snow and ice and all things nice!…five wintry tales for cozy storytimes

It’s the post-holiday, full-on-winter time of year.
Make the most of it with plenty of cozy story hours and some books saluting all things brrrr-azenly cold!

Small Walt Spots Dot, written by Elizabeth Verdick, illustrated by Marc Rosenthal
published in 2020 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

This is, I believe, the third of Small Walt’s adventures, and it’s just as jolly, warmhearted, and wonderfully-retro as the others.

A snowstorm is piling up drifts all over town and Small Walt is at the ready, helpfully plowing out everybody along with his driver, Gus. Then, Walt spots a stray pup, a pup too skittish for anyone to catch as it skids and dodges its pursuers on the slippery streets.

Walt has a better idea of how to lay hold of a nervous dog and sure enough, before long one sweet pup is curled up on Walt’s comfy seat.  An endearing, wintry story. Kids will have great fun catching subtle glimpses of that pup on all the pages. Ages 3 and up.

When Winter Comes: Discovering Wildlife in Our Snowy Woods
written by Aimée M. Bissonette, illustrated by Erin Hourigan
published in 2020 by little bigfoot

The woods in winter may look empty at first glance, but this little crew knows otherwise.

As the family enjoys winter recreation — snowshoeing, ice fishing, sledding, skiing — they’re aware that all around them creatures are indeed present — snoozing under logs and in underground tunnels, swimming under lake ice, dodging predators, leaving tell-tale tracks in the snow.

Charming, tremendously-inviting illustration work welcomes us along on these winter adventures while the brief, lyrical text romances us with the beauty of the northwoods in winter. It’s a small gem for ages 3 and up.

A Polar Bear in the Snow, written by Mac Barnett, art by Shawn Harris
published in 2020 by Candlewick

Tromp along with a polar bear through the arctic and wonder aloud — where is he going?

That’s the idea behind this open-ended account which simply invites us to imagine the answer to the question while the magic of the artwork mesmerizes us with a cold, white, world. Against a background of expansive snow white, the polar bear emerges — so tantalizing! — and plods among others furred in white — arctic seals and foxes.

  He dives into crystal, icy waters. He lumbers back onto the frozen land.

In this landscape of minimal color, Shawn Harris’ brilliant 3D cut-paper artwork holds us spellbound. Enjoy this striking piece of picture book craftsmanship with ages 3 and up.

A Stranger Comes to Town, written and illustrated by Maria Kristjansdottir
published in 2020 by Starfish Bay Children’s Books

Icelandic author/artist Kristjansdottir introduces us to another polar bear in her tale which is set among the vast wintry landscapes, ever-dark winter skies, and charming wooden houses of her homeland.

Henry is all ready for a grand day of sledding when from the tiptop of the hill he spots …something…on the windswept beach. Is it a sheep? No, far too big for that. Turns out, it’s a polar bear, a bear who’s lost his way and needs help getting home.

Henry takes prodigious care of the bear and finally enlists Grandpa to help lug him to the harbor and see him to his proper home at the North Pole.

A charming tale full of friendliness with a lovely Northern European vibe to the illustrations, this’ll put a smile on the faces of little listeners ages 3 and up.

Old Winter, written by Judith Benét Richardson, illustrated by R.W. Alley
published in 1996 by Orchard Books

Finally, I’m digging back a few decades to unearth this happy story about Old Winter and his stubborn resolve to simply stay put one year and not make way for Spring.

Old Winter is minding his very own business at the P & J Supermarket one day when he overhears the most dreadfully insulting comments about himself.  Seems that folks around town are full of the grumbles about the snow and ice he brings.  Old Winter takes umbrage at this and shutters himself in the frozen meat locker at the store. As long as he refuses to budge, winter hangs on in town.  Things begin to get quite desperate!

Thank goodness Spring finally shows up and gives Old Winter such encouraging news that he strides out of town with a smile on his face once again.

  Rambunctious illustrations combined with some good old-fashioned storyspinning make this an out-of-print book worth looking for.  Ages 3 and up.


Find gobs more books celebrating all things winter on my list here.