become a wintertime favorite.

Snow – Cynthia Rylant’s lyrical descriptions of the sights and feelings evoked by falling snow blend gorgeously with the rich and beautiful world created by Lauren Stringer’s illustrations, in which a young girl, her friend, and her grandmother enjoy the many things a snowy day has to offer.

Snow – A Caldecott Honor Book “It’s snowing, said boy with dog. “It’s only a snowflake,” said grandfather with beard. No one thinks one or two snowflakes will amount to anything. Not the man with the hat or the lady with the umbrella. Not even the television or the radio forecasters. But one boy and his dog have faith that the snow will amount to something spectacular, and when flakes start to swirl down on the city, they are also the only ones who know how to truly enjoy it. This playful depiction of a snowy day and the transformation of a city is perfectly captured in simple, poetic text and lively watercolor and pen-and-ink illustrations.

The Snow Girl – Once there was an old man and woman who didn’t have any children. They watch their neighbors’ children playing in snow. One day they build a snow-girl in their garden―and are astonished when she comes to life. But what will happen when spring comes, and the snow melts? This classic story of dreams coming true is beautifully illustrated by Hélène Muller in a gentle watercolor style, while the lyrical text makes the poignancy of the tale accessible for young children.

Snowflake Bentley – From the time he was a small boy in Vermont, 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. Snowflake Bentley won the 1999 Caldecott Medal.

The Snowman – A wordless story. The pictures have “the hazy softness of air in snow. A little boy rushes out into the wintry day to build a snowman, which comes alive in his dreams that night. The experience is one that neither he nor young ‘readers’ will ever regret or forget.”–(starred) Booklist.
Snowmen at Night – Have you ever built a snowman and discovered the next day that his grin has gotten a little crooked, or his tree-branch arms have moved? And you’ve wondered . . . what do snowmen do at night? This delightful wintertime tale reveals all! Caralyn Buehner’s witty, imaginative verse offers many amusing details about the secret life of snowmen and where they go at night, while Mark Buehner’s roly-poly snowmen are bursting with personality and charm.

The Snowy Day – No book has captured the magic and sense of possibility of the first snowfall better than The Snowy Day. Universal in its appeal, the story has become a favorite of millions, as it reveals a child’s wonder at a new world, and the hope of capturing and keeping that wonder forever.
The Story of the Snow Children – Poppy is gazing out of the window at the snow when suddenly she sees that the snowflakes are really Snow Children, dancing and whirling in the garden. Soon, they whisk her away to the Snow Queen’s wintry kingdom. From the author of The Story of the Root Children, this is another classic children’s story with beautiful illustrations in the art-nouveau style.

Time to Sleep – A warm, inviting bedtime book from a Caldecott winning illustrator. – Bear sniffed once. She sniffed twice.”I smell winter in the air,” said Bear. “It is time to crawl into my cave and sleep. But first I must tell Snail.” Denise Fleming presents a warm-hearted story about animals of the forest settling down for their winter nap. But, like children who must go to bed for the night, they each find a way to put it off just a little bit longer.

The Tomten – ‘It would be hard to find a nicer bedtime story. Beautifully painted, quiet moonlit scenes and poetic words tell of the Tomten, a small elf-like person who lives on a farm. It is a beautiful cosy tale of winter bedtimes, very comforting and definitely one of our favourites.’ — Hilary Woolf with Isaac (age 4), Education Otherwise, October 2004

Toys Meet Snow: Being the Wintertime Adventures of a Curious Stuffed Buffalo, a Sensitive Plush Stingray, and a Book-loving Rubber Ball – Children who have loved listening to the Toys trilogy, as well as those meeting the toys for the very first time, will be thrilled to see Lumphy, StingRay, and Plastic venture outdoors to play in the snow. Together the toys build a snowman, make snow angels, and, when day is done, head back inside their cozy house and wait for the return of the Little Girl.

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.

Trouble with Trolls – Treva’s trouble with trolls begins when she climbs Mount Baldy with her dog Tuffi. The trolls who live there long for a dog, and they try to kidnap him. But Treva is brave and quick-thinking. She outwits one troll after another until she reaches the very top of the mountain, where five trolls are waiting–and they want her dog! From underground to mountain peak, Jan Brett’s story is filled with adventure and eye-catching detail.

Waiting for Winter – Informed that snow is coming—“White and wet and cold and soft”—young Squirrel vows not to miss this new experience. Fearful that he may fall asleep while waiting, he and his friends try exercise and singing; finally, they set off in search of the elusive white stuff, mistakenly imagining the forest covered with discarded toothbrushes, old tin cans, and abandoned socks. At long last the predicted precipitation arrives, blanketing the forest in a luscious whiteness that enables Squirrel and his friends to construct a snowman.

When Winter Comes – What happens to fish, flowers, field mice, and other living things when ponds freeze and the air turns blustery? Walk with a curious child and his parents as winter’s first snow falls and find out….
Winter – This is one of a series of four books without text, which lead the young child through the seasons of the year. Full of fun, active illustrations, this chunky board book shows the joys of shoveling snow, ice-skating, feeding the birds, and being cosy inside with the Christmas tree.

Winter Eyes – Snowballs, ice skating,sledding! Frozen toes, icy slush,runny nose. Well, winter’s not all fun and games. But well-loved, best-selling poet Douglas Florian will melt your doubts about Mother Nature’s chilly grip with twenty-eight winter-inspired poems accompanied by his crisp, trademark watercolor illustrations. Young readers are sure to warm up to the uniquely keen vision of this wholly original volume. Whatever the time of year, Winter Eyes is just right for the season.

Winter Story – Step into the exquisite miniature world of the mice of Brambly Hedge in this beautiful new edition of the classic picture book. It was the middle of winter and very, very cold. The mice of Brambly Hedge forecasted snow. And they were right. In the morning they awoke to find their doors and windows hidden behind deep drifts. There hadn’t been snow like this for years. “There’s enough for a Snow Ball!” cried the mice with glee, and set to work in the time-honoured way to make an Ice Hall for the festivities. The little mice watched wide-eyed as all the preparations were made. Then at last everything was ready, and the Ball could begin…
Winter Waits – While Winter waits for his father, he finds ways to amuse himself. Winter “whistens and glistens” the world in frost, “whizzles and whittles” ice sculptures, and “snizzes and snips” snowflakes. At last, Father Time turns his full attention to his son, and they “frisk and frolic away.”

Winter’s Child – When Tom wishes winter would never end, he meets another boy who shares his love of snow and ice. Playing together every day, Tom doesn’t care that spring hasn’t come—until he realizes the terrible effect the unending winter is having on his sick grandmother. When he realizes his friend is Winter’s child, he knows they must say good-bye if the seasons are ever to change.

Do you have any favorite winter picture books? What are they?

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