Feel Good Picture Books about Winter for the Classroom

Feel Good Picture Books about Winter for the Classroom

The magic of Christmas and the excitement of winter can be felt in so many picture books. Many children’s books about winter can also be enjoyed during this time of year without referencing Christmas. Here is a selection of winter picture books for the classroom and library!

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Winter Picture Books for the Classroom

It’s hard to believe, but winter is just around the corner. Soon the days will be shorter and colder, so it’s time to start thinking about winter picture books for the classroom. This great selection of children’s books about winter will take your students from autumn to winter.

These winter picture books explore characters dealing with winter, from the funny to the more realistic. The vivid winter imagery includes falling snow, ice skating, building snowmen, sledging, hibernation and evenings spent indoors with the family.

Winter Picture Books

Bird House by Blanca Gómez

A grandmother and granddaughter find an injured bird on a snowy day. Together, they nurse it back to health. They set the healthy bird free, respecting that it belongs in the wild. The grandmother teaches the young girl that the bird is not theirs to keep, but is welcome to visit the birdhouse they built.

Use the book to reinforce a caring attitude, intergenerational relationships and respect for living things.

Black Dog by Levi Pinfold

Black Dog takes us to a family home where a large black dog grows in size and menace, causing fear among the family members. Yet, the smallest one shows immense courage and open-mindedness to discover the truth about the dog.

Engage your students in discussions about overcoming fears, taking risks, and not letting fear control our perception. Encourage them to conquer their fears and take on challenges bravely.

Blizzard by John Rocco

John Rocco uses his own experience of a blizzard that brought over 50 inches of snow to his home in Rhode Island in 1978. A family is snowed in for 5 days. As food runs low, the young boy takes action. He puts tennis rackets on his feet and makes his way to the store for his family and neighbours. Use to discuss persistence, problem-solving, setting and personal narratives.

A Day So Gray by Marie Lamba

A fed-up girl only sees winter’s grey and dull colours on a cold day. Her optimistic friend encourages her to look closely at her surroundings. She takes her time and starts to see orange berries, blue water, purple shadows, and much more!

Emmett and Caleb by Karen Hottois

Emmett and Caleb, best friends and next-door neighbours, are as close as can be, yet their different personalities sometimes lead to misunderstandings. However, they always find a way back to each other, valuing their friendship over their differences.

Emmett and Caleb illustrate that friendships might face ups and downs, but the ability to forgive, understand, and communicate is key to maintaining them.

Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett

Annabelle finds a box of magical yarn that never runs out. Through her knitting, she transforms her drab, monochrome town into a vibrant, colourful place.

Extra Yarn prompts discussions on creativity, transformation, and the power of small actions to bring about significant change. Annabelle’s story reminds us that we can make the world a brighter place with a little imagination and the right tools.

Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter by Kenard Pak

Two siblings explore nature and watch for the signs of winter, from the setting sun, to a curious deer and the first snowflakes of the new season.

Hedgehog by Ashlyn Anstee

Winter is on its way, and animals are looking for somewhere to live, but Hedgehog is unwilling to let anyone into his hedge. He makes signs, puts locks on the door and even builds a fence. Will it be too late before he learns his lesson?

Hortense and the Shadow by Natalia O'Hara

Hortense tries everything to leave her shadow behind. Finally, she escapes it by slamming the window to cut it off. When the shadow returns to scare off bandits, Hortense realises her shadow is indispensable to who she is.

Hush Hush, Forest by Mary Casanova

Observe as the forest animals spend autumn getting ready for winter. The lyrical text tells the reader about the owl in flight, a bear preparing to hibernate, a doe and fawn getting ready to sleep, a hummingbird taking one more sip and a beaver sawing wood for its lodge.

Lines by Suzy Lee

A girl’s ice-skating trace lines transform into intricate patterns as more and more skaters join her on the ice, signifying the collaborative and shared aspects of creativity. The crumbling and flattening of the paper is a metaphor for challenges and obstacles.

Lines promote discussions on creativity, imagination, collaboration, perseverance, and the beauty of art.

Little Dog Lost by Mônica Carnesi

The fast currents of the Vistula River in Poland carry a dog towards the Baltic Sea. The crew of a research vessel bravely rescue the dog and it still lives on board. This true story promotes courage, compassion, and resilience.

Little Fox in the Snow by Jonathan London

A little red fox investigates a woodland on a snowy day to find food. It encounters a mouse, hare and wolverine before returning to the safety of its den. Promotes curiosity, risk-taking and nature.

My Father's Arms Are A Boat by Stein Erik Lunde

A young boy grieving for his mother struggles to understand his mother’s absence. His father provides comfort, patiently answering his questions and offering reassurance. He provides a safe space for his son as they navigate their shared loss.

My Father’s Arms Are A Boat highlights the importance of emotional self-management, handling fears, resilience, and the grieving process.

My Footprints by Bao Phi

Thuy, a Vietnamese American girl, is bullied at school. She walks home in the snow and imagines herself as different courageous animals. Thuy recreates the animal’s footprints all the way home and into the comforting arms of her mum. Use in the classroom to discuss bullying, courage, perseverance, prejudice, and identity.

