Books by Theme

Winter Tales

Winter is a magical season! In this collection of picture books, learn about the winter solstice, read a new pourquoi story about where snowflakes come from, follow the footprints of the beautiful snow leopard, race through the city on a zippy snow plow with a father and daughter, take a quiet walk through the city in the snow, and more.

A Big Bed for Little Snow

By: Grace Lin
Genre: Fiction, Fairy Tales and Folk Tales
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

In this winter fable about where snow comes from, Little Snow, who wears snowflake pajamas, gets a new featherbed for the long, cold winter nights. But Mommy says this bed is for sleeping, not jumping, but when she leaves the room, he jumps and jumps on his bed ... until one day it rips, sending feathers flying. A page turn reveals that his feathers are snowflakes, falling on a nghttime city block.

Bear Is Awake! An Alphabet Story

By: Hannah E. Harrison
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Suddenly "awake" in the middle of winter, a "big bear" explores a "cozy cabin," which Bear of course "enters excitedly." But the cabin isn't empty — a little girl lives there. So begins an unlikely friendship and an unexpected adventure as the girl attempts to figure out what a bear is supposed to be doing in the winter. (Hint: It's not eating pancakes or visiting the library!)

I Am Polar Bear

By: J. Patrick Lewis
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Former children's poet laureate, J. Patrick Lewis, allows the polar bear tell us what he’s called in different cultures — White Bear, Ice Bear, Sea Bear, Sailor of the Icebergs, the Ever-wandering One. The Inuit's say “I am Nanuk”). The devastating ending shows the polar bear adrift on a shrinking bit of ice, “losing hold” — a reference to how this Arctic animal is threatened by extinction and in need of human protection.

My Winter City

By: James Gladstone
Illustrated by: Gary Clement
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

A young boy wakes up in the early light of a winter morning, pulls on his boots and mittens, and steps out into the snowy city with his dad. They trudge through the snow, their dog bounding along beside them, then a slushy, steamy bus ride takes them to the tobogganing hill for some winter fun. The boy describes all the sights and sounds of the day, from the frost in Dad’s beard and the snow “pillows” in the park, to the noisy clunking snow plows and the singing buskers they pass on their way home. That night, the boy lies awake under cozy covers, reflecting on the day, as snow blankets the world outside his window.

 

Snow Leopard: Ghost of the Mountains

By: Justin Anderson
Illustrated by: Patrick Benson
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Look! A line of paw prints in the snow. Follow the tracks to see the rare and majestic snow leopard and visit her secret world. Join a zoologist in the Himalayan mountains as he searches for the elusive creature. With her pale gold and silver-gray coat painted with black rosettes, she blends so well into the boulders, it’s no wonder she’s thought of as a ghost of the mountains. Written by a zoologist and interwoven with fascinating facts, this look at a fascinating animal includes an end note suggesting resources to explore.

Snowy Race

By: April Jones Prince
Illustrated by: Christine Davenier
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

In the midst of a whirling snowfall, a girl and her father pile into their big red snow plow. Through slippery streets, up winding hills, they race — clearing the snow and heading for the train station to meet a very special traveler. The rhyming text is just right for one or two readers.

The Luckiest Snowball

By: Elliot Kreloff
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

"Help! I'm melting!" A boy rescues a snowball again and again in this funny story about a snowball that gets to see all four seasons. Back matter offers information about the seasons and the three states of water (solid, liquid, and vapor)

The Shortest Day

By: Susan Cooper
Illustrated by: Carson Ellis
Genre: Fairy Tales and Folk Tales, Myths and Legends
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

This celebration of winter solstice blends imagery from the long-ago revelries of northern Europeans with modern-day observations and global traditions. As the sun set on the shortest day of the year, early people would gather to prepare for the long night ahead. They built fires and lit candles and played music, bringing their own light to the darkness. This is a tale of hope, anticipation, love, and joy.

Winter Trees

By: Carole Gerber
Genre: Poetry
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Alone in the snowy woods with his dog, a boy discovers the wonder of winter trees, one at a time, in a big, quiet space. On every double-page spread, four lines of simple verse and bright linoleum block prints decorated with watercolor and collage capture the stark outlines and the details of what he sees, hears, and touches (“Crunch! Our footsteps make the only sound”). The botanical facts are part of the wonder (“Trees that once had leaves are bare”). (Booklist)

Wintercake

By: Lynne Rae Perkins
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

When Thomas misplaces the basket of dried fruit he needs to make his seasonal wintercake, friends old and new come together to save the day. This holiday tale is full of surprises and gentle humor, and a book about holiday traditions and why they matter. It’s also a story about making mistakes and how mistakes can sometimes lead to wonderful things!

Proceeds from the sale of books purchased at Amazon.com help support the Reading Rockets project. Thank you!

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Rachael Walker
Rachael Walker
"The man who does not read good books is no better than the man who can't." — Mark Twain