Living in the Northeast it seems almost mandatory that we would do a unit on snow. With snow abundant this time of year it seems the perfect time for us to learn more about it through reading stories and doing snow related activities.
The books we read covered a very wide range of snow related topics, from how animals live in the snow to fun stories about playing in the snow to how snowflakes are formed. Below are the books recommended for this topic, along with a quick review of each to help you decide if it would work for your children.
If you are looking for some great activities to do during a snow unit, check out this post.
BOOKS ABOUT SNOW:
Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner
This book follows a young girl and her father as they ski through the forest discussing animal tracks and what is going on underneath the snow. The layout of this book is great with each illustration showing what is happening both above and below the snow covered ground. This book is a great addition to any winter unit.
Snow by Cynthia Rylant
This book uses descriptive poetic text to explore how the snow impacts us when it arrives at different times of day. A very sweet story with nice illustrations.
Best in Snow by April Pulley Sayre
The beautiful photography used in this book to convey winter is excellent. Very simple words, but the images are well worth including this book to your reading list.
Animals in Winter by Henrietta Bancroft & Richard Van Gelder
As winter approaches, animals begin to get ready for the cold weather. This book covers the migration of birds, butterflies, and some bats. It also discusses hibernation of some bats and woodchucks. It touches on animals that store food to last all winter (pika and squirrels). It also talks about animals that do not get ready for winter at all (mice, deer, rabbits, and fox). It ends by showing how humans can help provide food for animals during the winter.
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
A young boy wakes up to find a lot of snow has fallen overnight. The book follows him as he explores his neighborhood that is now covered in snow. It is a cute story and my girls both enjoyed it. You can also find the animated movie adaptation of this book on Amazon Video for free if you have a prime account (link to movie here).
The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter’s Wonder by Mark Cassino with Jon Nelson, Ph.D.
This was a great book that did an awesome job explaining how snowflakes form. The pictures in this book were fantastic and my 4 year old loved looking at all the photographs of different snowflakes. This book has a very scientific feel to it, but it was a great addition and I felt like we learned a lot from it.
Waiting for Snow by Marsha Arnold
Badger is waiting for it to snow and tries everything to get the snow to start. Hedgehog wisely advises badger to be patient and that it will come. Badger’s animal friends try to help him get the snow to come, but it doesn’t. Eventually the friends learn to be patient and wait and the snow does appear. Cute story with a decent lesson on patience.
The Biggest Snowman Ever by Steven Kroll
When two mice decide to work together they build the biggest snowman and win the town’s contest. Good lesson about working together to achieve a common goal.
Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin
Growing up in Vermont I learned all about Snowflake Bentley as a child. This book is a bit serious in tone, but my 4 year old sat through the story and was interested in what was happening. This is a great book and a wonderful story, a welcome addition to our snow unit.
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost, illustrated by Susan Jeffers
I LOVE this poem and had this book as a child so I was excited to read it to my girls. They enjoyed the poem/story and loved looking at the illustrations. Susan Jeffers does a great job giving the reader a lot to look at and really showing the poem through images. Highly recommended for a snow unit.
The Three Snow Bears by Jan Brett
An Inuit girl loses her sled dogs and wanders to an igloo. It turns out the three polar bears live there. This book is a twist on the classic Goldilocks story which my children enjoyed as they love the original story. As is typical of Jan Brett stories, the illustrations in this book are full of details that give the reader a lot to examine.
Snow by Uri Shulevitz
The city was gray and one snowflake falls. With each snowflake that appears the young boy exclaims that it is snowing while the adults all insist it is nothing. Eventually the snow falls freely from the sky and covers the city in snow. While this wasn’t our favorite book it was a decent addition to the unit.
Snow is Falling by Franklyn Branley
This snow book is written in a conversational manner with the reader, asking questions which the book then answers. It was fairly simple, but provided some good information such as how snow is beneficial to plants and animals but can also be bad if there is a blizzard. Overall I’d recommend this book for a snow unit.
It’s Snowing! by Gail Gibbons
This nonfiction book describes how snow forms and falls from the sky, how snow is found on all 7 continents, different snow related terminology, and what snow is used for (playing, protecting plants/animals, water source, etc.). This book was a good addition to our snow unit, easy to read but full of information.
There was a Cold Lady who Swallowed Some Snow by Lucille Colandro
This spin on the “old lady” books shows us a cold lady that swallows snow, a pipe, coal, a hat, a stick, and a scarf. The cold lady comes up with a plan and hiccups, producing a snowman. Cute story that the children enjoyed.
