This site contains affiliate links, meaning that we earn a small commission for purchases made through our site. We only recommend products we personally use, love, or have thoroughly vetted.
Winter is here, and as you cozy up by the fire, it’s time for some great winter reads with your kiddos. There are so many amazing winter books for kids that show the magic of this season!
Here are our 18 favorite books about winter for kids, from our resident mom and children’s literature expert, Dr. Rebecca Fitz!
The Magic of Winter Books for Kids
All of my memories of winter wonderlands are from childhood – snow days, building snow forts out of plowed up piles, ski trips, and hot cocoa by the fireplace.
As an adult, I’ve largely been the northerner living in the South who scoffs at my Florida-born spouse and compatriots who complain about how cold 50 degrees feels.
But now that my family has relocated to Pittsburgh, I get to experience the magic of winter again, and I’m so excited to share it with my preschooler.
Relocating or moving, too? Here are my tips for moving with kids.
If you’ve got a little one, and you live in a place with snow, there’s so much to do!
Snowball fights! Snow angels! Beautiful snow-covered holiday lights! Building snowmen! And a chance to use that new red sled!
For children who don’t have to shovel snow and worry about tires wearing out, winter is magical, and reading special books about winter for kids can enhance the experience.
Pro tip from Dr. Fitz: Read under a warm lap blanket, with a cup of cocoa and your favorite toddler, preschooler, or elementary-aged kid!
Winter Books for Preschoolers and Toddlers
These are a couple of my favorites that I remember from my childhood.
I still read them regularly with my son, Logan. Doing so helps me share some of my own childhood joy with him.
I’ve also included many of his favorite winter books for kids that are new to me.
(1) The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
I like this book so much I bought the stamps from USPS this year to send out my New Year’s cards. It’s that cute.
In this book, Peter wakes up one morning and the whole city is covered in snow. He puts on his awesome red snowsuit and goes out to explore!
Fun Fact: Amazon has a short animated film adaptation of The Snowy Day that is available on Prime Video. This adaptation is fun and appropriate for a similar age range.
It sets the story at Christmas but features a diverse range of characters and some delightful additions to the story.
If you are a Prime customer, this makes an excellent tablet download to take on long car trips or plane rides (and gives you a break from Frozen).
(2) Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton
Logan loves reading about Katy and her big snowplow! In fact, it’s one of his favorite winter books for kids.
We read this story all the time, but it is especially exciting to read when there are real snow plows out and about!
I also love that it gives him a feminist story of a strong female-identifying tractor who saves the city with her strength and tenacity!
Read more about the importance of feminist books for boys.
Katy, a brave and untiring tractor, makes it possible for the townspeople to do their jobs.
In this enduring winter favorite from the Caldecott Medal winner 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 them out.
(3) The Mitten by Jan Brett
The Mitten is perhaps the pinnacle of any early childhood winter theme. So much fun and so many opportunities for learning packed into one little beautiful story!
In The Mitten, Nikki loses one of his precious white mittens, which various winter animals discover.
The playful tale is accompanied by rich, detailed illustrations that are so entrancing children stare at the pages, mesmerized, drinking it all in.
(4) Winter Is Here by Kevin Henke
I am increasingly a fan of Kevin Henkes books! Each one we check out from the library is beautiful to look at and beautiful to read aloud.
This book pairs with two of his other favorite books, In the Middle of Fall and When Spring Comes.
Winter is Here is lyrical, soothing, and the perfect bedtime book. (We are also big fans of A Parade of Elephants, which isn’t about snow, but worth reading).
In Winter Is Here, snow falls, animals burrow, and children prepare for the wonders winter brings.
Caldecott Medalist and award-winning author Kevin Henkes’s striking text introduces basic concepts of language and the unique beauty of the winter season.
Laura Dronzek’s expressive paintings beautifully capture the joyful wonders of winter.
(5) Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson (Author), Jane Chapman (Illustrator)
Bear’s cave fills with animal friends as he sleeps.
One by one, a whole host of different animals and birds find their way out of the cold and into Bear’s cave to warm up.
But even after the tea has been brewed and the corn has been popped, Bear just snores on!
See what happens when he finally wakes up and finds his cave full of uninvited guests—all of them having a party without him!
(6) When It Starts to Snow by Phillis Gershator (Author), Martin Matje (Illustrator)
“What if it starts to snow? What do you do? Where do you go?”
So begins this winter story, as each animal–from a mouse to a bear, tells us what it will do and where it will go when the snow starts to fall.
Each takes cover in its own special home, except for one. Can you guess who?
Winter Picture Books
(7) Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell
This delightful book is about a girl lost in a snowstorm. A wolf cub is lost, too. How will they find their way home?
Paintings rich with feeling tell this satisfying story of friendship and trust.
