We are between after school activities over here. Fall sports are done, and nothing else starts until January. It was a lovely first week, but now with darkening evenings and bitter winds driving my outdoor children inside, we are going crazy. Winter demands that I step up my parenting game. I’m the first to admit that baking with my children is not going to happen, nor is anything to do with paint. But reading? Yes, I will sit under a warm blanket and read to my boys.
The holiday season is nostalgic. When choosing a good book, I find myself reaching back to my childhood. Here are some of my personal favorite winter stories from decades ago that are still holding strong.
‘The Snowman’ by Raymond Briggs
Life for this beloved character was lived to the full. The story does not shy away from a somber ending, and I admire the way it gently delivers a (melting) reality to children. Equally as beautiful as this picture book is the score behind its short animation.
Calvin and Hobbes, ‘It’s a Magical World’ by Bill Watterson
Full of snowball fights gone wrong, existential sled rides, terrifying snowmen creations and demanding letters to Santa, this book is a great winter accompaniment to children who love a mischievous character. This creative little boy and his best tiger friend will warm your hearts.
‘The Hat,’ ‘The Snowy Nap’ and ‘The Mitten’ by Jan Brett
Her illustrations are, in my humble opinion, some of the coziest depictions of winter. These books will keep a child and adult entertained for quite some time; Jan Brett is a master at hiding details in her pictures that serve as magical clues in her stories.
‘A Child is Born’ by Margaret Wise Brown
She is known for “Goodnight Moon” and “Runaway Bunny” and her poetic, rhythmic prose. This book is a lullaby for baby Jesus, written by one of our nation’s best children’s authors.
‘A Wrinkle in Time’ by Madeline L’Engle
This isn’t exactly a winter or Christmas story, but the first scene is dark and stormy, so it counts, right? I read this book often, because there is something about this science fiction adventure that stirs my imagination, belief and hope. As the temperatures drop and evenings are darker, consider reading this adventure to your children.
So simmer your mulling spices, load up your hot chocolate with overflowing marshmallows and cozy up with these great winter books. What are some of your favorite winter classics?