18 Wintery Picture Books

After the Christmas festivities subside at our house, three months of winter weather still loom ahead. The only way to approach this season is to embrace it — to head out into the cold with sleds, skis and skates and to return home, cuddle up by the fireplace and read good books. Here are a few of our favorite wintery picture books.


Millions of Snowflakes by Mary McKenna Siddals and Elizabeth Sayles. A counting book with a simple rhyme. Millions of Snowflakes describes a young girl frolicking in the snow. Ages 0+

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. Depicts a young boy Peter’s adventures in the snow with simple, graphic illustrations. The Snowy Day conveys the joy of playing in the snow. Ages 1+

Snowballs by Lois Ehlert. Ehlert’s illustrations of impressively decorated snow people may inspire your child to build a snowman…or snow mom, boy, girl, baby, cat, or dog. Ages 1+

Snow by Uri Shulevitz. Describes a young boy’s anticipation while waiting for the first snow and revelry when the snow comes. Snow is the book I reach for to celebrate the first snow of the season. Ages 2+

Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman. A fun story about animals enjoying a party, complete with popcorn, black tea, and a campfire, in a bear’s den while the bear sleeps. Bear Snores On has an entertaining, rhyming text and great illustrations. Ages 2+

No Two AlikeNo Two Alike by Keith Baker. A simple rhyming book that shares the observation that not only are no two snowflakes are alike, no two creatures are alike either. Ages 2+


Animals in Winter by Harrietta Bancroft, Richard Van Gelder, and Helen Davie. A wonderful introduction to the various ways animals prepare for winter. Animals in Winter explains that some animals must hunt and gather food all winter long and encourages kids to help by feeding backyard animals. Ages 2+

Kumak’s Fish by Michael Bania. A tall tale about a man Kumak and his family who go ice fishing, with a hilarious ending. See also Kumak’s House by Michael Bania. Ages 3+


Let it Snow by Holly Hobbie. In Let it Snow, two friends, Toot and Puddle, choose the perfect Christmas presents for each other and enjoy a magical cross country skiing trip. Ages 3+


Fredrick by Leo Lionni. A story about a family of field mice preparing for winter that celebrates the value of art and poetry. Leo Lionni is one of my favorite authors. His stories are always carefully crafted and give you something to think about. Ages 3+


The MittenThe Mitten by Jan Brett. A beautifully illustrated, humorous Ukranian folktale about a boy who drops his new snow white mitten in the snow. One animal after another discover the mitten and squeeze in. Ages 3+

Owl Moon by Jane Yolen. I absolutely love this story about a girl and her father venturing out into the woods on a winter night in search of an owl. Owl Moon describes a memorable wintertime nature encounter. Ages 3+


Over and Under the SnowOver and Under the Snow by Kate Messner and Christopher Silas Neal. This book alternates between a girl’s observations as she skis above the snow and information about the secret lives of animals living under the snow. Over and Under the Snow contains a lot of information about animals in the winter and features beautiful woodcut illustrations in a neat, muted color pallet. Ages 3+

Red SledThe Red Sled by Lita Judge. A nearly wordless picture book about woodland creatures who borrow a young boy’s sled and take it for a ride. The Red Sled features lively illustrations by Lita Judge. Ages 3+

Winter on the FarmWinter on the Farm by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Jody Wheeler and Renee Graef. An adaptation of Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Winter on the Farm describes a typical winter day of Almonzo Wilder, a young boy living on a farm in the New York countryside in the mid-1800s. This is one in a series of books adapted from Farmer Boy and Little House in the Big Woods, both by Laura Ingalls Wilder. See also A Farmer Boy BirthdayWinter Days in the Big Woods and Christmas in the Big Woods. Ages 3+

Building an Igloo by Ulli Steltzer. A fascinating book about an Inuit father and son building an igloo. Building an Igloo explains that while the Inuit no longer live in igloos, the father and son in this book build igloos when they go hunting. Ages 4+

Stella: Queen of the Snow by Marie-Louise Gay. Younger brother Sam has never seen snow before. When the first snowstorm of the season arrives, Sam has lots of great questions about snow, and Sam’s older sister Stella has lots of entertaining answers. Ages 4+

Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and Mary Azarian. A true story about a man, William Bentley, who figured out how to photograph snowflakes in the late-1800s. Ages 5+

You may also be interested in:

Pinterest: Winter

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10 Responses to 18 Wintery Picture Books

  1. Sarah says:

    Cynthia Rylant’s “Snow” is another good one!

  2. Rob says:

    Great list! I would also add Winter is Here by Heidi Pross Gray. My kids love the artwork and enjoy the different aspects of winter the author highlights, all while focusing on the value of family. Thanks for the great list–time for us to hit the library!

  3. sprite says:

    I was only aware of a handful of these, so thank you for the recommendations!

  4. You might also add “Under the Snow” by Melissa Stewart. A fantastic non-fiction companion to “Over and Under” the Snow by Kate Messner.

  5. I love wintery books and would add A Kitten Tale by Eric Rohmann to the list!

  6. PragmaticMom says:

    Great list! Will tweet it and pin it! Thanks!

  7. PragmaticMom says:

    I wanted to add Symphony of Whales …
    A Symphony of Whales by Steve Schuch. A beautiful and haunting story about a Siberian girl who comes up with a plan to save hundreds of beluga whales trapped by ice. [ages 4-9]

    I have it on my list of Best Picture Books You’ve Never Heard Of: http://www.pragmaticmom.com/2011/07/favorite-picture-books-youve-never-heard-of/

    • Amy says:

      Thanks for sharing this recommendation. I have, in fact, never heard of this book. (:

      • Lakshmi says:

        YES, at that time period, in the Roman Empire, if you were rich engouh, you could have windows. Archeaologists had discovered glass remains from windows in forts along Handrian’s Wall in northern England. This would be about 400 years after the time you’re inquiring about.The ancient Egyptians were the first to invent glass about 1000 years previous to that. Clear or cloudiy glass was possible by Roman times, though with the way a typical Roman villa was laid out, there was no need for glass in exterior windows. The main light for the villa came in through the atrium in the center of the house. Villas were heated in winter through fires built beneath the floors to heat the flooring tiles. Similar to how adobe houses are heated in the Southwest USA today.

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