Once Upon a Northern Light by Jean E. Pendziwol

This poem describes the beauty of a northern winter night as a boy sleeps soundly in his bed. The boy’s parents describe the snowfall, the wild animals in the garden and the stars in the clear night sky.

Once Upon a Snowstorm by Richard Johnson

In this wordless picture book, a father and son are separated while out in the falling snow. The boy falls asleep and wakes up surrounded by animals. The animals help him find his home and return him to his thankful father.

Owl Moon by Jane Yolen

Descriptive language inspires the reader’s imagination when a little girl and her father go owling on a winter night. Promotes love, companionship and patience.

The Red Prince by Charlie Roscoe

When strangers invade the city of Avala, they capture a young prince. Imprisoned far from home, he escapes, but his red pyjamas against the snow make it easy for the jailers to see him. The prince finds great kindness from those living in his kingdom as they defeat the captors by wearing red to hide the prince.

Singing Away the Dark by Caroline Woodward

A brave young girl faces a challenging daily walk through the early morning darkness to reach her school bus stop. Despite the daunting journey and the fears it stirs, she uses her voice to sing away the darkness and her worries.

Read Singing Away the Dark to foster discussions about courage in adversity, overcoming fears, cultivating resilience, building self-reliance and embracing optimism.

SkySisters by Jan Bourdeau Waboose

Two Ojibway sisters hike through the snow to see the Sky Spirits, the Northern Lights. They hear the call of the great coyote as they reach the top of Coyote Hill. The sisters dance and make snow angels before watching the Sky Spirits move across the sky.

Small in the City by Sydney Smith

In this practically wordless book, a girl searches a large, desolate city covered in snow while her mother waits at home. Initially, it seems she is talking to the reader, explaining how to survive in the city, but we later find out she is talking to her lost cat. Use to promote different perspectives and points of view.

The Snow Knows by Jennifer McGrath

In this poetic picture book, the snow knows the journey of different animals. Follow the footprints and discover the clues of the domestic and wild animals that enjoy the snowy wilderness.

Snow Sisters! by Kerri Kokias

Two sisters react differently to a snowy day. One rushes outside to play in the snow while her sister is too wary to leave the house. As her curiosity rises she goes outside to retrace her sister’s footsteps in the snow. In a role reversal, the other sister, exhausted, spends the rest of the day indoors.

The Snowman by Raymond Briggs

A wordless classic that illustrates the friendship between a boy and snowman who comes alive on Christmas Eve. The two go on a adventure exploring each other’s homes and ends with some sadness when the snowman melts.

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

A young boy is captivated by the first snowfall of winter. He walks around the city, wondering how he can capture the wonder he feels. Promotes curiosity, retelling a story and making connections.

The Storm Whale in Winter by Benji Davies

A young boy is captivated by the first snowfall of winter. He walks around the city, wondering how he can capture the wonder he feels. Promotes curiosity, retelling a story and making connections.

Stina by Lani Yamamoto

Stína lives in Iceland and is not fond of the cold. She enjoys her cosy home and invents creative ways to keep warm. Intrigued by children playing in the snow, she wonders how they manage the cold. Her curiosity leads her to a delightful discovery and new friendships.

Read Stína, translated from Icelandic, to discuss building the courage to face discomfort, cultivating friendships, ingenuity and creativity in everyday life and overcoming feelings of isolation.

A Symphony of Whales by Steve Schuch

When Glashka discovers a pod of stranded beluga whales in Siberia she gathers the townspeople to help free them. Waiting for a Russian Icebreaker to arrive, the people break the ice so the whales can breathe. This true story promotes teamwork, compassion and community.

The Tea Party in the Woods by Akiko Miyakoshi

When Kikko ruins the pie she is carrying, she follows a figure she assumes to be her father into a magical tea party hosted by animals. Welcomes, Kikko experiences generosity from the woodland creatures, who help replace her ruined pie. 

The Tea Party in the Woods promotes discussions about curiosity, courage, kindness, stepping out of one’s comfort zone, and welcoming unexpected experiences with open-mindedness and teaching the importance of treating others with kindness.

Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell

Caught in a snowstorm, a girl discovers a lost wolf cub on her way home. Despite the fear, she decides to help it. Braving the storm, she shows immense courage, returning the cub to its pack. Exhausted and lost herself, the grateful wolf pack guides her home.

Wolf in the Snow encourages discussions about empathy, trust, courage, the surprising rewards of kindness and the unlikely connections formed when we help others.

You're Snug With Me by Chitra Soundar

In a frozen landscape, two bear cubs are born. They express curiosity about what lies beyond their den, deep underground. Mama Bear teaches them about the land of snow and the ocean full of ice. She whispers to the cubs that they will always be snug with her.

In Summary

National Geographic Kids’ Youtube channel has a playlist of videos about winter.

I would love to know what your favourite winter picture books are. Are they classics you read over and over, or do you prefer to read new books to your class? Let me know in the comments!

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