Tag: winter

10 Great Snowy Picture Books

I always loved reading books about snow and snowmen around the holidays in public libraries since it still spoke to the season but included people of all faiths. Here are ten of my recent favorites:

Big Snow 20663046

Big Snow by Jonathan Bean

First Snow by Peter McCarty

Footprints in the Snow Into the Snow

Footprints in the Snow by Mei Matsuoka

Into the Snow by Yuki Kaneko, illustrated by Masamitsu Saito

The Smallest Snowflake Snow

The Smallest Snowflake by Bernadette Watts

Snow by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Lauren Stringer

The Snow Day Snow Sounds: An Onomatopoeic Story

The Snow Day by Komako Sakai

Snow Sounds: an Onomatopoeic Story by David Johnson

Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit: A Book of Changing Seasons Winter is for Snow

Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit: A Book of Changing Seasons by Il Sung Na

Winter Is for Snow by Robert Neubecker

10 Great Wintry Picture Books

Celebrate the winter solstice and the chilly season with some wonderful warm winter picture books! Here are ten of my favorites perfect for a cozy cuddle:

Before Morning Lemonade in Winter: A Book About Two Kids Counting Money

Before Morning by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Beth Krommes

Lemonade in Winter by Emily Jenkins, illustrated by G. Brian Karas

28814781 Peter and the Winter Sleepers

Little Penguins by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Christian Robinson

Peter and the Winter Sleepers by Rick De Haas

Waiting for Winter 18636916

Waiting for Winter by Sebastian Meschenmoser

Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold by Joyce Sidman and Rick Allen

Winter Candle 17197795

Winter Candle by Jeron Frame, illustrated by Stacey Schuett

Winter Is Coming by Tony Johnston, illustrated by Jim LaMarche

43128 Winter Trees

Winter Is the Warmest Season by Lauren Stringer

Winter Trees by Carole Gerber, illustrated by Leslie Evans

Little Penguins by Cynthia Rylant

little-penguins-by-cynthia-rylant

Little Penguins by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Christian Robinson (InfoSoup)

Five little penguin siblings head out into the snow on the first day of winter. There are many snowflakes in the air while they put on mittens, scarves and boots. The snow is very deep by the time they get dressed and outside. They play in the snow and then head back inside where they pull off their winter gear, put their pajamas on, have warm cookies and sippy cups. That night, they are warm in bed but one of them is still looking out the window at winter arriving.

Newbery Award winner, Cynthia Rylant has written this book with exactly the right amount of text for toddlers and young preschoolers. There is a lovely loose rhythm to the words, an excitement of new falling snow that is generated on the page. The rush to get ready, the enjoyment of their time playing outside and the warmth of returning inside to coziness is all nicely captured. Children who love snow themselves will recognize their days in these little penguins.

Robinson’s illustrations make this book very special. His bold colors, strong shapes and use of space create a lot of drama on the page. The way that each little penguin has their own color adds an element that parents and teachers can use to talk about the book. There is also the chance to count to five again and again. The huge flakes of snow are a delight to the eye, creating a feeling of joy and wonder on each page.

A toddler-friendly picture book, this is a cheery book celebrating the coming winter. Appropriate for ages 2-4.

Reviewed from copy received from Schwartz & Wade.

 

Before Morning by Joyce Sidman

before-morning-by-joyce-sidman

Before Morning by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Beth Krommes (InfoSoup)

Days are busy, filled with activity. One child whose parent is heading off to pilot a plane in the early morning put her wishes into words in the form on an invocation. She asks for snow to come, to change the face of the city and the pace of their life. She wishes for a slowness and as the book continues readers will see the snow start to fall, the parent leave for the airport, then the airport start to fill with waiting passengers who are not going anywhere. Then the parent catches a snowplow ride back home where the family spends a day together in the snow sledding.

Sidman’s invocation is simple and heartfelt. She voices it with the clarity of a ringing bell and real honesty. She plays her quiet voice against the hustle and busyness of an urban setting, allowing the snow and the wonder of it to slow the entire book down to the pace of the invocation itself. It’s a beautiful effect, strengthened by the illustrations and the beauty of the words themselves.

I was thrilled to see another pairing of Sidman and Krommes. Krommes creates scratchboard illustrations that have the organic feel of block prints. They are rich with details and fill the pages with subtle colors and dancing snow. The art has an inherent warmth to it, inviting snuggling under covers together.

