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Favourite snow-themed children’s books

Snowy Richmond Park
Otto in the snow

favourite snowy books

favourite snow books

Finally it happened. Finally it snowed here in London. As it is the way of the Englander – it seems we have been discussing this possible event for weeks – the postman, the lady in the supermarket, my next-door neighbour, my Mum – we do like to talk about the weather in this country and SNOW is a rare and exciting event. Apart from halting all forms of transport the bare splattering of snow transforms our landscape and of course for children … well there is nothing quite so heart-warming as their excitement as they look out of their windows when woken to the words of ‘it’s snowing”.
As we have been waiting for the snow (which sadly only lasted a few hours) I dug out the snow-themed books we had on our shelves and I thought I’d share them with you:

Snow by Roy McKie & P.D. Eastman
This is a ‘Beginner Book’ from 1962, which means it is simply written using short, repetitive words that a child just learning to read can manage. The main focus is on pictures, which have a bright and bold primary palette and really express the fun of kids playing in the snow.

Immi by Karin Littlewood
We’ve written about this beautiful story here but the pictures are so lovely that a snow-themed read-athon was a great excuse to pull it out again.

The Story of the Snow Children by Sibylle von Olfers
I’m a big fan of the art of Sibylle von Olfers and this story of the Snow Children is (I think) one of the most enchanting examples – the story of a little girl called Poppy, who is tempted by the fairies of the snow to visit the Snow Queen. The berry-red of Poppy’s coat and mittens ping of the page against the tealy blue, gold and crisp white of the fairies snowy world. It is remarkable that a book published 110 years ago feels so fresh.

One Snowy Night by Nick Butterworth
This is a story from Percy the Park Keeper – a gentle series that my children really like. The story sees Percy taking in the park animals one-by-one as they shiver and suffer from the cold one snowy night. I think I like this one as it reminds me a little of our own household with my children creeping into our bed one-by-one at various stages of the night (except in our house it doesn’t need to be snowing!)

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
I can’t believe I haven’t written about this book yet! It is one of my favourite books. The story itself is a simple tale of a boy going out to play in the snow and worrying it won’t be still there when he wakes the next morning but what makes this book special is the bold colours and graphic layouts – each page is a surprising piece of art. I only recently learned that the book was also groundbreaking. Published in 1962, The Snowy Day was the first full-colour children’s book to feature an African-American protagonist. Keats had previously only illustrated other Author’s books and it occurred to him that his own minority was never featured so he changed it and he won the prestigious Caldecott Medal for doing so!

I’d love to hear what your favourite snow-themed books are? I’m optimistic that we’ve not seen the end of the snow – we still have some tobogganing to do and a snowman to build!

-Mo  x


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Comments (12)

Carmen
February 12, 2015

George R.R. Martin has written some children books. Amongst them, “The ice dragon”. My 12-year and 10-year boys loved the story, starred by a “winter child”. The theme is a bit game-of-thrones like (dragons, battles, wars) and it is addresed to elder children but I also loved it myself. Beautifully written and, at least in my edition, with nice illustrations. Hope this helps. Regards from Madrid and thanks a lot for your always helpful suggestions!


Esther in Amsterdam
February 12, 2015

Oh Mo, I love this and the photos are sooo cute!! We all love The Snowman by Raymond Briggs — a classic. Thank you for this post! xxx PS Love the yellow hat and jumper! Did you knit it?


Courtney in London
February 12, 2015

I love this list! And we don’t already know ‘Snow’ by P.D. Eastman, but I just know we would love it. “Go, Dogs Go!” by P.D. Eastman is one of our very favourite books of all time.
Thanks for these recommendations! xx


February 12, 2015

i’m actually writing a children’s book about snow right now, so this was perfect! thank you!


Vanessa
February 12, 2015

I love this post and I adore your snowy photos!! The girls have enjoyed Walter de la Mare ‘Snow’ and the Bramley Hedge ‘Winter Story’ is also lovely for cosy nights. I’m pleased to see you also like the Percy books! We were reading the Hedgehog’s Balloon last night. I’ve never heard of the Roy McKie book. I’m going to check it out now. xx


SHOW ALL COMMENTS
February 12, 2015

Snow by Walter de la Mere (illustrated by Carolina Rabei) is absolutely beautiful. It’s really calm to read too. It would be perfect by a roaring fire with the snow coming down outside…


Steph
February 12, 2015

A favorite in our home is Exra Jack Keats’ The Snowy Day.


Steph
February 12, 2015

Ezra Jack Keats — sorry for the typo


Carly
February 17, 2015

I just read Immi’s Gift to my pre-k class and loved it! The pictures are so pretty, and it sparked such a thoughtful conversation about the interconnection of our world!


Carly
February 17, 2015

Also, The Snowy Day is my all-time favorite winter book.


Fiona
February 18, 2015

Um – I’m afraid I don’t really understand the line about Ezra Jack Keats’ own minority never being featured because Ezra Jack Keats was white. Still, a groundbreaking and lovely book.


Noelle
February 18, 2015

Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner is absolutely fantastic, with beautiful illustrations!


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