I’ve been on a search for the best children’s books to read during the winter months for K-2. After looking into some of the top choices, and reading reviews from other teachers and parents, I’ve picked my top 15. These are great for read-alouds, small group instruction, or just to add to your classroom bookshelf for the season! These are all popular books that students love to read again and again.
Top 15 Favorite Children’s Books for Winter
1. The Mitten by Jan Brett is a story based on a Ukranian folktale and is great for K-2. Use it to teach cause/effect, implicit reasoning, character’s feelings, and author’s tone.
2. Lois Ehlert wrote and illustrated a book called Snowballs that is a big hit. It’s not just another winter picture book, the artwork in it is captivating and kids love discovering what everyday objects are used to adorn the snow families he creates.
3. Next, read The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, a delightful book showing the adventures of a little boy exploring the snow in a big city.
4. Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester will satisfy the curiosity of your most active little ones. A little odd and possessing strange habits, Tacky is a lovable character who surprises everyone in the end.
5. A book in the National Geographic Picture the Seasons series called Winter Wonderland (by Jill Esbaum) is a beautiful, photographic walk through the winter landscape. It’s the perfect non-fiction choice for young readers this time of year.
6. A fun book that includes rhyme and song is The First Day of Winter by Denise Fleming. You know the 12 Days of Christmas song, right? Then you could sing this book to your kids and they’ll get a kick out of it. If you can’t sing, they’ll love it even more!
7. Include some Science in your read-aloud by choosing Animals in Winter, a book written by Henrietta Bancroft. Kids will enjoy looking at the brightly painted pages (in the recently updated version) and learning about animals in their natural habitats.
8. Are your students curious about how snow crystals form, their individuality, and seeing beautiful pictures of real snowflakes? Then show them The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter’s Wonder by Mark Cassino.
9. Enjoy the beautiful story written and illustrated by Caldecott winner Uri Shulevitz with your students, Snow. It’s a heartwarming story about hope and wonder that will be a yearly favorite of your own.
10. Laughter is key to keeping the children’s spirits high before the holiday break. Share this hilarious and silly book with them: Sneezy the Snowman by Maureen Wright.
11. What do snowmen do at night? Pique your students’ interest with the open-ended question, and then read this entertaining book that tells about snowmen’s secret lives. Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner.
12. The Biggest Snowman Ever by Steven Kroll is a cute story. It’s the sequel to The Biggest Pumpkin Ever (you may know that one as well). Pair it with a writing assignment about how to build a snowman, and see what cute steps your students describe!
13. Play some classical or instrumental music softly, and share the wordless story of The Snowman by Raymond Briggs with your students. The pictures are captivating, and this book is a long-time favorite. There’s even a movie based on the book that you could watch afterward.
14. National Geographic readers are the perfect addition to your classroom bookshelf. In this one, Polar Bears by Laura Marsh, students can learn everything they ever wanted to know about polar bears.
15. Penguins by Anne Schreiber is another National Geographic reader that will enthrall your little animal lovers. Students will learn all about penguin life, habitat, and more while observing photographs of them.
Look no further for a better list of primary grades books about winter! These are my top 15 choices, and I know you and your students are going to love them too. These have been the best-loved winter books on my classroom shelves for years.
Have you used these winter books in your classroom? Which ones are your favorites, and what extension activities did you do to go along with them? Please add your ideas in the comments for everyone to read!
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More Winter Ideas and Activities