Another great achievement for this author and illustrator pair, this is a great winter story that focuses on family and time spent together. Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from library copy.

 

The Thing about Yetis by Vin Vogel

The Thing about Yetis by Vin Vogel

The Thing about Yetis by Vin Vogel (InfoSoup)

The one thing you should know about yetis is that they love winter. They love playing in the snow, sliding down hills, ice skating in their own unique way, making the best snowballs, and building snow castles. But even yetis can get too cold and have to head inside to warm up. When winter gets a bit too rough, yetis can also get crabby, particularly when they run out of cocoa. They also love summer, you see. They miss playing outside in the sun, sliding down slippery slides, swimming, sleeping in tents, and building sand castles. There’s just one thing for a grumpy winter yeti to do, make their own summer day!

This book has such an appeal about it. It’s the googly-eyed yetis throughout the book, the ones who delight in both cold and warm weather. The ones who get grouchy when they are too cold, poofy when their fur dries, and who sometimes need to be cozy inside on a blustery winter day. Vogel captures these elusive yetis with a cartoon feel that has universal appeal for readers.

The story is brief but cleverly done. Rather than just an ode to winter and all that it brings in terms of snowy fun, this is also a book that will appeal to any of us who live in the north and know that snow and cold can get very old after awhile. Children will relate to longing for summer.

Read this one as February is getting brutal and be prepared to have your own summer day inside. Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from copy received from Dial Books.

Review: Little Red Gliding Hood by Tara Lazar

Little Red Gliding Hood by Tara Lazar

Little Red Gliding Hood by Tara Lazar, illustrated by Tory Cummings

Released October 27, 2015

A new take on Little Red Riding Hood, this picture book fills the storybook forest with snow and takes readers on a twirling ride through several fairy tales. Little Red Gliding Hood loves to ice skate down the winding river to her grandmother’s house. She does it so often that her skates are wearing out. Then she discovers that the prize for the upcoming pairs skating competition is a new pair of skates. Now she just has to find the perfect partner. But many of the good skaters have already been taken. She asks her grandmother for ideas and her grandmother suggests her new neighbors who live in a brick house. When Little Red approaches the house, the Wolf shows up and chases her on the ice where they discover that they are both great skaters!

Lazar twists and turns the traditional Little Red Riding Hood tale into a wintry wonder. She pays clear homage to the original, also making many nods to other fairy tales along the way like the Three Little Pigs, Goldilocks, The Three Bears, and Humpty Dumpty. The entire book has a freshness to it, that makes for a lively read that is perfect both for children new to the story and for those familiar with the original.

The art by Cummings is filled with brisk winter colors of blues and whites. It is made cozy when Little Red visits her grandmother where they sit by the fire and the colors turn to oranges and reds. The art is playful and funny with lots of small touches, particularly when there are characters from lots of fairy tales in one place.

A terrific new take on a traditional tale, this picture book is a great pick for winter story times. Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from digital galley received from Random House.

Review: Finding Spring by Carin Berger

finding spring

Finding Spring by Carin Berger

Maurice is a little bear cub who can’t stop thinking about spring. It may be time for him to go to sleep in the warm cave with his mother, but he stays awake and sneaks out of the cave to search for signs of spring. As he heads through the forest, he meets other animals all busily preparing for the winter. They don’t have time to talk to him for long but find time to warn him that spring’s arrival will take some time. Maurice smells something new on the air and runs towards it, thinking it is spring. When a snowflake falls, he is sure it is spring arriving so he scoops up some snow to keep spring with him and heads back to his mother to sleep. When he awakes in the warmer weather though, his piece of spring has disappeared. But in the end, Maurice manages to find spring all around him.

This picture book has a very simple story with elements that children will relate to. From not wanting to go to bed to the beauty of nature, this book celebrates it all. It is a book of curiosity, adventures and making your own discoveries along the way.

What makes this book exceptional are the illustrations. Berger works in cut paper and collage, creating dioramas that have dimension and shadows. The cut paper contains fragments of words and lovely textures. I particularly love the reverse side of a letter on gray paper being the flowing water in a stream. Throughout the book there are touches like this that work beautifully visually and are artistically inspired.

A lovely new springtime read, this picture book celebrates the seasons of winter and spring side by side. Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from copy received from Greenwillow Books.