Monday, January 9, 2012

Cold and Cozy Winter Books: Part 1

Now that the holidays are over, we can settle in to enjoy winter. Here are some books to help us with this.

The Mitten retold by Jan Brett
A boy drops one of his mittens in the woods. One by one, forest animals crawl in to escape the cold. Is there a limit as to how many animals can fit? This is a retelling of an old story. There are other versions, but Jan Brett’s is my favorite.

Snowballs by Lois Ehlert
This is a simple picture book about building snow people. I like it because it expands the practice of building a simple snowman to creations that are quite grand. It gives me ideas!

Snip, Snap…Snow! by Nancy Powdar
Sophie wants snow. Every day it is cold but there’s no snow. She talks her teacher into letting everyone cut paper snowflakes to decorate the classroom. By the end of the day, Sophie’s snow comes down. Directions for cutting paper snowflakes are on the last page.

Stranger in the Woods by Carl R. Sams II and Jean Stoick
The animals in the forest are chattering, “Stranger in the woods!” At first all seem afraid and then many of the animals volunteer to be the one to check this stranger out. They solve the mystery of the stranger…but they don’t know the whole story. I’d love to have been part of photographing the illustrations – very cool!

A Hat for Minerva Louise by Janet Morgan Stoeke
Minerva Louise is a chicken who loves snow. When she gets cold, she goes searching for something warm to wear. The illustrations are both charming and funny.

Stella Queen of the Snow by Marie-Louise Gay
It’s little Sam’s first snowstorm and he is wary and full of questions. His big sister has all the answers and gradually convinces him of the glories of snow. The illustrations are wonderful.

Winter Eyes by Douglas Florian
This is a collection of poems about winter: what to love, what to hate, winter colors, icicles, ice fishing and more subjects. Each page or two has an illustration that perfectly shows the winter of the poems.

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
This has always been one of my favorite winter books. It tells of Peter and his day in the snow. It feels wintery cold. It sounds snowfall quiet. It also seems warm and cozy. This book won the Caldecott Medal in the early 1960s.

Uncle Phil’s Diner by Helena Clare Pittman
It’s a cold winter day and snow is falling. Ruthie and Papa are setting out for Uncle Phil’s diner. This is not a short walk and they keep themselves warm with memories of summer. I love the way this book is set up like a photo album, with each watercolor picture tacked down in the corners by old-time picture mounts.

Is That You, Winter? by Stephen Gammell
The lines between real and pretend are a bit fuzzy in this story. Is Old Man Winter real? A doll? Beats me. The illustrations are truly remarkable and not like any other book I’ve seen.

Shingebiss: An Ojibwe Legend retold by Nancy Van Laan, illustrations by Betsy Bowen
Shingebiss the duck bravely challenges the Winter Maker. Even though the winter is long and harsh, Shingebiss manages to find enough food. This irritates Winter Maker so much he does everything he can to prevent Shingebiss from getting food. I’m a big fan of woodcuts and this book has some wonderful work.

The Snow Tree by Caroline Repchuk, illustrated by Josephine Martin
Little Bear wakes up to his first snowfall and wonders where all the colors have gone. The other forest animals bring the colors of the forest and together they create a magical tree. I didn’t discover this book in time for Christmas, but I couldn’t wait until next year to tell about it. It’s really special and you shouldn’t wait either!

Do you have a favorite winter book you like to cuddle up with? Tell about it in the Comments Box!

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