It’s winter and I have collected some great books to celebrate this season that will inform and educate. The following books are mostly picture books and good for ages four through eight unless otherwise indicated.

I’m Going to Build a Snowman, by Jashar Awan, showcases the excitement when a young boy wakes up to newly fallen snow. He cannot wait to put on his winter clothes and go outside to build a snowman. As he works on building it, he finds his snowman is slushy with bits of earth mixed in with snow but it doesn’t deter his happiness as he continues to build. The bright colors and illustrations were made with charcoal pencil and colored digitally.

Don’t Worry, Wuddles, by Lita Judge, shows how a kind duck is worried about how barnyard animals can deal with the impending snow and cold. By utilizing the wool from her sheep friend, Wuddles, she is able to wrap wool around her friends’ appendages which includes a hat for Rabbit’s ears and leg warmers for Goat. The story’s end demonstrates how all the animals work together to solve the problem. The delightful animals are drawn with much expression and personality by using watercolor and colored pencil.

Penguin Huddle, by Ross Montgomery and digitally illustrated with the most adorable penguins by Sarah Warburton, takes this penguin group on quite an adventure. After experiencing an especially cold storm, the penguins huddle to stay warm. Their travels and adventures are richly drawn with detail and have much for kids to see and explore. They find resolution with who else- but an octopus named Dococtopus. Be sure to check out the end-pages.

Nothing Ever Happens on a Gray Day, by Grant Snider, ponders the question as a young girl rides her bike past empty playgrounds in a quiet town. All seems gray and silent with the exception of barking dogs. But it all changes when she begins to take notice of bits of color and the uniqueness of nature that surrounds her. Snider has captured the essence of winter that we all can enjoy even when all seems gray and boring. His contextual imagery through words and scenes creates a beauty in a cold gray world.

Slowly Slowly, by Toni Yuly, is a simplistic ode to slowing down and enjoying all the beauty that surrounds you. A young boy in a bright red hooded coat, along with his puppy, travels through the seasons beginning with winter. Each open page scene includes a persimmon tree as you see small changes as winter progresses to spring. The text is simple, as well as the scenes, but there’s a strong message of the passage of time. The beautiful illustrations were rendered with chalk pastel on velour paper, cut paper and digital collage. This book is suited for ages three through seven.

The Magical Snowflake, by Bernette Ford and gorgeously illustrated by Erin K. Robinson, immediately gives a feeling of swirling snow. The artwork throughout captures the essence of the magic of first snow and the excitement for children as they experience stepping through snow as it becomes thick and deep. As the entire town becomes embroiled in the snow as it falls, dancing and singing become part of the celebration.

Do You Know? Polar Animals and Other Cold-Climate Creatures, by Pascale Hedelin and brightly illustrated by Didier Balicevic, Maelle Chaval, Yating Hung and Yi-Hsuan Wu, is part of an excellent non-fiction series that all have the title: Do You Know? In this well-informed book, you learn how many different types of animals survive extreme weather, where they live, about hibernation and much more.

The King Penguin, by Vanessa Roeder, is clever in every way! The text is brilliant with alliterations throughout. The storyline is hilarious with Percival Penguin, the protagonist, making the story perfect to read out loud. And the penguins and interactions between them are so fun that this book will be begged to read again and again.  The bright illustrations were created with acrylic paint, colored pencils, and a little bit of digital magic. Check out the end-pages, too!

Where Can We Go? A Tale of Four Bears, by Dai Yun and beautifully painted with full open-page illustrations by Igor Oleynikov, tells the tale of two adult polar bears and their children as they search for seals for food. But seals are becoming scarce, so they pack up their belongings and search for a new home. They come upon a town and move into an apartment building. This new home doesn’t have fresh fish or seals so they must move on. There is much that can be discussed with children with the theme of moving, making this an important book.

Brave Little Bear, by Steve Small, has a little bear waking up in winter with his mother and sister. The mother is about to have them leave their den, but the little bear doesn’t want to leave; doesn’t want to change his life there in the nice warm den. He feels afraid of change and feels his sister is much braver.  However, events prove that this little bear is about to learn something very important that is in us all.

At the Poles, by David Elliott and brilliantly illustrated using printmaking ink, gouache, crayon, and digital and traditional collage techniques by Ellen Rooney, is a masterpiece! This wondrous book begins with animals that live in Antarctica and the Arctic. Each open-page spread features one type of animal with color on every part of the page. The description of each animal type is written in a poetic reverence with some poems following the shape of the animals. This book, with words and pictures, encompasses the persona of art! The end-pages contain facts about each pole.