It’s the perfect time of year to curl up with a good book. These 20+ winter books for kids pair perfectly with chilly winter weather (maybe with some snow falling outside!) and hot cocoa. Winter is one of the best seasons to snuggle up and read! 

A winter scene with a text overlay of "20+ winter books for kids: perfect for hot cocoa and snuggling!" illustrates the title of the blog post. A mug of hot cocoa is in the corner as a visual reminder of winter.

Today I’m covering:

  • An easy tool to figure out what type of reader you have in your home
  • Winter books for children of all ages and levels!
  • Picture books about winter
  • A new winter program for transitional or fluent readers 
  • Why you should rotate out your books each season

Grab your tea (or drink of choice) and find your reader type. Not sure what type of reader you have? First, take the quiz here, then skip on down to the best winter books for your child! I recommend checking out all of these best winter books for kids, but you can skip to your child’s reader type.

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Picture Books About Winter

These winter books are great for Beginning Reader Bens, but really, kids of all ages love picture books! In this blog, click on the titles or pictures to check out the books on Amazon, then purchase or add them to your next library haul!

Winter background scene of snow with a young boy with text, "winter book ideas for Beginning Reader Ben" for winter books preschool.
Unsure if you have a beginning reader at home? Click here to take the quiz and see!

The Mitten by Jan Brett

This is a classic winter story for littles! You can draw mittens, match colored mittens, or cut out animals to retell this story together. The illustrations are beautiful.

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keates

This book is on the New York Public Library #1 book on the list of “Top Check Outs of All Time,” so you know it has to be a good one 😉 This book is a classic. Join Peter on his first snowfall adventures!

SkippyJon Jones Snow What by Judy Schachner

My little interns love SkippyJon Jones! This silly Siamese cat thinks he’s a Chihuahua. Once he’s inside his magical closet, he finds himself in a snowy adventure.

Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson

This book is perfect for a chilly night! In this book, younger kids get to see how bear snores (hibernates!) while all of his friends come to visit in his den. This story has a great rhythm and Karma Wilson picks the best words to lull your little one to sleep!

How to Catch a Snowman by Adam Wallace & Andy Elkerton

If you’ve read any of the “How to Catch a…” series, you know they are hilarious. This snowman has come to life and run away. He breaks through trap after trap. Will anyone catch him? Read along and then build your own snowman trap after this fun read aloud!

Winter Books for Early Elementary Kids

Winter background scene of snow with a young boy with text, "winter book ideas for Transitional Reader Taylor" for picture books about winter.
Not sure if you have a Transitional Reader Taylor? Click here to take the quiz!

Transitional Reader Taylors will enjoy all of the above books. Since there is a wide range of reading abilities with transitional readers, you may continue to read these books aloud. Or, you can try to take turns reading some of these together!

Penguin Problems by Jory John and Lane Smith

Jory John just knows how to make kids laugh! He’s also written Cat Problems and Giraffe Problems. This story comes with lots of laughs and amazing illustrations!

Over & Under the Snow by Kate Messner

Check out this nonfiction book about animals that live in snowy climates. In this book, you’ll see tunnels and other homes formed under the snow but over the ground.

Blizzard by John Rocco

This book holds a special place in my heart since it was based on John Rocco’s personal experience in the Blizzard of ’78 in Rhode Island. Growing up in the smallest state, I heard ALL about this blizzard from my parents and grandparents. The pictures and white space add to the story, and everyone who’s lived through a snowstorm can relate to this story.

The Wish Tree by Kyo Maclear

The illustrations are gorgeous in this book! Charles goes searching for a wish tree with his friend, Boggan (a sled). The animals and heartwarming story make this book the perfect read for a cold, snowy day!

Winter Sleep: A Hibernation Story by Sean Taylor & Alex Morss

Follow a grandma and a child’s winter walk and notice all of the animals they see. The end of this story includes facts about all of these hibernating animals.

The Adventures of Sophie Mouse: Winters No Time to Sleep by

This is book 6 in a great beginner chapter book series, The Adventures of Sophie Mouse. There are illustrations to support the large text in these books, making it a great choice for those Transitional Reader Taylors. When Sophie and her friends wake up Pippa, a hibernating hedgehog, they show her how much fun you can have in winter!

DIY Winter Book Club for 2nd and 3rd Grade Readers

Do you have a second or third-grade level reader? Not sure what those reading levels are all about? Click here for my Making Sense of Book Reading Levels Cheat Sheet! You can download even more book ideas and get a better idea of where your child is based on my book suggestions for each level.

If you want your child to not only be reading more and increasing their reading skill level every single month but you also love the idea of having regular meaningful conversations with your child about books and increasing your family connection time, then check out the DIY Book Club!

