20 Must Read Winter Books for Kids

Winter is the perfect time for snuggling up with books – and lots of them! Over the years, we’ve gone back to certain books time after time during the winter season. I thought I’d share our winter book list with you and give you an idea of some of the book extension activities we’ve done to turn the books into great lessons. We don’t always do extension lessons when reading, but the long days of winter often call for a little extra.

Top Living Literature Picks for Winter

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Winter Picture Books for Kids of All Ages

Snowflake BentleyStopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening


Snowflake Bentley is a great book to kick off a study of snow. I’ve included more ideas than you can shake a stick at for snow study in NaturExplorer’s Snow and Ice.

Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening makes a great starter for a lesson on descriptive language in writing. The lesson could focus on settings, adjectives, or poetry. Here’s a nice lesson for older students using Robert Frost’s poetry.

The MittenNorth Country Night


The Mitten is such a sweet book! We like to use it to kick-off lessons on volume. You can find tons of ideas for using this book across the curriculum and with various ages on Pinterest.

We use North Country Night to inspire lessons about animal tracks and signs or how animals cope with the cold.

Charlie Needs a CloakOwl Moon


Charlie Needs a Cloak is a humorous story that teaches the steps of making cloth from wool. We like to use this book for lessons in sequencing and economics

Who doesn’t love Owl Moon? Here’s a peek into a kindergarten lesson about owls we did using this book as our inspiration.

Warm As WoolKaty and the Big Snow[KATY & THE BIG SNOW][Hardcover]


Warm as Wool is a great piece of historical fiction that shows the necessity of hard work and trials of pioneer life. I just love the ideas Delightful Learning offers to go along with this book.

Katy and the Big Snow has been read over and over and over again in my house. We love to play around with maps after reading the book, but I found some fun ideas for playing around with math afterward, too.

Tracks in the SnowWinter Poems


Every child’s wish is for lots and lots of snow, right? Snow inspires us to make paper snowflakes to put up all over the house.

Tracks in the Snow is another sweet book that we use when learning about Animal Signs in the winter.

These easy-to-understand Winter Poems are great examples as we set out to write our own winter poetry.

The Big SnowThe Keeping Quilt


The Big Snow is one of our all-time favorites. It can kick off so many, many learning lessons. Homeschool Share has a great literature-based unit covering all sorts of subjects using this book.

The Keeping Quilt is historical fiction about immigration and family memories written by Patricia Polacco, one of my very favorite authors of children’s literature. Carol Hurst offers several suggestions for follow-up activities.

The Log Cabin QuiltThe Patchwork Quilt


The Log Cabin Quilt is another warm, quilt-themed book. An entire history/math/art unit could be done on the study of quilts alone. Again, Carol Hurst offers great suggestions for using this book and others about quilts.

Yet another quilt-themed book, A Patchwork Quilt is a sweet story about memories and the relationship between a little girl and her grandmother. After reading this book, we have gathered fabric with memories and pieced together our own mini quilt squares.

Hanna's Cold WinterNessa's Fish


Hanna’s Cold Winter is a heartwarming story of a boy who loved going to the zoo with his family to see the hippos. One winter during WWII, the river froze and everyone was going hungry, including the famous hippos. You’ll have to read it to see what happens. A great book about ingenuity during a tough time.

Nessa’s Fish is a sweet story about bravery as a young girl protects her grandmother during a scary event out on the tundra.

The Snowy Day


The Snowy Day is a classic about a little boy named Peter and how he simply enjoys a snowy day.

Science Books for Winter

Ken Libbrecht's Field Guide to SnowflakesSNOW AND ICE:A Science Is Fun Book


Ken Libbrecht’s Guide to Snowflakes is a beautiful book! It gives a lot of scientific information about snowflakes and how they are classified. It also helps you identify the various shapes and patterns. The photography is stunning.

Snow and Ice is an easy-to-read book that is full of facts. Kids will love the activities that are included.

Chapter Books for Winter

Mr. Popper's PenguinsJulie of the Wolves (HarperClassics)


Mr. Popper’s Penguins is a good chapter book to read aloud to younger children. Penguins are a favorite topic of study during the winter and this Pinterest board is just full of fun penguin activities.

Jean Craighead George, author of Julie of the Wolves is one of my favorite authors of chapter books. The subject matter is a tad advanced, so I wouldn’t read it with kids younger than 5th grade. The setting is Alaska, making it a great winter choice. You can find many lesson ideas in this literature-focus unit

The Long Winter (Little House, 6)Stone Fox


We all love Little House on the Prairie! The Long Winter is the perfect of the series to read this season. Homeschool Share has a free lapbook to go along with this book that teaches a ton of pioneer history.

Stone Fox is a precious story about a little boy who enters a dog sled race to help save his grandfather’s potato farm. This free literature guide offers several learning ideas to stretch this book’s reach.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (The Chronicles of Narnia)


I have included The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe as a winter read because much of the story takes place during the winter, but more importantly for the symbolism that the cold represents. This Pinterest board has oodles of potential lesson ideas for you.

Tell me your favorite living books for winter!

You can find all the Loving Living Literature posts here.

Winter Curriculum Your Children Will Love



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  1. Looks like a great list Cindy! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  2. Kellie Bradley says:

    I am a Christian teacher in a public school so I trust and deeply appreciate your recommendations. Looking forward to adding books from your wonderful lists to my teaching.. Thank you so much for sharing and many blessings to you and yours

  3. Kellie, I just know you’re sweet classroom will enjoy the books! Have a wonderful Christmas!

  4. This is a great list. You included many of our favorites and some new titles as well. I can’t wait to check them out from the library.

  5. I’m a minimalist homeschool mama, and I only follow one blog – yours! Every single book that we’ve gotten, which you’ve suggested, has been a hit!

    One favorite of ours that I’ve never seen on your list is “Knocks in the Night” by Tilde Michels. The story is cute, the illustrations are quaint, the text makes for a great lesson on rhyming words, and the different animals tracks depicted in the drawings make for a brief science lesson. I think you and your readers would enjoy it!

  6. Well, that is quite the kind thing to say! 🙂 I’ve never heard of the book you recommended, but you better believe I just added it to my Amazon cart!!

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