The Children’s Book Review | January 4, 2010
What better season is there to cuddle-up under a blanket next to a crackling fire, with a good book? The following books are perfect for this peaceful-but-sometimes-blustery time of year. There is something for every child: snow, mittens, polar bears, penguins—and even a coming of age story for the teens.
By Claudia Rueda
Reading Level: Ages 0-5
What to expect: Polar Bears, Parent and child relationship
TCBR says: The cover is precious and sparkly. The story is precious and sparkly. Readers will feel precious and sparkly.
Publisher’s synopsis: A winter wonderland awaits a young polar bear cub that emerges from its den for the first time. As the cub sets out on a dramatic arctic journey, it worries whether it has the skills to survive. But a parent’s abiding presence and simple, reassuring words instill confidence and love.
In the tradition of such classics as THE RUNAWAY BUNNY and MAMA DO YOU LOVE ME?, this graceful, soothing tale speaks to the powerful bond between parent and child, and to the many stages of a child’s growing independence, from first steps to first school experience and even to leaving home.
Add this book to your collection: My Little Polar Bear
By Ezra Jack Keats
Reading Level: Ages 0-5
What to expect: Snow
TCBR says: It doesn’t get much more simple and perfect than this.
Publisher’s synopsis: Waking up to a world of snowy white-what could be better? Young peter can’t wait to jump in his snowsuit and run out to explore. There are snowmen to build snowballs to pack, mountains to climb and snowbanks to collapse in-to carve a snow angel! And when the day is done, there’s a dark night of dreams and drifting snow, and a new snowy day to awake to.
No book has captured the magic and sense of possibility of the first snowfall better than The Snowy Day, winner of the Caldecott Medal.
Add this book to your collection: The Snowy Day
By Komako Sakai
Reading Level: Ages 2-5
What to expect: Snow, Mother and child relationship, Rabbits
TCBR says: A sweet and playful story. The illustrations are some of my favorite.
Publisher’s synopsis: A young rabbit wakes up to wonderful news: A snow day! School is canceled, and the day that follows is rich with the magic and delight of the falling snow. And yet there is longing too, as the young rabbit and his mother wait for news of his father, grounded on a plane in a faraway city…. The news that his father will be home tomorrow gives the book a peaceful, comforting, and perfect ending.
Add this book to your collection: The Snow Day
Retold by Jim Aylesworth
Reading Level: Ages 3-6
What to expect: Snow, Mittens, Animals, Folklore
TCBR says: Heart-warming and funny. This is one of my favorites!
Publisher’s synopsis: When a little boy loses a mitten in the snow, a passing squirrel finds it’s the perfect place to warm his icy toes. So he sqe-e-e-e-zes inside. But he’s not the only animal with that idea. How many animals can fit inside a little boy’s mitten?
Aylesworth’s rollicking rhyming refrains and McClintock’s delightfully expressive characters are sure to make this book everychild’s storytime favorite.
(Sample of text)
“‘Br-r-r-r-r-rrrr!’ said the squirrel.
‘My toes are cold as ice!
This mitten looks so cozy,
and warm toes would feel so nice!'”
Add this book to your collection: The Mitten
By Jean Craighead George
Reading Level: Ages 4-7
What to expect: Polar Bear, Global Warming, Arctic regions
TCBR says: A moving tale that has been beautifully illustrated.
Publisher’s synopsis: The world is warming, and the ice is melting. Tigluk must save the last polar bear.
From master storyteller Jean Craighead George, with art from the critically acclaimed Wendell Minor.
Add this book to your collection: The Last Polar Bear
By Jean-Luc Fromental
Reading Level: Ages 4-8
What to expect: Penguins, Fiction
TCBR says: Big,bold, and lots of fun!
Publisher’s synopsis: On the first day of the new year, the mailman brings a surprise—a penguin! One by one, day by day, penguins fill the house. At first they are cute, but with every passing day, the penguins pile up—along with the family’s problems. Feeding, cleaning, and housing the penguins becomes a monumental task! But who is sending these penguins, and why?
In a large format, and with lots of opportunity for counting, 365 Penguins is sure to become a wintertime staple.
Add this book to your collection: 365 Penguins
By Wade Cooper
Reading Level: Ages 4-8
What to expect: Polar bears, Non-fiction
TCBR says: Large text and great pictures. A great choice for beginner readers with a thirst for knowledge.
Publisher’s synopsis: “I’m a seal.
See my smooth skin.
My flippers help me
steer and swim.”
