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Favorite Winter-Themed Books?

The sun may be shining, but we are definitely approaching the heart of wintertime.  As the seasons change, so may our books to resonate with the world around us.  An urbanMama recently emailed to see if you could recommend a few seasonal reads:

Hi mamas, I am hoping you will post something to get us talking about our favorite winter books. I am trying to build our collection and am looking for ideas. On my list to buy this year are The Tomten by Astrid Lindgren and Snow by Uri Shulevitz. Favorites from my childhood are The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keatz and Father Christmas goes on Holiday by Raymond Briggs.

Image from cafemama's favorite winter book, The Lemon Sisters by Andrea Cheng and illustrated by Tatjana Mai-Wyss.


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Not into picture books, but for older kids: Little House series, The Dark is Rising, the Betsy-Tacy high-school books.

For the picture-book crowd: Stella, Queen of the Snow by Mary-Louise Gay.

My 5 yo picks are Santa are you real? and Katherine Holabird's Angelina's Christmas and Beatrix Potter's Tailor of Gloucester.

Snowflake Bentley

My kids love "The Mitten" by Jan Brett:


And I second the Litte House books, it seems like all of them have a Christmas story in them. Right now we are working on "By the Shores of Silver Lake":


And yes, we are an American Girl house, Mila is a big fan of the Addy books and really enjoyed her Christmas book:


Full Disclosure: I am an independent distributor for Barefoot Books and a former Portland Mama. I would make a commission on any sale of these books and gifts through my website. Barefoot Books has been celebrating Art and Story for over 15 years, and the mama-owned organization prides themselves on being an alternative to the commercialism that has become our children's daily reality. I could go on and on about how amazing this company and it's values are, and I'd be happy to connect with anyone who's interested in learning more offline.

Barefoot offers some neat Winter and Holiday themed titles, check your library as a great way to try before you buy... One of the things that my children love so much about Barefoot Books is that many of the titles come with audio and sing-along CDs which allow them to sit and read/listen independently (and as a busy mama, I love this too!)

Winter Themes
Winter Shadow, ages 7 & up
The Princess and the White Bear King, ages 5-11 (can be purchased with CD)
Fireside Stories, ages 5 & up
Winter King, Summer Queen (a story of seasons, also available with CD) ages 4-9

Holiday Themes from Around the World
Lin Yi's Lantern-A Moon Festival Tale, Ages 5-9
The Story of Divaali, ages 6-11
The Barefoot Book of Ballet Stories (includes the Nutcracker and comes with 2 audio CDs) ages 6 & up
Babuska, ages 3-7
One City, Two Brothers, ages 5-11

Anyway, hate to sound too much like a commercial, but if you're interested in learning more, you can visit my website or feel free to contact me directly. http://leahnoreng.barefootbooks.com/ or leahnoreng@yahoo.com


I added an image to the post of my favorite winter-themed book, and bonus tear-jerker for mama readers like me, The Lemon Sisters by Andrea Cheng. It's a multi-generational story about sisters and lemon ice. bonus: collage-style illustrations of colorful handknits. it's truly one of my most precious picture books.

another favorite is a mostly-wordless book, 'Pancakes for Breakfast' by Tomie dePaola, complete with egg-gathering, cow-milking and butter-churning, even a visit to a maple sugarbush.

finally, the gorgeously illustrated 'I am a little cat' by Francois Crozat is truly a gem. we must have found our copy at a garage sale or the bins; the large-format one is beautiful and full of delicious snowy scenes and cozy peeks inside an old woman's city home.

Christmas favorites with lots of cold and snow in our house include 'Merry Christmas Blue Kangaroo' (we LOVE the Blue Kangaroo series, which is British and not much available here, but worth getting from Amazon.ca or seeking out in bookstores) and, of course, 'Madeline's Christmas,' which is packed with chill and magic. the little girls all fly home for Christmas on magic carpets!

"Snowmen at Night" by Caralyn Buehner is our family favorite!

The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson. I grew up with this and when I read it as an adult I appreciated it even more.

I was happy to see The Tomten as first on your list. We have the book and my girls love it year around.

We celebrate solstice. Our favorite book is A Solstice Tree for Jenny. It gently explains what we found out about living a non-religious life.. that children crave ritual and tradition. Traditions can be borrowed or invented and that giving comes from the heart no matter who you are.


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