Best Winter Picture Books

In the last few weeks, I've read more than seventy picture books with a winter or snow theme. Many are meh. But some are really special! In order to make the cut, a book has to have gorgeous, captivating illustrations and flowing, interesting text. Here's my list of favorites, with my top five listed first:

Extra Yarn (Barnett): I can't count how many times we've read this in the last two weeks. A girl who lives in a black and white town finds a box of colorful yarn and knits sweaters for everyone and everything in town. It ends with a humorous plot twist. 

Danny’s First Snow (Gore): This is a short but delightful read about a rabbit who goes out to play in the snow for the first time. He sees various animal shapes in the snow and plays games with the "animals." It's like a clever winter twist on looking for shapes in the clouds.

Blizzard (Rocco): I don't even know why I keep getting this one from the library, as it has been a family favorite for more than five years. It's an experience from the author's childhood, in which his town endures a blizzard. They survive without snowplows for a week, so the boy crafts snowshoes using tennis rackets and makes his way to the market, saving his family and neighbors from the tragedy of running out of essentials like milk and cat food. 

Snow (Shulevitz) – I can't get over these illustrations - it's no wonder the book received a Caldecott honor! The pictures remind me of an Eastern European city, and they're so lovely. In the story, a boy is excited for a big snow, but no one believes that it will be more than a few flakes. It reminds me of my son who gets suited up and starts shoveling as soon as he sees a skiff of snow.

Missuk's Snow Geese (Renaud): This unique story shows family life in the frigid winter under the Northern Lights. It's a heart-warming tale of a girl who makes geese imprints in the snow while playing, and those prints eventually lead her father home safely through a fierce blizzard. Sadly, it's out of print, so I hope you can get it at your library


And here are the rest of my recommendations, in no particular order:

First Snow (Park)

Sleep, Big Bear, Sleep (Wright) 

Before Morning (Sidman) 

Brave Irene (Steig)  

The Snowy Day (Keates)

The Reader (Hest) 

Waiting for Snow (Arnold)

Learning to Ski with Mr. Magee (Van Dusen)

Small Walt (Verdick)

Small Walt and Mo the Tow (Verdick)

Katy & the Big Snow (Burton)

The Mitten (Brett) 

Red Sled (Judge) 


I hope you will find and enjoy some of these titles this winter! Did I miss any of your favorites? If so, let me know in the comments.


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