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Thanksgiving has come and gone, meaning it’s officially Christmas season. And in Buffalo, NY, Christmas season inevitably means tons and tons of snow. While Christmas is huge in our family, I’ve never been the biggest fan of winter. I spend most of the winter hiding inside and wondering why I live somewhere where the air hurts my face. However, as Ransom gets older, I'm starting to realize how much my attitudes shape his. And the truth is, I don't want to raise my son to hate an entire season and spend the whole thing grumbling about it.
So, I've been spending some time thinking about how I can shift my own attitudes and paint a more positive picture of winter for my son. I've been trying to be more intentional about the language I choose when I'm talking about the seasons, and trying to talk about all the fun things that we can do in the winter. One way we've been exploring this is by reading lots and lots of books about winter and snow.
It hasn't started snowing yet, so we haven't had a chance to play in and explore the snow. But in the meantime, I thought I would share some of our favorite winter books that we've been reading. I hope that they get you as excited about winter as they're getting us!
This book tells the sweet story of a group of woodland animals that come across a stranger in their woods. Written by and filled with gorgeous photographs taken by nature photographers, this book is a wonderful way to start conversations with your child about winter and woodland animals. My son absolutely loved all the pictures of the animals and the snow.
This book is a classic and definitely deserves a place on every winter book list. Follow the journey of a lost mitten as it is discovered by various critters, each one larger than the last. The hilarious climax had my son exclaiming "that's silly!" and giggling uncontrollably. If you haven't read this book yet, it's an absolute must this winter.
Share the tale of two mice who enter a competition to build the biggest snowman ever. I don't know about you, but my toddler loves hyperbole and extremes - everything is always the biggest, tallest, highest, etc. So naturally, a book about the biggest snowman ever was a big hit. Now he's itching for there to be enough snow on the ground that he can successfully build a snowman even bigger than the one in the book (he's also a little competitive).
This sweet story describes one boy's experience of the first snowfall of winter and the resulting transformation of his city. With beautiful illustrations, this book is a wonderful celebration of winter.
Part of the Good Dog, Carl series, Carl’s Christmas is a delightful wordless picture book that illustrates the adventures of a family’s faithful Rottweiler, Carl, and his family’s baby on Christmas Eve. Not only are the illustrations gorgeous, but I love the fact that the book doesn’t have text, because the story can be whatever you want! My son loves to “read” this one to me, which is a wonderful way for him to use his imagination, develop his storytelling skills and build up his vocabulary, as well as foster a love for reading.
If you haven’t read the book, you’ve probably seen the movie - the story of a young boy who is beginning to doubt if Santa is real. On Christmas Eve he is whisked off on the Polar Express train that takes him and other children on a magical adventure to the North Pole. Or, as my son so aptly describes it, “it’s a book about trains”.
Part of The Bear Books series, this book tells the story of Bear on Christmas Eve, who - with the help of his friends - fights the urge to go back to sleep so that he can celebrate Christmas. This book illustrates the beauty of winter and friendship and has a sweet ending.
Written by the author of The Very Hungry Caterpiller, Eric Carle, this book is sure to capture children's attention. On Christmas Eve, a farmer falls asleep wondering how Christmas can come when there is no snow. His dreams of snowfall are illustrated in Eric Carle's classic style in this beautiful lift-the-flap book.
This book presents an opportunity for a snowy day story and activity time. The collage-style book creates sweet snowmen, a snowgirl, and even a snowcat out of everyday household items (buttons, seeds, fabric, etc.) that would be fun to recreate with your toddler.
This is another almost wordless picture book. It tells the story of some mischievous woodland animals that take a red sled for a nighttime ride. My son loved the sound effects and imitating the animal noises.
This sweet book reminds me of a winter version of Five Little Monkeys, and is a great way to practice counting.... and of course to get excited about sledding in the snow!
This book is a celebration of snow and all the fun activities that it offers. I’m saving this one for when the first snow comes, because I know Ransom will be too excited to get outside and try these fun ideas!
The story of two rambunctious siblings exploring a winter wonderland: the brother points out all the great things about winter (like my son), while the sister focuses on the negatives of the cold, damp weather (like me, haha). A perfect way to have a conversation about finding the positives in any given situation - winter or otherwise.
A story of woodland animals preparing for winter and the first big snow. A great way to talk about winter and hibernation while enjoying beautiful illustrations.
The sweetest story of a confused little dog, Olive, who decides to travel to the North Pole to join Santa’s sleigh team. I don’t think it’s possible not to smile while reading this adorable Christmas story.
The Little Blue Trucks books are a favorite in our house and this book is no exception. It tells the story of Blue as he delivers Christmas trees to all of his animal friends. Practice counting trees and enjoy to light up tree at the end of the book.
Do you have any winter favorites that you would add to this list? Let me know in the comments below!
Until next time,