by Katrina Morse
It’s time to get cozy. Put a little hygge in your family’s winter! The Danish word hygge, pronounced “hue-gah,” describes the safe and cozy feeling of togetherness, the kind of feeling you get when snuggled with a child sharing a heart-warming story.
So pick some favorite books to read together and find a comfy spot, maybe with some pillows and a blanket. You’re ready to create a hygge atmosphere that will comfort everyone in the family. Try some of these books about finding warmth through family, friends, and a little imagination.
“The Thing About Yetis,” by Vin Vogel. Yeti loves almost everything about winter. He likes snow, sledding, skating, hot chocolate, and making snow Yetis. But even Yeti can get tired of the cold and long for summer days. His solution is to dream about warm weather fun!
“When the Snow Falls,” by Linda Booth Sweeney, illustrated by Jana Christy. Delightful illustrations accompany the rhyming text. “When the snow falls… Saucers spin. Sleds slide. Hats fly. We ride!” From backyard to sledding hill, woods to barnyard, into town and back home again, two children and their two grandparents spend a full day enjoying the cold and beautiful snow and then return inside to get warm and cozy.
“Lost and Found” by Oliver Jeffers. When a penguin shows up on a boy’s doorstep, he isn’t quite sure what to do. Is the penguin lost? Should he help the penguin find its way home? They plan an epic adventure together to the South Pole and discover more than they expected about the warmth of friendship.
“In My Anaana’s Amoutik” by Nadia Sammurtok, illustrated by Lenny Lishchenko. An Inuit toddler describes how safe and snug he feels in his Anaana’s (mother’s) Amoutik (pouch) in the back of her furry coat. He feels warmth like the sun’s rays, softness like puffy clouds, safety like a sturdy igloo, and peace like the sound of ocean waves.
“Bear Can’t Sleep” by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman. Bear is snuggly wrapped up in a quilt in his den, while snow blows and swirls outside. He is supposed to be hibernating, but poor Bear can’t get to sleep! All the woodland animals try their own ways to help Bear nod off for winter.
“Snow Sounds: an Onomatopoeic Story” by David Johnson. Great for the littles in your life, all the words in this book are sounds – of the snow swishing, snowplows scraping, cats meowing, and the school bus coming. Beginning on an early winter morning, the outside world is blue and indigo and the inside of a house aglow with warm orange hues. Make the sounds with your child or create a story together as you look at the pictures.