Winter, cold, and snow serve as great inspirations for reading. What could be better than curling up by the fire or under a blanket with a good book? These books about snow will encourage young readers to experience the fun and frigidity of winter.

“Cold Snap” by Eileen Spinelli, Illustrated by Marjorie Priceman, Alfred A. Knopf, 2012, ages 5 and up.

The first day of the cold snap brought fun with sledding, ice skating, and snow angels. But as each day thereafter the temperature dropped closer to zero, the cold snap began to wear on the town. The novelty of long underwear, woolen socks, and snow boots led to frustration with broken furnaces, frozen train doors, and cabin fever. The mayor’s wife has just the trick for lifting spirits and bringing the community together. Colorful illustrations present vivid details of winter life while the charming story will inspire all to find ways to beat the cold.

“Lemonade in Winter” by Emily Jenkins, Illustrated by G. Brian Karas, Schwartz & Wade, 2012, ages 3 to 7.

A bitter cold wind and swirling snow may seem like an unlikely setting for a lemonade stand, but Pauline and John-John are jumping with enthusiasm for their winter project. The children purchase the ingredients, set up the stand, and amazingly convince people to buy lemonade, limeade, and lemon-limeade on this chilly winter day. Throughout their project, the author provides readers with many opportunities to learn about money. Detailed illustrations and clear text weave the concepts of identifying and counting coins and trading coins for dollars fluently into the charming story. Opportunities for lessons about entrepreneurship, economics, and perseverance abound.

“Snowboy 1, 2, 3” by Joe Wahman, Illustrated by Wendy Wahman, Henry Holt, 2012, ages 3 and up.

Snowboy and his animal friends in the woods spend the winter day frolicking in the snow, while the two children head off to school. This counting book takes children up to ten and back down to one by counting hills of fallen snow, mittens, and hibernating bears. A winter treat, Snowboy’s bright illustrations and simple text will entice young readers to develop number concepts and learn about animals’ winter behaviors.

“Snow Dog’s Journey” by Loretta Krupinski, Dutton Children’s Books, 2010, ages 3 and up.

After a night time visit by the Frost King, Olen and Anna awake to a snow-covered world and head outside to create a snow dog, which they came to love as if her were real. One night, the snow dog comes alive for the Frost King, and they travel on snowy adventures, but the snow dog and the children long for each other. Beautiful illustrations portray a snowy world through shades of whites, blues, and grays. This sweet winter story, with a happy ending, received the 2012 Bill Martin Jr. Picturebook Award of Kansas.

Anytime is a good time for reading, but the long and cold days of winter encourage children and those who read with them to cozy up for a story.

Reviewed and photo by Elizabeth Dobler

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