This DIY Book Club equips you with book guides, discussion questions, and suggested activities and conversations your kids can have with you and/or their friends.

For the complete list of books and all the details of Adventures with Books: DIY Book Club, click here!

Best Winter Books for Fluent Readers

Remember, your Fluent Reader Freddie also loves to be read aloud to! Some of these books are more challenging than others, and you could always try to make one a family read aloud. Even though this is a list of winter books for kids, you may enjoy reading them aloud as well 😉

Remember, kids can comprehend, or understand, books that are much higher than what they can read on their own. So, if you have a Transitional Reader Taylor, there’s no reason why she can’t read some of these books together with you!

Winter background scene of snow with a young boy with text, "winter book ideas for Fluent Reader Freddie" for children's books winter.
Wondering if you have a Fluent Reader Freddie? Click here to take the quiz!

Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin

This is a picture book that I included in the fluent reader section to remind everyone that picture books are for ALL readers! This story shows how Wilson Bentley sees snow through his camera lens. The side panels explain facts about Wilson’s story and add depth to this book. This is not a picture book for beginning readers!

Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman

This story has a fairy tale feel to it, but it is designed for older readers. This would also make a great read aloud for younger readers!

Odd is a young Viking boy who flees to the woods. When Odd stumbles upon and releases a trapped bear… his life begins to change.

The eagle, bear, and fox Odd encounters are Norse gods, trapped in animal form by the evil frost giant. Your child will love to read about Odd’s adventures as he tries to reclaim Thor’s hammer, outwit the frost giants, and release the gods.

The Very, Very Far North by Dan Bar-el

This chapter book would make an excellent family read aloud. While there are some pictures for support in this book, the text is small and the vocabulary is challenging.

Duane is a young polar bear who makes friends with anyone he meets! Join the artic adventures of these sweet animals in The Very, Very Far North.

Magic Tree House: Merlin Mission Winter of the Ice Wizard by Mary Pope Osborne

The Magic Tree House series is a classic for any young reader! These books are great to hook second or third-grade readers into since there are so many stories in this series.

The Winter According to Humphrey by Betty G. Birney

See the winter world through a hamster’s eyes in this story! This is another family-friendly read aloud, and I haven’t met a kid who doesn’t love Humphrey!

Best Winter Books for Resistant Readers

Winter background scene of snow with a young girl with text, "winter book ideas for Reluctant Reader Rosies" for winter books and movies.
Find out if you have a reluctant reader at home. Click here to take the quiz!

Reluctant Reader Rosies are some of the hardest readers to please! For these readers, we are trying to get them to fall in love with a book or series, and some of my best tricks for this is to pick books that are movies. After you finish the book, you can watch the movie and compare the book vs. the movie. For more books vs. movie suggestions, click here.

Mr. Poppers Penguins by Richard & Florence Atwater

Your child will love this story of how penguins come to live with Mr. Popper. We previewed the movie trailer in our last book club, and the movie looks totally different from the book! Which one will your child like better?

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

This is the second book in this classic series. Follow the adventures of four siblings who step through their magical wardrobe to Narnia, a land frozen in eternal winter.

Another great way to encourage reluctant readers is to introduce graphic novels. These are a couple of my little interns’ winter-ish favorites:

Bird and Squirrel on Ice by James Burks

Bird and Squirrel crash land during a blizzard in the South Pole. They meet a penguin and have some interesting adventures together! It’s silly but very much loved by my little interns!

The Flying Beaver Brothers & The Evil Penguin Plan by Maxwell Eaton III

Penguins threaten to freeze Beaver Island, forcing Ace and Bub into action! Your child will laugh out loud reading this story!

Why You Should Rotate Your Books

Similar to a toy rotation, book rotations keep things fresh! We started this system out of necessity since we just don’t have enough room for all of our books, but it works for everyone.

Think about it…

When you have a new book sitting on your nightstand, aren’t you more excited to start? Isn’t that why we go to the library? To get new and exciting books?

This isn’t just for your winter books for kids. If you have a lot of different holiday books- Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentines, etc.- you could rotate those out. Or, you can rotate by season- winter, spring, summer, or fall.

This image of staggered books with the "Rotate Your Books" words across it reminds parents to rotate their winter books for kids.

No time to organize and rotate your child’s books?

Simply take a stack and put them in a box. Wait a month or two, then bring them out and take another box away. It keeps books fresh and fun!

Which winter books for kids are you checking out?

Add these to your next library picks, or let me know in the comments which books you love! Did I miss any winter books for kids? Let me know your favorite picks in the comments!

If you want more book suggestions for your reader type, be sure to take the quiz and they’ll be sent straight to your inbox!

Kim Creigh, M.Ed