Animals in Winter by Martha E.H. Rustad
This book was extremely simple, but it served as a good starting point for discussion on each page. It briefly covers migration and hibernation. In particular it discusses what birds, reindeer, black bears, bats, fish, squirrels, and snowshoe hares do during the winter. Also it really briefly states that animals in winter leave tracks in the snow (that is all it says, seriously). Not a great book for learning detailed information, but it does introduce the topics for further discussion.
Snow Globe Family by Jane O’Connor
A tiny family lives in a snow globe on top of the mantle. The snow globe has gone unnoticed for some time, but when the baby from the family that owns the snow globe discovers it and shakes it, the little family gets to experience quite a snow storm. The idea is creative and the illustrations were fun to examine, but my girls spent most of the book discussing and trying to figure out which family was which.
Snow Day! by Lester L. Laminack
The text in this book tells the story of someone anticipating and looking forward to a snow day. The illustrations show the reader two children and a parent on each page. At the surprise ending we discover that the person telling the story is in fact the parent who is a teacher looking forward to a snow day. My girls enjoyed the book, however my youngest was a bit lost regarding the twist at the end of the book.
Snow by Roy McKie and P.D. Eastman
This rhyming book is easy to read and shows two children playing in the snow in a variety of ways. A great book for early readers to try to read to you.
Tracks in the Snow by Wong Herbert Yee
A young child follows some tracks in the snow, looking for clues as to who left them. Ruling out several animals along the way due to a variety of reasons, we discover at the end that the child has been following their own tracks from the previous day. A cute story that had my girls giving guesses as to whose tracks they may have been following.
Big Snow by Jonathan Bean
A small child helps his mother with household chores while waiting for the snow to arrive, but each chore reminds the child of the snow and he runs to check the weather. A cute story that shows the anticipation of waiting for a big snow storm to play in.
Let It Snow by Maryann Cocca Leffler
This book, filled with short descriptive words of different aspects of winter, provides a look at the way the winter season varies. From playing in the snow, to hail, sleet, and icy wind, to shoveling and cold weather we journey from it beginning to snow until the snow begins to melt and spring arrives.
Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner
A favorite of children everywhere, this story hypothesis what snowmen do at night, especially when they appear worse of the next day. My children enjoyed the story and the rhyming text made it a fun story to read aloud.
In the Snow: Who’s Been Here? by Lindsay Barrett George
This book follows two small children as they explore in the woods. The examine different types of clues (tracks, left behind food, nests, tree markings, etc.) to determine what animal was there before them. A nice book to read before going out to explore on your own!
The Snow Rabbit by Camille Garoche
In this true picture book (no words, only illustrations) we follow along on the story of two girls. One of the girls is in a wheel chair, so the other girl makes her a small rabbit out of snow. When she brings it inside to her it begins to melt, so the girls venture outside. The rabbit appears to come to life and the girls go on an adventure following it until the one girls’ wheelchair becomes stuck. My daughters enjoyed telling me about each page and making up the story to go along with the images.
Mouse’s First Snow by Lauren Thompson
Mouse and Poppa discover many different ways to enjoy the snowy day. From sledding, to skating, to building with the snow they enjoy spending time together. This book was very simple, but I thought that the descriptive words added to each activity were great for adding to the story (ie. “twirly, whirly” for ice skating, “swish, wish” for snow angels).
First Snow by Bomi Park
The illustrations in this book are simple, in black and white with accent color and the story text itself is rather simple as well. The book tells the story of a little girl that sneaks out of bed when awoken by the first snow hitting her window. She dresses and goes out into the snow, rolling a snowball that grows as she rolls it through the forest to a rather magical clearing where other children have also gathered to build snowmen. While the idea of a child that young leaving the house on their own and wondering off is frightening, I did enjoy the illustrations and overall magical feeling of a first snow that is captured in this book.
The Night Before the Snow Day by Natasha Wing
Written in the same style as “Twas the Night Before Christmas”, this book tells the story of a young girl whose wish for a snow day comes true and all the fun she has in the snow. My girls enjoyed this story with it’s rhyming text and colorful illustrations.
Snow Sisters by Kerri Kokias and illustrations by Teagan White
This book follows two sisters as they enjoy their snowy day in very different ways. The text in this book is written as a reverso poem, as the text reverses we see the sisters switch locations and learn the different ways the enjoy the same spaces/activities coming back together at the end of the story. My girls loves that there were two sisters in this book and really loved examining the illustrations and comparing the sisters activities.
Blizzard by John Rocco
Based on a true story from the author’s childhood from the blizzard of 1978 in Rhode Island, this book held the attention of both of my girls. The book covers the seven days that the family was snowed in at their house waiting for the snow plows to make their way through. The boy even ventures out to the neighborhood store and the book includes two fold out pages with a map of the route taken, my girls enjoyed following his footsteps in the snow on those pages. This was a good story and I enjoyed that it was based on true events.