December 24, 2013

Fresh from the Bookshelf: Top 5 Winter Books for Children

We love the winter! We love books about winter and snow, but as a family that doesn't celebrate Christmas, it's becoming increasingly difficult to find good winter themed books that do not center around or even mention Christmas. There are many families (like ours) who desire just some good winter themed books that can be used all season long; therefore, I am sharing our family's five most favorite reads for this time of year...ones we seek out as soon as the first snow hits!
five winter books for children

The books that I have chosen are a mixture of fiction and non-fiction. There is a science book, chapter book, poetry book, picture book and a biography. This is why I love this group of five books...and they are just right for any age! My 3 year old AND my 7 year old enjoy all of them and so do I. We hope you will enjoy getting to know these books and will make a point of adding them to your reading list this season!

by Virginia Lee Burton
Anyone familiar with Virginia Lee Burton should already know that this book is a winner! Katy is a bulldozer with a snow plow attachment who helps save the city when a blizzard buries everything. The illustrations are full of life and your children will enjoy tracing the map as Katy digs out the city! My boys ADORE that it's a bulldozer as the main character and will have me read this book every single day. Because this book is part of the Five in a Row (FIAR) curriculum, we have done that before and it was beloved by all!

by Robert Frost and Susan Jeffers (Illustrator)
What's not to love about this gorgeous piece of poetry by Robert Frost? We love the rhythm of the words and this book captures them in gorgeous illustrations of frosty New England scenes. It's a great way to incorporate poetry reading this winter! This book is also a part of the FIAR curriculum for those who would love a unit study using it.

by M. Scott Peck and Christopher Scott Peck (Illustrator)
I discovered this book at the library when I typed in "snow" in the search field of the local library catalog. It turned out to be a delightful read. This book chronicles the discoveries of young Jenny as she endeavors to examine the life of snowflakes--beginning with a friendly snowflake she names "Harry". Through it she learns about what is truly important in life---love, family and friendships. It is a chapter book, so those readers who are more advanced will enjoy reading this book for themselves. We have enjoyed reading it out loud. This book has been out of print since 1997, but I'm sure you could ask about it at your library.
*Note: There is a spot in the last chapter that deals with a soul and mentions reincarnation in passing [the father talks about it as a belief of the Hindus]. It doesn't go into very much detail about the subject but a belief in an immortal soul is implied. Our family doesn't believe in an immortal soul, so we had a discussion over this part and what it was talking about.

by Jacqueline Briggs Martin
This beautiful book is a children's biography about Wilson Bentley, a late 1800's snowflake photographer who first put forth the evidence that no two snowflakes are alike. His story is brought to life in lovely woodcut illustrations, and shares his scientist's vision for learning and his passion for nature. There is extra information about him in the side portions of each page. The book is highly informative and is a great addition to any study on snowflakes or snow. This book is yet another that is part of the FIAR curriculum.

by Kenneth Libbrecht
If you have never seen this book, I highly recommend you find it. A friend directed me to it and when I asked the library, they ordered it for me. It is STUNNING! This book walks through the life of a snowflake step-by-step, from a single snowflake's perspective. Starting from it's creation in the clouds to its sparkling final rest on a child's mitten. The book is full of REAL photographs of every step of a snowflake. It's geared for ages 6-12, but my three year old LOVED seeing all the different snowflakes. 

If you only try one new book this year, I recommend this one! It makes snowflakes breathtakingly brilliant and even more magical. This book is also ranked #3 by Amazon.com for Best Children's Photography books!

***
I hope that you will be inspired to check out some of these--or all of these--delightful winter books! There are many more that we love to read, but I think these are definitely the Top 5!




What is your most favorite winter children's book?

Photobucket