We’ve curated a list of eight of the best wintertime storybooks to read with your children this year. Some are classics and some are brand-new. Take a look and leave a comment with a book that you would add to the list!
"The Snowy Day" by Ezra Jack Keats
A children’s wintertime classic and the recipient of the 1963 Caldecott Medal, "The Snowy Day" has been read and loved by millions of children for decades. "The Snowy Day" beautifully captures the sense of excitement and whimsy children experience playing in the snow. Take three minutes to enjoy this free read aloud with your children by the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation.
"The Nutcracker in Harlem" by T. E. McMorrow - Educational
A young Black girl in New York City during the Harlem Renaissance (1910s through mid-1930s) learns to sing and dance thanks to her newly-found magical nutcracker toy. This beautiful wintertime storybook immerses readers into the joy of the winter holiday season. The Nutcracker in Harlem won the Bank Street College of Education’s Best Children’s Book of the Year award and is illustrated by the Coretta Scott King Award-winning artist James Ransome.
"Snowflakes" by Cerrie Burnell & Laura Ellen Anderson
Mia, the young protagonist, leaves the big city to go to live with her grandmother in a hidden, snow-covered forest village. She struggles with her new life, having to adapt to a new climate and rural, farming way-of-life. Mia questions why everything is different, including why the other children’s skin color is lighter than hers. The beautiful moral of "Snowflakes" is: “Every snowflake is different, every snowflake is perfect.”
"Amadi’s Snowman" by Katia Novet Saint Lot
A young Nigerian boy named Amadi escapes his mother’s daily reading lessons to run off to the market. But something unusual captures Amadi’s attention: he is stunned when he catches a popular older boy secretly reading. Amadi’s curiosity piques when he notices a strange new storybook about a fluffy white being with a carrot-nose, and this leads him to realize that reading can open up vast new corners of the world - including snow, which he’s never seen. Plus, here are free Amadi’s Snowman educational activities.
"Molly, by Golly!" by Dianne Ochiltree - Educational
"Molly, by Golly!" Is an intense legend about how the first female firefighter, a courageous Black woman named Molly Williams, fights a raging fire during a dangerous blizzard storm. Molly bravely takes charge despite the rest of the all-male firefighting team being ill with the flu. Author Dianne Ochiltree consulted historic records and firefighting experts to retell the story of the legendary Molly in the early 1800s.
"The First Day of Winter" by Denise Fleming
Featuring whimsical watercolor paintings by the author herself, "The First Day of Winter" follows a young boy who bestows gifts to a magical snowman over the first ten days of winter. Get started now with this free read-aloud video on Youtube, and discuss literary concepts with your children afterward with this free "The First Day of Winter" educational toolkit from the State Library of Ohio - click here.
"Cold and Hot" by Jacqueline Sweeney
A young Black boy experiences the two temperature extremes - very cold and very hot - within the same wintry day from his parents piling on several layers of clothing after he goes to play in the snow. Perfect for ages 3 to 6 years old. (Plus, check out this free parents’ and teachers’ guide here).
"Malaika’s Winter Carnival" by Nadia L. Hohn
In the second book in the Malaika series, a young Black girl named Malaika finally joins her mother in a new country. Here, she experiences her first snow while she acclimates to her entirely new world: she must learn to get used to the new chilly climate and her new school, family, and friends. Follow Malaika’s journey as she visits her first magical winter carnival! Beautiful mixed-media illustrations by Irene Luxbacher. For more information, visit the author’s website.
What books would you add to this list? Leave a comment below!
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