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  • Kelsey Marie Paff

Some Old Some New: 9 Board Books for Winter


While it hasn't felt too much like winter outside lately in New England, these board books have definitely added a feeling of winter even on warmer days. You can also find my past winter board book recommendations here and here.


1. Over the River and Through the Woods by Lydia Maria Child with Illustrations by Christopher Manson.

Over the River and Through the Woods is actually a Thanksgiving Day poem and even though it's past Thanksgiving I'm including it because it has such a winter wonderland feel to it and could really be read throughout the winter. I'll give you a little piece of the text here: "Over the river and through the wood, to Grandfather's house we go; the horse knows the way to carry the sleigh through the white and drifted snow." Such a fun one and the woodcuts by Christopher Manson add so much depth and texture to the wintery landscape.


2. A Loud Winter's Nap by Katy Hudson.

I'm going to start off by saying that I think kids will love this book. It's eye catching and funny and who doesn't want to imagine tortoises hibernating in trees? My only complaint is that the young audience who will be listening to this book won't understand that tortoises don't sleep in trees and that a tortoise wouldn't naturally be around snow or freezing temperatures. I always believe in using one's imagination and Hudson's book really is a delightful imaginary adventure -- after all we read books to littles all the time with animal characters that talk yet we don't expect children to believe that animals do in fact talk -- so a tortoise trying to sleep in a tree shouldn't be a big stretch of the imagination for little ones but somehow I wish the main character could have been a traditional winter animal who doesn't like winter as opposed to a non-winter animal who (no surprise!) doesn't like winter. A book that reminds me of The Snowy Nap by Jan Brett in the reverse -- instead of the hedgehog in The Snowy Nap wanting to stay up to see winter the Tortoise in A Loud Winter's Nap just wants to go to sleep undisturbed but after getting disturbed so many times finally decides that winter, after all, is a lot of fun.


3. A Winter Walk in the City by Cathy Goldberg Fisherman with Illustrations by Melanie Hall.

A book that I should have posted about before the holidays but better late than never! A counting book up to ten, the book follows a boy as he walks through the city noticing a menorah, two bells on trees, three cards in a window, four holiday cakes, five dogs wearing sweaters, six flags with snowflakes, and so forth until it concludes with ten people sharing with holiday smiles. The bright, mixed medium illustrations with a feel of water colors, pastels, tissue paper, cut-outs, and lots of reflective shading is really lovely.


4. Snowmen at Night by Carolyn Buehner with illustrations by Mark Buehner.

I really love how creative Snowmen at Night is. Ever wonder why snowmen don't look the same the day after you make them? "One wintry day I made a snowman, very round and tall. The next day when I saw him, he was not the same at all." Cleverly written in rhyme, the story takes little ones on a journey through the night as busy snowmen slide down the street, sip cups of hot chocolate together, play games, ice skate, bump into each other until they all fall down, have a snowball fight, and sled down a giant mountain until finally -- when they are all warn out -- they head back home. "So if your snowman's grin is crooked, or he's lost a little height, you'll know he's just been doing what snowman do at night." Such a fun one!


5. Soup Day by Melissa Iwai

On a snowy day, a girl and her mother head to the market to purchase fresh ingredients for soup. They pick out crispy green celery, shiny yellow onions, long orange carrots, smooth potatoes, dark green zucchini, white mushrooms and parsley. At home they wash the vegetables and cut each vegetable appropriately. The onions become squares, the carrots become circles, the potatoes become cubes and the parsley, confetti. While the girl and her mother are waiting for the soup they make a city, read to each other, and play imaginary games. Finally the soup is ready and the whole family sits together to enjoy it.


One of the things I really like about Soup Day is that it encourages parents and children to participate in multiple activities together. Cooking, reading, playing games---these are all things that are so meaningful to a child's development and a message that we don't always receive from children's books or children's tv shows. Often times, for example, the parent is out of the picture or the child is encouraged to play without a parent. There is a place and a time for that as well of course but I found Soup Day to be a refreshing reminder of how special those parent-child moments are. The last page of the book also provides the soup recipe, which is a nice addition.


6. Winter Babies by Kathryn O. Galbraith with Illustrations by Adela Pons.

What happens when snow falls? "Trees sparkle. Snow plops. puppies sniff. Rabbits hop. Flakes float. Babies blink..." A board book that introduces children to what a snowy wonderland looks like and how exciting the season of winter is. I particularly like how Adela Pons uses purples and reds to add really eye-catching pops of color.


7. Ready for Winter by Martha Jocelyn

When it's wintertime little ones will have a chance to choose: an undershirt, long underwear, a turtleneck, a cozy dress, a sweater, warm pants, tights, fuzzy socks, boots, a snowsuit, mittens, a hat and a scarf. A great way to get children thinking about different types of weather and what they might need, Ready for Winter really does get children ready for winter!


8. In the Snow by Elizabeth Spurr with Illustrations by Manelle Oliphant.

With a first illustration that shows readers the peacefulness of freshly fallen snow on a hill, readers are then swept to a house where a girl eagerly looks out her window with excitement. It's time to dash outside and play! With so many things to do outside, the girl slides on puddles with her mother, draws a snow picture with a stick, builds a snowman, drags a sled and makes an angel. After a fun day outside it's time to go in. Another example of a board book that illustrates a child doing something with a parent, I love the illustration above as it shows the mom beaming at her daughter.


9. In Winter...En Invierno... by Susan Madinabeltia Manso with illustrations by Emily Hanako Momohara

An English-Spanish board book, In Winter shows little ones some of the activities that children like to do in the winter months such as drink hot chocolate, catch snowflakes, build a snowman and go sledding. A unique one also includes sleeping soundly like a bear. Parents will like the sound of that one! With great photographs each page also leaves children with a question: what are you going to have with your hot chocolate? How are you going to keep warm? How many [snowflakes] are you going to catch? What are you going to build? etc..


That concludes my list for now! What are some of your winter board book favorites? I'd love to hear. If you have Instagram you can leave me a comment or send me a message.


Enjoy!


*All links will take you to Amazon.