Post holiday season is always a little gloomy, especially with the gray weather and cold. But never fear! I have a list of 10 lovely wintery books just perfect for snuggling up and celebrating the brisk season.
I hope to review a few of these in detail (and will link the title when I do); but for this list I’ll give you a short introduction.
1. Snow by Uri Shulevitz, 1998.
A beautiful book by an outstanding illustrator. This story is about a boy with a dog who believes it is going to snow when no one else does. Stunning and clever images with perfectly sparse text. This book should be read again and again.
2. The Snowman by Raymond Briggs, 1978.
Without a single word of text, this story captures your mind with the soft muted illustrations by an artistic master. The story is told in a graphic novel sort of way showing a boy who creates a snowman, befriends him, and shares a series of lovely adventures that are surprisingly normal for humans, but fantastic and exciting to a snowman.
3. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, 1962.
A classic story that has won the hearts of many in its years. Little buddy Peter awakes one morning to a snowy wonderland and enjoys traipsing around in his now iconic hooded red snowsuit. This is Keats’ collage techniques at its finest.
4. Pinocchio the Boy by Lane Smith, 2002.
A quirky tale from the ever-creative Lane Smith about that dear little puppet boy a week after the familiar lying and learning story. Not realizing he is a real boy, Pinocchio attempts to earn money for his sick father in his old puppet ways and results in some comical failure. Smith is a uniquely talented illustrator and this book is a visual smorgasbord of marvelous, energetic pictures.
5. Snow by Roy McKie, illustrated by P.D. Eastman, 1962.
A simple story from the Dr. Seuss Beginner Books series, this story is a pile of snow fun. There’s skiing, snowballs, snowman and angel making, and all the joys of snow adventures written in McKie’s light rhymes with the fun comic style of P.D. Eastman.
6. Toot & Puddle: Let it Snow by Holly Hobbie, 2007.
Although technically a Christmas gift story, I count this book still as a wintery tale because the gift-giving adventure revolves around the coming of the snow and the pleasure of enjoying it with a friend. Holly Hobbie’s beloved pig duo are perfect to spend a cold winter day with.
7. The Invisible Moose by Dennis Haseley, illustrated by Steven Kellogg, 2006.
A fun little love story about a shy moose whose true love is captured and he must find the courage and the right invisibility potion to rescue her. Steven Kellogg’s illustrations are entertaining and I especially love the deep soulful eyes of his moose.
8. White Snow Bright Snow by Alvin Tresselt, illustrated by Roger Duvoisin, 1947.
Winner of the 1948 Caldecott medal, Duvoisin’s art is soft, yet bold; detailed, yet simple; and the perfect pairing to Tresselt’s lyrical poetry about the advent of the first snow. I can’t help but be a little jealous of the cozy town blanketed in the bright, white snow. Snow that stays just long enough before the coming of spring.
9. The Snow Day by Komako Sakai, 2005.
Another sweet story about a young bunny who awakes with the surprise of his first ever snow day from school. With the continuous fall of the snow, the little bunny must wait to play outside until it stops. Sakai’s illustrations are moody and textured, allowing you to really feel the dark of the winter months and the strange heaviness of a great accumulation of delicate snow.
10. Too Many Mittens by Florence and Louis Slobodkin, 1958.
The Slobodkins are quickly becoming some of my favorite vintage book creators. This tale is about twin boys in the very cold state of Michigan. When one of them loses a red mitten, the whole town begins to bring them the ones they find, despite the real one’s quick reappearance. Dismayed by the amount of so many lost red mittens, the boys concoct a plan to help the mittens find their owners. Slobodkin’s art is fascinating in its cool muted palette with striking pops of deep color. You can read my review of it here. Trust me and pick this one up for yourself.
This is in no way an exhaustive list, but just a few of my current cold weather favorites. Considering the prevalence of snow stories, perhaps I am living vicariously through these characters until we get our own snowfall! Now to grab a cup of hot cocoa.