Thursday, January 16, 2020

6 New Winter Picture Books

Here in Southern Indiana it's been unseasonably warm for December and January, but with short days and plenty of gray clouds, winter is definitely here, even if we're still wishing for snow*! Here are half a dozen great new picture books that are perfect for sharing on wintry days.


Almost Time by Gary D. Schmidt and Elizabeth Stickney, illustrated by G. Brian Karas (Clarion Books, 2020). Ethan knows it's almost maple syrup time, but it's so hard to wait! His dad encourages him to watch for signs that the season is changing (which means the sap will start running) - the days will start getting warmer, the nights will start getting shorter. This quiet picture book pays homage to maple syrup farms and the slow, gradual change of the seasons. This is an especially great book to check out if you have a maple syrup farm nearby (like we do!).

A Big Bed for Little Snow by Grace Lin (Little, Brown, 2019). Just as she did in her picture book A Big Mooncake for Little Star, Grace Lin crafts a sweet pourquoi tale, this time for falling snow. Little Snow loves his soft bed, but when Mama warns him that it's a bed for sleeping, not for jumping, well... Little Snow can't help himself. He's got to jump! The feathers spilling out of his bed cause quite a stir on the town below. This would be a fun one to share when the first snow hits and to imagine Little Snow up in the sky jumping on his bed.


Bird Count by Susan Edmonds Richmond, illustrated by Stephanie Fizer Coleman (Peachtree, 2019). This is a beautiful winter book for budding naturalists as a young citizen scientist participates in the Christmas Bird Count with her mom and their team leader. Called the Christmas Bird Count because it's scheduled around the holidays, this international event doesn't actually have anything to do with any specific holiday. This is a perfect book to share before an outdoor birding excursion or to pair with a nature activity like making bird feeders.


A Day so Gray by Marie Lamba, illustrated by Alea Marley (Clarion, 2019). This is definitely a book we can use around here lately - it's been so gray for so long! But two little girls discover that a day that appears to be gray may actually contain a rainbow of colors if you just know where to look. This is a beautiful encouragement to look a little deeper and it would be perfect to read together before a winter walk to look for colors you may be missing.

Froggy Builds a Snowman by Jonathan London, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz (Viking, 2020). Fans of Froggy rejoice, he's back with another winter tale. This time, Froggy can't wait to build a snowman at his school's winter carnival, but there are lots of other activities to enjoy first. With callbacks to another wonderful winter Froggy tale (Froggy Gets Dressed - don't miss this one, it's one of my favorites!) and plenty of humor, this is a fun book to share.

When the Snow is Deeper Than My Boots Are Tall by Jen Reidy, illustrated by Joey Chou (Henry Holt, 2019). This is a super cute, bouncy rhyming book about the joys of playing in the snow and seeing it pile up deeper and deeper. I love the vibrant, colorful illustrations of a family enjoying a winter day together as the snow falls. The rhythm of the text is a little awkward sometimes - I would practice reading it before reading to a group - but it's really so cute and includes a lot of great sound words and vocabulary that make it a great choice for storytime.

* I am definitely wishing for snow. My husband who shovels our driveway is... not.