Tag Archives: winter

Children’s Books That Inspire Winter Fun

by Katrina Morse for Family Reading Partnership

Long winter nights and chilly days with the children home on vacation from school are perfect times to snuggle in, stay warm, and read favorite books with your family. Read about the winter season–then go outside and enjoy the frosty wonderland! If your children need some encouragement to bundle up and go out in the cold and snow, reading books about the magic of snowflakes, making tracks in the snow, and how much fun it is to go sledding will kick-start their winter adventures. Try some of these titles:

“The Story of Snow: the Science of Winter’s Wonder” by Mark Cassino and Jon Nelson. What is at the center if each snowflake that is formed? Why do snowflakes have 6 sides? How many types of snowflake crystals are there? Give your children magnifying glasses and they’ll be able to see how each snowflake is unique, just as described in this fascinating book. Photographs are mixed with illustrations to depict the science of snow.

“All About Animals in Winter” by Martha E. H. Rustad. Have you ever seen a butterfly in the snow? Find out why some animals migrate, some hibernate, and some change the color of their fur to be camouflaged in the snowy landscape.

“Over and Under the Snow” by Kate Messner, illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal. Even though the winter landscape is very quiet, there is a lot going on top of the snow and especially underground. Animals have all kinds of homes they build for the winter and ways of keeping safe, warm, and well-fed.

“Tracks in the Snow” by Wong Herbert Yee. This rhyming book is a mystery story for the very young listener. A little girl makes tracks in the snow and then finds more tracks to follow. Who else is making tracks in the snow with her?

“The Thing about Yetis” by Vin Vogel. Any large, white, furry Yeti, also known as an Abominable Snowman, loves winter. You’ll learn about all the ways this cute little Yeti enjoys the winter season, snow, and cold. But don’t be surprised that like many children, he also misses the warm days of summer!

“The Snow Bear” by Sean Taylor, illustrated by Claire Alexander. This is a story of two children, a Snow Bear, and a sled. How do their imaginations help them when they get lost and have to find their way back home? A story of suspense and of friendship.

Celebrate your family’s winter holiday and the winter season with books you give as gifts or that you find at your neighborhood library. Make giving, getting, and reading children’s books a family tradition. You’ll be making memories for your family that will last a lifetime!

 

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Celebrate Creativity Month!

by guest writer Suzie Brache, Family Reading Partnership Program Coordinator

January is International Creativity Month. How inspiring for families! Even though the weather has grown colder and snowier, and sunlight is just a bit dimmer, what a great time of year to start something fresh and new.

How can you celebrate this unique time of year? The beauty of creativity is that there are no rules. The possibilities are endless. You can start a new project or craft, or try your hand at sewing. Create art of all forms, including painting, drawing, and sculpture. And don’t forget writing. Have you written any poetry lately? How about a song or story? Launch a brand-new invention. Make a kite to fly in the spring. Plan your garden. Build castles in the snow.

Creativity is heightened when you create as a family. Your family can become inspired by visiting museums, signing up for a class, or simply appreciating others’ creativity. It’s never too early to play games or make up new songs to sing together with babies and small children. Being creative increases vocabulary. Write a family book together with older children. Cook together. There are numerous ideas in books and online to help guide you.

Another way your family can celebrate creativity is by reading together. Any books your family likes will do. To spark imagination, consider Peter Reynolds’ “Creatrilogy,” including “The Dot,” “Ish,” and “Sky Color.” These wonderful books invite children’s self-expression, and remind everyone there are no rules. The sky is the limit when it comes to inspiration.

TheDot

Also, be sure to check out Barney Saltzberg’s “Beautiful OOPS!” which tells children it’s okay to make a mistake, and that every “mistake” is actually a fantastic opportunity to make something new and amazing. And isn’t this is a message both children and adults need to hear?

It is vital to nurture creativity in ourselves and our children. Starting when children are very young, encourage their new ideas and creations (even if it gets messy sometimes!) Tell them creativity is a gift in all of us.

Take your newfound creations even further and extend International Creativity Month throughout the whole year. Use January as a leaping-off point to continue creative endeavors for months to come. Create things together as a family! Read together! Share your creations!

So, what are YOU going to create?

 

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Winter Words… Brrr!

SnowmanReading11CLRWith snow in the forecast and much more cold weather ahead, it’s time to read about the season with your children and appreciate winter while it’s here. Sure it’s chilly, but that’s the fun! There are plenty of ways to play with snow and traditions you can start now so your family will look forward to this time of year.