This is a book set on a wintry night that will spark imaginations and warm hearts. It’s clear why Wolf in the Snow was the 2018 Caldecott Winner.
(8) Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter by Kenard Pak
As leaves fall from their trees, animals huddle against the cold, and frost creeps across windows, everyone knows―winter is on its way!
Join a brother and sister as they explore nature and take a stroll through their twinkling town, greeting all the signs of the coming season.
In a series of conversations with everything from the setting sun to curious deer, they say goodbye to autumn and welcome the glorious first snow of winter in Kenar Pak’s Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter.
(9) When This World Was New by D H Figueredo
Danilito and his family immigrated to the United States from their warm Caribbean home.
The family faces common anxieties of moving to a new country. Will the adults find work? How will they learn the language and adapt to the customs?
When it begins to snow, the novelty of experiencing snowfall for the first time lifts up everyone’s spirit and fills them with the hope of new beginnings.
(10) Immi’s Gift by Karin Littlewood
Two children half a world away from each other are connected in an unexpected way.
Way, way up north in a snow-covered world, a young girl is surprised when, instead of a fish on the end of her fishing line, there is a small, brightly painted wooden bird.
Day after day, her fishing pole brings up more colorful surprises. When visiting the fishing hole for the last time, she drops a little wooden bear into the water.
Far away, a young boy walks along a beach in the hot, hot sun.
He throws a colorful object into the water. Then something catches his eye. A small wooden bear has washed up on the beach.
In this story, Karin Littlewood has crafted a simple, affecting narrative of how individuals around the world connect and enrich each other’s lives.
Her beautiful watercolor illustrations vibrantly depict the story’s shifting locations―from the frozen Arctic to the tropical shoreline.
(11) Tracks in the Snow by Wong Herbert Yee
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. Like Ezra Jack Keats’ The Snowy Day, this lovely celebration of snow and winter is just right for the littlest readers.
(12) The Tea Party in the Woods by Akiko Miyakoshi
When a young girl named Kikko realizes her father has forgotten the pie he was supposed to bring to Grandma’s house, she offers to try to catch him as he makes his way through the woods.
She hurriedly follows her father’s footprints in the snow and happens upon a large house she has never seen before.
Suddenly, Kikko realizes her trip through the woods has turned into something magical.
Award-winning author and illustrator Akiko Miyakoshi has beautifully crafted an original fairy tale picture book that will delight and quickly become one of your all-time favorite winter books for kids..
(13) The First Day of Winter by Denise Fleming
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!
Books About the Science of Snow
The teacher in me is always wondering what kids can learn from the books they’re reading.
But I’m not exactly creating lesson plans with the books we read because I like to know that Logan is learning as much as possible from the adventure of every book.
Snow is a great opportunity to talk about lots of different areas of science with little ones because so many concepts become visible.
Kids and parents can explore questions like:
- What happens to water when it freezes?
- What kind of tracks do animals leave?
- How do animals keep warm in the winter?
These winter books for kids will help you introduce your kids to the science of winter!
(14) The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter’s Wonder by Jon Nelson and Mark Cassino (Photographer)
How do snow crystals form? What shapes can they take? Are no two snow crystals alike?
These questions and more are answered in this exploration of the science of snow, featuring photos of real snow crystals in all their beautiful diversity.
It also includes snowflake-catching instructions for aspiring young snow scientists!
(15) Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin (Author), Mary Azarian (Illustrator)
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.
Snowflake Bentley also won the 1999 Caldecott Medal!
(16) In the Snow: Who’s Been Here? by Lindsay Barrett George
The woods are cold and desolate as Cammy and William hike through the snow, yet signs of animal life are everywhere.
Help them find the clues–a pellet of feathers and bones, a fish head by the brook, a patch of bark rubbed off the trunk of a birch tree, and more–and join in guessing, “Who’s been here?”
(17) Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner
The book jacket aptly describes this book:
“Over the snow, the world is hushed and white. But under the snow is a secret world of squirrels and snow hares, bears and bullfrogs, and many other animals who live through the winter safe and warm under the snow.”
This book gives the reader a peek at what life under the snow is like. The back of the book provides more details about the animals depicted in the story.
Read the story and then learn more about what happens to the animals during winter. Where do they go? Do they hibernate or simply seek shelter somewhere?
(18) It’s Snowing! by Gail Gibbons
Learn about how snowflakes form, where snow falls, and how to prepare for a snowstorm is this informational book about snow.
What are your favorite books winter books for kids?
Rebekah Fitzsimmons, PhD, is Undefining Motherhood’s expert on children’s literature. She has a PhD in English (Children’s Literature) from the University of Florida. She is an Assistant Teaching Professor of Professional Communication in the Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. Rebekah’s book, Beyond the Blockbuster will be available through the University Press of Mississippi in April. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, son, mother-in-law, and awesome dog.