Magical Winter Picture Books for Children

by Josée

In our home, winter mornings are slow. After filling our bellies with warm oatmeal we snuggle together on the couch and slowly wake up to stories share aloud. Even as my children get older we still hold onto our winter morning ritual. Below are some of our favourite winter-themed picture book that we return to year after year. I hope that you discover or re-discover a new favourite winter picture book with your family.

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A Thing Called Snow by Yuval Zommer

Fox and hare are the best of friends. After being warned by a bird that winter is coming, they wonder “exactly what is snow?”. The two friends go on an adventure to find this thing called snow and are helped by various kindly forest creatures on the way. A sweet book with dreamy illustrations that brings to life the magical beauty of snow.

Bear and Wolf by Daniel Salmieri 

A young bear and a young wolf meet in the snowy forest one night. Their fur coats keep them warm as they discover the beauty of the cold winter forest together. But wolf must return to the pack and hunt caribou and bear must return to the cave and hibernate. Will they meet again come spring? A simple story brought to life through magical wintry artwork.

Blizzard by John Rocco

It’s Monday morning and the snow starts falling. It’s exciting and school is out early. By Tuesday morning the snowdrifts are so deep that the doors doesn’t open and they go out the windows instead. By Friday the family starts running our of food and the little boy takes matters in his own hands. A sweet and fun story based on the John Rocco’s childhood experience with the ‘Blizzard of 1978’ when it snowed 53 inches in Rhodes Island!

Cold Turkey by Corey Rosen Schwartz

There’s a winter storm and Turkey helps his friends by sharing his winter clothes to help them stay warm. A cute story about helping others.

There’s a song written about this book that you can listen to here.

Cozy by Jan Brett

It’s a stormy winter night and Cozy the musk ox is separated from his herd. Toasty with his thick silky coat, Cozy provides warmth and shelter to a myriad of tundra animals during the storm. Gorgeous artic illustrations bring to life a story about sharing our gifts with others. A similar storyline to Jan Brett’s book The Mitten.

Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter by Kenard Pak

It’s autumn and the leaves are falling, birds are flying south and animals are preparing for winter. Hello winter! The North Star shines, and signs that winter has arrives are everywhere to be seen. A gentle welcoming of winter brought to life by whimsical illustrations.

Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton

Katy is a hardworking tractor that pushes a bulldozer in the summer and a snowplow in the winter. When a big snow arrives, snowing everyone in, Katy comes to the rescue! A classic winter story first published in 1943 about being helpful.

Little Fox in the Snow by Jonathan London

Little fox wakes up and goes out into the wintery forest to hunt. Little fox meets a variety of animals along the way and races home after an unexpected encounter. A beautifully illustrated, lyrical story about a little fox in the winter.

Mice Skating by Annie Silvestro

During the winter most mice take cover, but not Lucy! Lucy loves winter. She catches snowflakes on her tongue, makes mice angels and builds snow mice. Lucy wants to share winter her friends but they don’t like winter. Despite her many attempts Lucy finally convinces them to come skating. A sweet story about friendship and winter fun. Volume 2 of this story is called Sugar and Spice and Everything Mice.

One Snowy Night by Nick Butterworth

Percy the Park Keeper always takes good care of the park animals, but one cold snowy night he hears a tapping on his door. It’s a cold squirrel but just as Percy and squirrel start to get warm inside, Percy hears another knock on the door… First published in 1989, Percy the Park Keeper books have delighted children for many years.

Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner

A father and daughter explore the beauty winter on cross-country skis. As they glide through the snow, they make nature discoveries over the snow and under the snow where a secret kingdom lives. Part of Kate Messner’s popular ‘Over and Under’ book series, this book offers a unique look at the wonderful world of nature over and under the snow.

Owl Moon by Jane Yolen

One winter night a father takes his young child on an adventure into the snowy woods to go owling. The air is cold and the moon is bright. Pa makes owl sounds and they hope an owl will come. A gentle poetic story illustrated with wintery watercolour images. A magical book.

Share Some Kindness, Bring Some Light by Apryl Stott

Coco and Bear are the best of friends. Even though they are different, they are the same in the most important ways. A sweet wintery story about kindness, friendship and bringing light into the world.

Sleep Tight Farm: A Farm Prepares for Winter by Eugenie Doyle and Becca Stadtlander

December has come and it’s time to prepare the farm for winter. The strawberries are covered with straw, the harvest is brought in, a cover crop is sowed and raspberries canes are trimmed. There is much work to be done before the farm can be put to bed for the winter. A lovely lyrical book about a farm preparing for the winter.

Snow by Cynthia Rylant

A gentle lyrical story about different kinds of snow filled with lovely snowy illustrations. A perfect book for reading on a snowy day.

Snow by Uri Shulevitz

One snowflake falls from the sky. Then two snowflakes. Everyone say there will be no snow, but the snowflakes keep coming! Published in 1998, this Caldecott Honor Book, is simple and poetic.

Snow Globe Wishes by Erin Dealey and Claire Shorrock

A snow storm rolls in, lights go out and families stay cozy in their homes. A little girl makes a snow globe wish before falling asleep. She hopes that families will put aside their busy lives and play in the snow. A sweet playful story about community, connection and peace for all!

Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin

Wilson Bentley was born on a farm in Vermont, and what he loved most was snow. One day his mother gave him an old microscope and he used it to look at flowers, raindrops but most of all snowflakes. He drew hundreds of different snowflake and eventually started to take photographs of them. A gentle retelling of the life of Wilson Bentley and beautifully illustrated by woodcuts.

