where it’s snowing all winter through, that’s where I want to be

The beauty of a fresh snowfall is hard to beat in my northern-Minnesota-girl opinion.

Today I have five dazzling books celebrating snow. Each one is splendid!

before-morning-cover-imageBefore Morning, written by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Beth Krommes
published in 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Minnesota-poet Joyce Sidman has won high honors for her work for children, including the handsome volume, Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night.

Here she employs just one poem to tell a frosty story full of hope and happiness. It unveils the deep wishes of one little girl whose mom, an airline pilot, has to literally jet off to work. Again. Sad, unimpressed by explanations of responsibilities, this child breathes a prayer to the universe.

Please, can it snow?

Can “the earth turn to sugar” and “pathways be hidden” so that those planes — and her mom —  can’t budge? And while she sleeps, that is exactly what happens.


Sidman’s gentle, exquisite words are paired with Krommes’ stunning scratchboard illustrations which actually tell most of the story for us. The quaint New England neighborhood and filtering snowflakes that gradually fill up the town, sculpture new softened scenes, blanket the world in snowy eiderdown — are just so gorgeous.


Despite this being such a snowy book, it’s also as cozy as the whipped-cream-topped cocoa this snug family shares in the end.

An utter gem to share with ages 2 through adult.

into-the-snow-cover-imageInto the Snow, written by Yuki Kaneko, illustrated by Masamitsu Saito
published in 2016 by Enchanted Lion Books

Snow brings exuberance and electrifying color to this joyful story. Anyone who has seen the brilliant colors of children’s snow-clothes polka-dotting snowy landscapes will understand that.

This little guy is eager to rush out and play in the new snow. Bundle up! Pull on that hat and gloves! Grab a sled! Let’s go!


There are gossamer wonders to notice, glittering icicles to spy, but all that quiet wonder is gone in a mighty whoosh once the sledding begins. Yippeeeeeeeeeeee!

Masamitsu Saito has captured the blur, the frozen spray of snow pelting a sledder’s merry face, the thrill of careening, down the hillside, catapulting into the plump of a snowdrift, like I have never seen before. There is so much motion, icy nip, and joy in these pages!


Cocoa warms up the ending in this story with a fiery glow of sweetness and love.  I adore this, for ages 2 and up.

best-in-snow-cover-imageBest in Snow, written and photographed by April Pulley Sayre
published in 2016 by Beach Lane Books

April Pulley Sayre follows up her visual exploration of rain (Raindrops Roll), with this gorgeous photo-survey of snow.

And I love that she does not muddy the waters here with over-many words. A brief, elegant poem meanders through the book, calling our attention to the frost, ethereal flakes, and glittering ice in this woodland world. The addition of the darling way these whirling snowflakes decorate the tip of one squirrel’s nose adds a cute, child-friendly touch.


Stunning photographs draw us into the glory of a wintry wonderland. No condescension here. Close-up looks of frosty tracings. An ice-coated spread of branches gleaming in the sunlight. A flurry of snow, fuzzing the forest. Beautiful.


Short explanations about why snow drifts, how crystals feather, where snow forms, and more follow. It’s a marvelous piece of nonfiction to share with children ages 2 and up.

first-snow-cover-imageFirst Snow, written and illustrated by Bomi Park
originally published in South Korea, 2012; first U.S. edition 2016 by Chronicle Books

This debut work of Korean artist Bomi Park is packed with gentle charm, augmented with playful imagination.

One rosy-cheeked girl wakes in the night, hears a “pit, pit, pit” of snowflakes against her windowpane and quick-as-a-bunny, bundles up and heads out to the backyard to play.

Alone, yes, but for some pudgy puppies. In the middle of the night. We’re in fantasy territory here, which becomes clearer as she rolls a growing snowball right down the steps, through the town, across a meadow, and into a magical, snow-laden forest.


Polar bears and dozens of snow children await to help her create a fantastical world of snowmen.

Park’s illustrations are tender, almost ethereal in the deepest section of the fantasy, completely in gray scale but for the flashes of cherry red hats, scarves and mittens. A wonder-filled, captivating tale for ages 2 and up.

walking-in-a-winter-wonderland-cover-imageWalking in a Winter Wonderland, based on the song by Felix Bernard and Richard B. Smith, illustrated by Tim Hopgood
published in 2016 by Henry Holt and Company

Sleigh bells ring
are you listening?
In the lane,
snow is glistening.

One of the quintessential songs of the holiday season has now been illustrated in the ebullient style of Tim Hopgood.

Colors that zing.


Snowflakes that sparkle.

Icy cold and fireside warmth. Snowy owls and horse-pulled sleighs. Frosted forests and the brilliant blue skies of a cold winter’s day. 


It’s all here, just waiting for you to sing along. There’s so much good cheer wrapped up inside these pages, it’s guaranteed to put a smile in your heart.