This nonfiction easy reader has simple, rhyming text and close-up photography of polar bears, penguins, walruses, arctic foxes, seals, and more! The text is written in easy-to-read rhymes and is illustrated with irresistible photographs. Three pages of fun learning activities are designed to both challenge and entertain new readers.
Add this book to your collection: Polar Animals (Scholastic Reader Level 1)
By Jane Yolen
Reading Level: Ages 4-8
What to expect: Snow, Parent and child relationship
TCBR says: Just beautiful!
Publisher’s synopsis: Owl Moon, the timeless and beautiful award-winning classic, is celebrating its twentieth year of charming and delighting children the world over. This touching story of a child and parent finding magic and adventure in a simple, snowy nighttime search for the great horned owl won the Caldecott Award in 1988. With letters from author Jane Yolen and artist John Schoenherr, and a stunning silvery cover, this celebratory edition is a treasure for longtime fans, and introduces a whole new generation to this beautiful book.
Add this book to your collection: Owl Moon
By Seymour Simon
Reading Level: Ages 5-9
TCBR says: Seymour Simon’s words speak to children effortlessly. A wonderful choice for teaching children about penguins. The photography is excellent.
What to expect: Penguins, Non-fiction
Publisher’s synopsis: Exceptional nonfiction for children from two of the most trusted names in science education: Seymour Simon and the Smithsonian Institution.
Add this book to your collection: Penguins (Smithsonian)
By Amanda Lumry
Reading Level: Ages 5-10
TCBR says: Engaging, factual, and very entertaining.
What to expect: Polar Bears, Scientists, Fiction and non-fiction
Publisher’s synopsis: Riley and family fly north to Churchill, Canada, to watch polar bears hunt seals from the ice of the Hudson Bay. There’s just one problem: no ice! For polar bears, no ice means no seals, and without food, the bears can quickly become hungry, weak, and dangerous! It’s a race against time as everyone searches for clues to this puzzling climate mystery. Will the ice freeze in time — or at all? And will the polar bears finally eat again?
Add this book to your collection: Polar Bear Puzzle (Adventures Of Riley)
By Marie McSwigan
Reading Level: Ages 8-12
What to expect: World War II
TCBR says: Very suspenseful. A good read for a book club.
Publisher’s synopsis: In the bleak winter of 1940, Nazi troops parachuted into Peter Lindstrom’s tiny Norwegian village and held it captive. Nobody thought the Nazis could be defeated—until Uncle Victor told Peter how the children could fool the enemy. It was a dangerous plan. They had to slip past Nazi guards with nine million dollars in gold hidden on their sleds. It meant risking their country’s treasure—and their lives. This classic story of how a group of children outwitted the Nazis and sent the treasure to America has captivated generations of readers.
Add this book to your collection: Snow Treasure
By Gary Paulsen
Reading Level: Young Adult
What to expect: Winter, Dogs, Coming of age
Publisher’s synopsis: IN THE OLD DAYS THERE WERE SONGS
Something is bothering Russel Susskit. He hates waking up to the sound of his father’s coughing, the smell of diesel oil, the noise of snow machines starting up.
Only Oogruk, the shaman who owns the last team of dogs in the village, understands Russel’s longing for the old ways and the songs that celebrated them. But Oogruk cannot give Russel the answers he seeks; the old man can only prepare him for what he must do alone. Driven by a strange, powerful dream of a long-ago self and by a burning desire to find his own song, Russel takes Oogruk’s dogs on an epic journey of self-discovery that will change his life forever.
A Newbery Honor Book
An ALA Best Book for Young Adults
An ALA Notable Book
A School Library Journal Best Book
Add this book to your collection: Dogsong
By Henning Mankell
Reading Level: Young Adult
What to expect: Coming of age, Snow, Sweden, Parent child relationship
TCBR says: An inner-directed narration that touches deep within the readers feelings. Not a book for reluctant readers, but a really good read for both girls and guys.
Publisher’s synopsis: Joel Gustafson’s journey toward becoming a man continues.
As it has in the past, the first snow of the year signifies to Joel Gustafson his very own New Year’s Eve. So when the snow begins to fall on a cold November day, Joel gets busy making new resolution —three, to be exact.
As the winter days pass, life becomes ever more complicated. Joel has questions and the answers don’t necessarily come easily, but he is determined to keep his resolutions—for his father, for himself, and for their future.
In this companion novel to A Bridge to the Stars and Shadows in the Twilight, readers follow Joel’s journey as he realizes along the way that it will require determination, strength, and valor to truly become a man.
Add this book to your collection: When the Snow Fell
Leave us a comment: What’s your favorite winter book?