Winter books to read with your young child:

“The First Day of Winter” by Denise Fleming. What does it take to build a snow person? A song and friends! Written to the tune of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” this tale describes the ten days leading up to creating the perfect snow creature (will it be a snow man or snow woman?). Collecting trimmings such as a cap, mittens, and pockets builds the anticipation. Fleming illustrates her books with handmade paper images that are warm and colorful and uses playful words combinations.

snowballs “Snowballs” by Lois Ehlert. Each image in the book is a collage with added found objects such as buttons, fabric, and seeds. Children can recreate Ehlert’s illustrations outside with real snow and household items. Pack some snowballs; roll them in more snow to make them big, then add clothes, kitchen gadgets, sewing materials, and whatever else is handy to make a whole family out of snow. Make an indoor snow family by using white paper circles and small items you have at home, glued or placed on the paper snowballs.

“It’s Winter” by Linda Glaser, illustrated by Susan Swan. Even though this is written as a story, this book is full of facts about cold weather, snowflakes, and the change of seasons. Illustrations are beautiful cut-paper artwork and there are suggestions for activities in the back of the book. This book is the third book in a series of four titles on the various seasons, appropriate for early elementary ages.

“Snow” by Roy McKie and P.D. Eastman. Two kids play in the snow and tell us about the fun they have skiing, making snow angels, building an igloo, making a snowman, and finally relaxing with mugs of hot cocoa. The rhyming text in this book is designed for beginning readers.

“Animals in Winter” by Henrietta Bancroft. Illustrated by Helen K. Davie. Where do monarch butterflies go in winter? What does a woodchuck do when the grass is covered in snow? What do mice and deer find to eat when it is cold out? Each illustration in this short book has a few lines of simple text about the winter habits of a variety of animals.

“Snow” by Uri Shulevitz. You know the kind of day when the snow falls lightly, but steadily? The fluffy snowflakes drop down lazily and no one thinks it is anything to worry about. In this story, a boy and his dog know that a few snowflakes can add up to a city being transformed into a winter wonderland, despite what all the grown-ups think. The simple, poetic text paired with watercolor and pen-and-ink illustrations mimic the mood of this slowly building snowfall.

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Give the Gift of Reading!

9781406337402

Looking for a gift that doesn’t cost too much, will last a lifetime, and that your child will cherish? Give a book! In the pages of books are laughter, excitement, togetherness, and memories. What a gift!

At this time of year you’ll find seasonal themes mixed in with other good children’s books. Avoid books that rely on “special effects” like textures and moving parts for excitement and have a weak story line. Instead pick a book with a story that touches your child’s heart and sparks his or her imagination. For children 2 and under, choose a board book with sturdy cardboard pages that can withstand teething and dropping. For infants choose books with bold images and very few words.

It’s best to read a book through before you purchase it. Imagine reading out loud to your child and choose a book that you know will keep his or her attention. Here are some wintery books that may be just right for the young person in your life.

“Charley’s First Night” by Amy Hest, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury. A boy named Henry, who is about 4 years old, gets a new puppy. What Henry finds out is that his little furry friend Charley, needs just the same kind of love and reassurance that a young boy needs. Charley needs a warm place to sleep with a stuffed animal to snuggle. He needs to be held when he is lonely or afraid. Set in a city in the snowy wintertime.

“Cold Snap” by Eileen Spinelli, illustrated by Marjorie Priceman. What if it stays cold day after day after day? Then you have a cold snap! The remedy is hot lemon tea, long underwear, and even a big neighborhood bonfire. There is a lot of activity in each of the illustrations and descriptions of icicles, snowballs, and making sugar on snow (recipe included). Choose this book for a child who has a longer attention span and likes to look closely at the pictures. This book does have a glittery cover, but has a story full of substance.

“The Reader” by Amy Hest, illustrated by Lauren Castillo. This is a peaceful book about a boy and his dog, outside in the quietly snowing landscape, walking and walking until they reach the top of a hill. What does this boy, “the reader,” do on top of the hill? Read of course! His dog proves to be a wonderful listener.

“Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” by Jane Cabrera. Parent animals and their young each see a twinkling star up above. All around the world, in different habitats, animals witness the same beautiful night sky and parent and child celebrate the love they have for one another. The few words on each page are just right for very young children.

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