Kids Winter Books: Snow, Mittens, Polar Bears and Other Arctic Animals

| January 4, 2010 | 5 Comments

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.

My Little Polar Bear 

By Claudia Rueda

Reading Level: Ages 0-5

Source: Publisher

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

The Snowy Day The Snowy Day 

By Ezra Jack Keats

Reading Level: Ages 0-5

Source: Library

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

Snow Day The Snow Day 

By Komako Sakai

Reading Level: Ages 2-5

Source: Publisher

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

The-MittenThe Mitten

Retold by Jim Aylesworth

Reading Level: Ages 3-6

Source: Publisher

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

The Last Polar Bear (Laura Geringer Books) The Last Polar Bear 

By Jean Craighead George

Reading Level: Ages 4-7

Source: Publisher

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

365 Penguins 365 Penguins 

By Jean-Luc Fromental

Reading Level: Ages 4-8

Source: Borrowed

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

Polar Animals (Scholastic Reader Level 1) Polar Animals (Scholastic Reader Level 1) 

By Wade Cooper

Reading Level: Ages 4-8

Source: Publisher

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)

Owl Moon Owl Moon

By Jane Yolen

Reading Level: Ages 4-8

Source: Library

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

Penguins (Smithsonian) Penguins (Smithsonian) 

By Seymour Simon

Reading Level: Ages 5-9

Source: Publisher

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)

Polar Bear Puzzle (Adventures Of Riley) Polar Bear Puzzle (Adventures Of Riley) 

By Amanda Lumry

Reading Level: Ages 5-10

Source: Publisher

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)

Snow Treasure Snow Treasure 

By Marie McSwigan

Reading Level: Ages 8-12

Source: Library

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

Dogsong Dogsong 

By Gary Paulsen

Reading Level: Young Adult

Source: Library

What to expect: Winter, Dogs, Coming of age

TCBR says:

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

When the Snow Fell When the Snow Fell 

By Henning Mankell

Reading Level: Young Adult

Source: Publisher

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?

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Category: Ages 0-3, Ages 4-8, Ages 9-12, Animal Books, Book Lists, Featured Content, Seasonal: Holiday Books, Teens: Young Adults

About the Author ()

The Children’s Book Review, named one of the ALSC (Association for Library Service to Children) Great Web Sites for Kids, is powered by Bianca Schulze. Bianca is a freelance writer, bookseller, aspiring author, and mother to two daughters. She also has a decade’s worth of experience working with children in the great outdoors. Combined with her love of books and experience as a children’s specialist bookseller, her goal is to grow readers by showcasing useful and inspiring books!

Comments (5)

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  1. Great list! We LOVE 365 Penguins. I like that I can adjust the math equations presented for the understanding of my children and they will appreciate the more complicated aspects when they are older. I think this must be a popular book where I live in Spain. Besides seeing it in every bookshop, just last week at a birthday party, there was a girl wearing a dress covered in same penguins from this book.

  2. 365 Penguins is fabulous! I bet the little girl’s dress was really cute.

    P.S. I love your logo on your blog—very fun!

  3. Great article, lots of intersting things to digest. Very informative

  4. I love all the winter selections. I’m a preschool teacher and we’re talking about winter all month so I have about 40 books to read to my kids and (review on my preschool book review site.) The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats never fails. I think I have to borrow 365 Penguins– sounds fun!

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