Around our house, the New Year brought with it some sniffles, allergies, more teething for the twins (it’s like never-ending!), major nostalgia of being super pregnant a year ago and realizing my babies are about to turn ONE (EEK!), and also some real clumsiness on the part of this momma. To put it short, y’all, I’ve been a HOT mess! Meanwhile, for the rest of my family, the New Year brought some record COLD temps and/or snowfall where they live.
I am grateful for being a mom of 3 under 3 in a part of the country that is afflicted with boring, predictably 70 degree weather. Except for a few days ago as I drafted this, of course. That day, I turned the heat on and wore my coat. But anyway, I also feel like our big boy is missing out on experiencing real winter and snow, something he actually lived through for his first 2 winters, though he has no recollection of it. My life is full of conflict, I know.
For those of you in wintry places, you can cozy up with these good books to make the most of those snowy and chilly days. And for those of us in warm, sunny places (I’m not bragging, promise), we can show our children what a real winter is like, through pictures from friends’ and family’s Facebook feeds and text messages (thanks y’all!) , and also these great children’s books.
Please use my Amazon links at the bottom for easy shopping! Since you can also get the main synopsis on Amazon, for a change, I just sprinkled in a few personal anecdotes! Happy reading! And stay warm and cozy, too!
The Mitten by Jan Brett (Availablie in Boardbook and also in SPANISH)
After our first read, Aman immediately asked for us to read it again, and again, and again, and again… and then he started “reading” it to me. One day while reading it to himself, I saw him take one of his socks off, and he stuffed the sock with whatever figurines he could find (Peanuts characters, Fisher Price Little People, etc.), and it got “bigger and bigger”. My favorite thing is the way he says “It was getting crowded.” Don’t 2 year olds pronounce the cutest “r” blends?
The Snowman by Raymond Briggs
This wordless picture book delights and sparks wondrous discussion and imagination. My favorite experience with this book is from the classroom, with first graders. These magical illustrations transformed an angry, aggressive, little boy into peaceful mush. They drew him in and inspired thoughtful comments, questions, comprehension, and text connections. Aw, the magic of books! Even when they have no words!
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats (Available in Boardbook)
Kids will love revisiting Peter in Ezra Jack Keats’ other works featuring him as he matures. Starting out of order, my little guy first met Peter in Whistle for Willie. During our first reading of Snowy Day, he slayed me with cuteness as he kept saying, “Mommy, I don’t see Willie”. Despite missing Willie, he loved it, and I loved the conversation. When first asked what happened to Peter’s snowball, little man said “I think he dropped it.” Then after I reminded him what happens to ice when it gets warm, and we talked about how the house would be so warm and cozy, he said “The snowball melted! He’s so silly!”
Immi’s Gift by Karin Littlewood
For a small child, this story will open doors to how people from different sides of the world are both similar and different, and that we should celebrate this!
Little Red Gliding Hood by Tara Lazar
This isn’t just a fun fractured fairy tale, it features characters from some of the best known nursery rhymes, which makes it especially fun for toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners. Great for text to text connections and tangential toddlers! And then there’s the added bonus that Little Red has brown skin!
When this World Was New by D.H. Figueredo (Available in SPANISH)
A story about a Latino immigrant means I get to tell the kiddo about myself and my family being Latino immigrants. I know this story will take on more special meaning as the kids grow and as does their appreciation for their multicultural and diverse background.
The Shortest Day: Celebrating the Winter Solstice by Wendy Pfeffer
The shortest day may have past, but our little ones are still wondering “Why is it so dark?” Or at least mine is, literally every day when he wakes up from his nap, and its depressingly dark already. So, this is a great concept to revisit. You could even throw in some charting and math, by marking the time the sun sets each day, and in fact seeing that the days are getting longer again.
Walking in a Winter Wonderland illustrated by Tim Hopgood
Ok, so maybe there is a man in a red suit pictured, but not really talked or sung about. We love books that we can sing to. Little man even insists on pulling out his “piano” (learner’s keyboard) to accompany our readings. The babies dance, clap, and laugh, and for a few moments, we are like the perfect family!
P.S. Isn’t that dog cute? I think he misses the snow too.