Nature books for kids: Winter

20 books for kids … and the kid in you, too

I’m happy to introduce the first segment in a new series for my blog! Children’s literature is one of my favourite things, and I thought that it was long overdue for me to start writing about it on a regular basis.

I believe that children’s literature is a powerful way to help guide children and teach them about the world, but there’s also a lot that us adults can learn from children’s books as well. Books encourage curiosity, create enchantment and whimsy out of the mundane, and remind us of what it is to be a child. When it comes to books about nature, there are so many beautiful options to choose from! Here are just a few of my favourites for the winter season.

Bear and Wolf, written and illustrated by Daniel Salmieri. (2018).

This is a lovely, understated book about a bear and wolf who become friends.

The Shortest Day, written by Susan Cooper and illustrated by Carson Ellis. (2019).

This is a magnificently illustrated book that celebrates the winter solstice in poem form.

The Snowy Day, written and illustrated by Ezra jack Keats. (1976).

Such a classic! This vibrantly illustrated book captures the joy of a little boy playing in the snow.

Over and Under the Snow, written by Kate Messner and illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal. (2014).

This book helps teach children about all that’s happening for plants and animal in wintertime—a secret world under the snow.

The Mitten, written and illustrated by Jan Brett. (1996).

Another timeless classic that will have children giggling with delight as all of the animals squeeze inside the mitten to keep warm.

Owl Moon, written by Jane Yolen and illustrated by John Schoenherr. (1987).

This is a poetic storybook that tells the tale of a little girl and her father who go owling at night.

Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter, written and illustrated by Kennard Pak. (2017).

In this story, a brother and sister explore nature and greet the coming season.

Windows, written by Julia Denos and illustrated by E. B. Goodale. (2017).

An ode to the changing seasons, a boy walks his dog in the evening, taking in the beauty of his neighbourhood and the people around him.

The Wish Tree, written by Kyo Maclear and illustrated by Chris Turnham. (2016).

In this book, a boy sets out to find a wish tree and goes on an unexpected journey.

Winter Sleep: a Hibernation Story, written by Sean Taylor and Alex Morss and illustrated by Cinyee Chiu. (2019).

How does the earth get ready to go to sleep for the winter? A boy and grandmother find out in this lovely bedtime story.

The Snow Dancer, written by Addie Boswell and illustrated by Mercè López. (2020).

In this story, a young girl celebrates the winter by dancing in the snow.

Almost Time, written by Gary D. Schmidt and Elizabeth Stickney and illustrated G. Brian Karas. (2019).

In this book, a boy learns about patience and the change of seasons as he waits for sugaring time (time to make maple syrup).

Tracks in the Snow, written and illustrated by Wong Herbert Yee. (2007).

Who makes tracks in the snow, and where do they go? A little girl finds out.

A Day So Gray, written by Marie Lamba and illustrated by Alea Marley. (2019).

A girl learns to notice little joys and feel grateful, even on a gray winter day.

Winter Dance, written by Marion Dane Bauer and illustrated by Richard Jones. (2017).

Snow is coming and all of the animals of the forest get ready, in this beautifully illustrated book.

The Snow Fox, written by Rosemary Shojaie. (2020).

In winter, some of Fox’s friends go into hibernation, but he learns to make new ones.

A Winter Walk in the City, written by Cathy Goldberg Fishman and illustrated by Melanie Hall. (2020).

There’s lots to explore in winter outside, even in the city! This lovely rhyming book celebrates the season and many different winter holidays.

Winter Bees and Other Poems of the Cold, written by Joyce Sidman and illustrated by Rick Allen. (2014).

This lovely collection of poems for children celebrates the beauty of winter.

The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter’s Wonder, written by Mark Cassino and Jon Nelson. (2017).

Here’s a nonfiction book featuring photographs of snowflakes and discussing the science behind them.

Snowflake Bentley, written by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and illustrated by Mary Azarian. (1998).

This award-winning book discusses the life of Wilson Bentley, who first photographed, studied, and catalogued snowflakes.

Stay tuned for the next segment of this series, about Springtime books!

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