As we head deeper into winter and extended time at home, it seems like a great time to share what I think are the top 10 best books to read aloud with my kids this winter.
You can get in touch with your local library, arrange to borrow some books, and then cozy up and read aloud with your kiddos.
10. Snow by Cynthia Ryland
Snow was a Newbery Medal winner and explores all the sights and feelings of a snowy day from a child’s perspective. I love reading this from the cozy, warm indoors, and talking with my kids about their favorite snowy day activities!
9. Antarctic Antics by Judy Sierra
This is a super fun book of penguin-themed poetry. My daughter loved the one called Mother Sounds. Reading poetry to children is a great way to develop reading fluency, vocabulary, and figurative language. You could create some of your own poems about animals around your house! Cat Antics, anyone?
8. Dogteam by Gary Paulsen
If you’ve got a dog lover or a nature lover, this is a can’t-miss book. The illustrations are gorgeous, the words are lyrical, and your kids will love being swept away into the woods with the dog team. Gary Paulsen is an excellent author to follow if you love the wilderness. He’s well known for his book, Hatchet.
7. Tacky by Helen Lester
Tacky is a very odd penguin and sometimes he acts in an annoying and strange way. In this book though, his unusual penguin behavior saves the day! There are several other titles in this series with this loveable penguin character.
6. Brave Irene by William Steig
If you’re a William Steig fan, you’ve got to read Brave Irene. Irene has to deliver a dress and is faced with many obstacles along the way. Your kids will love following along as she battles the weather to complete her mission. This story teaches a lesson about determination and perseverance!
5. Sugar White Snow and Evergreens: A Winter Wonderland of Color by Felicia Sanzari Chernesky
If you’re a Vermont family, I’m sure you will relate to this story. The family in this story takes a ride to a maple sugar house and observes colors in nature. If you have a preschooler at home, this is a fun way to practice color identification.
4. Snowflakes Fall by Patricia MacLachlan
Snowflakes Fall was illustrated by Steven Kellogg. Kellogg lived in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, and raised his family there. After the devastating school shooting, he collaborated with MacLachlan to create this beautiful and moving book. It celebrates how snowflakes and children are each unique and with the passing of sorrow, and seasons, joy can come again.
3.The Snowman by Raymon Briggs
I’m a HUGE fan of wordless books! They help develop a child’s imagination and creativity. They also take the pressure off reading and allow you and your child to make up the story. The Snowman is a tale of a little boy that builds a snowman and then it comes to life. You can take turns adding to the story based on the pictures. You could later create your own snowman, take pictures, and write a story! You could follow this book with What Snowmen Do at Night by Caralyn Buehner.
2. Snowflake Bentley
Snowflake Bentley is a classic Vermont winter read aloud. There’s even a Snowflake Bentley Museum in Jericho, Vermont. You can see some of his snowflakes photographs and learn more about the tools he used. It tells all about the first known man to photograph snowflakes. It’s a story of dedication, passion, and perseverance. Reading this book usually leads my children to try and collect and photograph snowflakes on black construction paper. One year we had thin black plastic that we chilled and used to capture snowflakes!
1. The Mitten by Jan Brett
This is my all-time favorite winter read aloud book. The illustrations are gorgeous and include a picture that prompts you to predict what’s going to happen next. There are dozens of activities to do with this book and it is the perfect book for retelling practice. Retelling is an important literacy skill. When a child is retelling they are describing and sequencing events, which builds their reading comprehension skills. Plus, can’t we all relate to the struggle of lost mittens?
Creating a culture of literacy in your home doesn’t have to be hard. You can start a daily reading habit today! There are so many great books out there for you to share with your child. If you’re not sure where to start, ask your local librarian if they’d be willing to pull some books for you. Our library even does curbside pick up! Or start with the books on this list.