Snowflakes Fall by Patricia Maclachlan and Steven Kellogg

After the flowers are gone, snowflakes fall and no two snowflakes are alike. A beautifully illustrated book about the uniqueness and beauty of snowflakes and children. This book was a collaboration between Patricia Maclachlan and Steven Kellogg as a fundraiser for Sandy Hook Elementary School and the children and families affected by shooting that occurred on December 14, 2012. Look for the empty row of snow angels…

The Mitten by Jan Brett 

Nikki drops a white mitten in the snow and leaves it behind. The white mitten soon attracts a whole menagerie of woodland creatures that cram inside the glove. But when brown bear and little mouse come along something silly happens. A fun read aloud book that is richly illustrated.

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

First published in 1962 and winner of the 1963 Caldecott Medal. The Snowy Day is a classic story about a little boy’s adventures in the city on a very snowy day.

The Snow Princess by Ruth Sanderson

Father Frost and Mother Spring have a beautiful daughter, their Snow Princess. As a child she loves to dance in the snow make snowflakes. As a young maiden she is beautiful and wise, but she is warned not to fall in love or else she will die. The Snow Maiden finds friendship with forest creatures but her heart longs for more. A beautifully illustrated story inspired by a Russian opera.

The Snow Rabbit by Camille Garoche

Beautifully illustrated with paper cut pictures, The Snow Rabbits is a wordless story about two sisters. One of the sisters goes outside to sculpt a snowy rabbit and brings it indoors to her sister that is in a wheelchair. But the Snow Rabbit begins to melt and the sisters bring it outdoors. That’s when the magic happens.

The Snowflake by Benji Davies

One winter night a snowflake was made but the snowflake does not want to fall. Meanwhile in a city far away Noelle is walking with her grandpa Pappie and she wonder if it will snow. A sweet story about two characters searching for something special.

The Storm Whale in Winter by Benji Davies

Noi lives with his dad by the sea. Last summer Noi and his dad rescued a whale washed ashore. With winter approaching Noi’s dad goes on one last fishing trip and disappears! Noi is helped by the whales to find his dad. A sweet story about a lasting friendship.

The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter’s Wonder by Mark Cassino and Jon Nelson Ph.D.

A non-fiction book about snow that goes into detail about snow crystals and the different shapes they can be. A great book to read alongside Snowflake Bentley.

The Story of the Snow Children by Sibylle von Olfers

First published in 1905, this classic children’s book tells the story of Poppy and the Snow Children who take her away to the Snow Queen.

Ten Ways to Hear Snow by Cathy Camper 

Lina wakes up to a world covered in snow and she wants to share her excitement with Sitti (grandma). As Lina walks to her grandma’s house she listens to the different sounds outside: snow being shoveled, snow crunching under boots, snow falling off a tree… Lina hears nine different sounds of snow. It’s not until she meets with her Sitti to make Warak Enab (stuffed grape leaves) that she discovers the tenth sound of snow. A gently woven story about a modern Arab-American, honoring tradition, showing empathy and discovering the sounds of snow.

Where Snow Angels Go by Maggie O’Farrell

Suddenly Sylvie wakes up in the middle of the night and spots someone tiptoeing across the floor, someone with wings! It’s her snow angel, there to save her, but Sylvie isn’t suppose to see him. As Sylvie recovers from her illness she want to see her snow angel again, but will she? A magical modern fairy tale filled with stunning illustrations.

Why Evergreens Keep Their Leaves by Annemarie Riley Guertin

One fall evening Little Redbird settles in for a final nap before flying south for the winter. Unfortunately, a gust of wind blows her from her nest and Little Redbird breaks her wing. Now Little Redbird can’t fly south and she needs to find a safe home for the winter. The beautiful birch, large oak, hardy maple all refuse to help her. When she begins to despair different voices call out, a fir tree, a blue spruce and a juniper tree! They offer to help Little Redbird and because of their kindness the Snow Queen declares that they will keep their leaves all year round. A beautifully illustrated story about kindness and evergreen trees.

Winter in the Forest by Rusty Finch (Author) and Katya Longhi (Illustrator)

A beautifully illustrated lift-the-flap book that takes young readers into the forest in the winter.

Ages: 1 to 7

Winter Is Here by Kevin Henkes

Winter is here! It’s everywhere. Soft wintery illustrations bring to life the beauty of winter in this simple poetic book.

Winter Story by Jill Barklem

First published in 1980, this classic winter story about the mice of Brambly Hedge has been much loved for years. The story is part of the Brambly Hedge Series.

When Winter Comes: Discovering Wildlife in Our Snowy Woods by Aimée Bissonette

A lovely story about a family that takes a stroll through the snowy woods and the wildlife they discover on their adventure. A beautifully illustrated book about winter wildlife.

Winter Dance by Marion Dane Bauer

Winter is coming but fox doesn’t know what to do. Various forest animals give fox ideas to prepare for the winter, but their advice “won’t do” for fox. A simple story set against beautiful illustrations.

Wintercake by Lynne Rae Perkins

Thomas is about to make a wintercake but has misplaced his basket of dried-fruit. Where did it go? His friend Lucy happens to cross path with a tall, sleek animal carrying a basket filled with dried fruit. It’s Thomas’ basket and she decides to follow the vile beast and is surprised by what happens next. A warm winter story about mistakes, adventure, friendship, and delicious wintercake.

Our family likes to read this book when we make our Delicious Traditional Winter Fruit Cake.

Winter Lullaby by Dianne White

A gentle winter lullaby about a mother and her cub settling in for the winter. Sweet and soothing.

Winter Sleep: A Hibernation Story by Sean Taylor

A young child and his grandmother walk through nature and learn about how nature goes to sleep during the season of winter. A gently story about nature’s winter sleep with some interesting pages about hibernation at the end of the book.

Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell 

A wordless picture book about a girl and a wolf pup that are lost in a snowstorm and how they help each other find their way home. A heartwarming story with unique illustrations.

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