From classics to funny, we’re sure your students will warm to these winter themed books as much as we have! (As always, any purchase made after clicking through an Amazon link on CKA’s website benefits CKA without costing you anything additional. Thank you so much for your support!)
The Snowman, Raymond Briggs – This wordless classic is deceptively simple looking. Following along the rather complex story requires plenty of thought though and is sure to provoke an interesting conversation with your students. A little boy finds a new friend – in his snowman. Each introduces the other to his world. The boy takes the snowman on a tour of his home. The snowman in turn takes the boy on a flight across the snowy parts of the globe. With gentle illustrations as heartwarming as the story, we’re sure this book will find its way into your kids’ hearts and yours, too! The DVD version of The Snowman is also sure to delight and provides a lovely opportunity to review the story in a different way.
Snowballs, Lois Ehlert – The author/illustrator of such classics as Eating the Alphabet: Fruits & Vegetables from A to Z, Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf and Growing Vegetable Soup, Ehlert’s wintery tale doesn’t disappoint. Her unique illustrations pair with an engaging story about the building not just of a single snowman, but of an entire snow family! Lots of different objects provide the details for the snow people – sunflower seeds form a mouth, and forks become arms – definitely some new twists on the traditional coal eyes and carrot nose!
Thomas’ Snowsuit, Robert Munsch – From the author of Love You Forever comes this hilarious story of a boy who hates his snowsuit. He refuses to wear it and the resulting argument with his teacher and her subsequent argument with the principal are both hilarious. Children are sure to find the scenes involving underwear hysterical and any adult who has had to dress a child will relate to the frustration of the adults in Thomas’ life. Add another layer to your experience with this book by listening to the free MP3 of the author reading the story, available on his website.
The Snowy Day, Ezra Jack Keats – This children’s classic follows a small African American boy on his adventures in the snow. This 1963 Caldecott Medal winner is still charmingly understated and fresh today and at the same time a wonderful way to add some diversity to your storybook collection. Follow along with Peter as he explores the footprints he leaves in the freshly fallen snow, makes snow angels, creates tracks with sticks and finally takes a warm bath. You can use these great sequencing cards available here to help you retell the story as a class, or make copies so that each of your students can make their own.
The Jacket I Wear in the Snow, Shirley Neitzel – A wintery twist on the traditional tale, This is the House that Jack Built, this story is a wonderful way to review winter clothing words with your students. Each page reviews all the previous items mentioned, making for great effortless practice, which is so important for English Language Development. Each item of clothing is represented in the book using rebuses, adding a fun twist to this book, especially for beginning readers. You can use this blackline master to create a class book based on the story or check out this website for a printable sequencing activity and more!
There Was a Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow, Lucille Colandro – This winter version of the traditional children’s song features lots of rhyming and repetition – both excellent for encouraging beginning readers and English Language learners. Children will laugh at the cold lady’s antics and enjoy the brightly colored cartoon-like illustrations. Looking for a book to work on comparing similarities and differences? Pair this with There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat! , There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Bell! or any of the other Old Lady series.
The Mitten, Jan Brett – This beautiful retelling of a traditional Ukrainian folk tale showcases the beautiful illustrations of Jan Brett. Side panels on each page foretelling the next animal who will try to fit in the mitten, and children will enjoy figuring out the secret. Want to work on re-telling the story with your students? Jan Brett’s website has this blackline master of the characters and a mitten to place them in along with this set of full color masks of the animals to print.
The Hat, Jan Brett – A different twist on The Mitten, this time the lost article of clothing is a sock. A hedgehog quickly winds up with it stuck on his head and finds himself trying to convince the other animals that it’s really a hat. Once again, side panels on each page tell the story of the sock’s owner and children will enjoy following the subplot. Jan Brett’s website has these color masks to work on story re-tell, etc.
Snowmen at Night, Caralyn Buehner – Ever wonder what snowmen do after the sun goes down? This hilarious tale fills you in on all the fun-filled details with vibrant illustrations and rhyming text. Hidden images in the pictures add another interesting twist to this story and are sure to provoke excitement among young readers. You can easily extend the learning by providing your students with this fun snow-themed stationery from www.primarygames.com. It will make writing about what their snowman likes to do at night much more enticing!
50 Below Zero, Robert N. Munsch – It’s 50 below zero – and Jason’s dad won’t stop sleepwalking! In typical Robert Munsch style, repetition is used very effectively to make the story accessible to all children and it’s particularly supportive for those children who are English Language Learners. Michael Martchenko’s illustrations are as charming as usual and this story is sure to leave you and your students with a smile on your face.
Looking for winter themed activities to use with these books? Check out Let it Snow! A Quick and Easy Winter Art Activity, Snowy Sight Words and All That Glitters is (Fake) Snow – An Easy Way to Add Sparkle to a Winter Art Activity. Have a favorite winter book? Doing a winter themed activity with your class? We’d love to hear about it!