With our library still only offering curbside pick-up, it was just as challenging to find winter-themed books as it was when I put together a post sharing autumn-themed children's books. I had to use our library's online catalog to search by topic and by age-level to find some books that we could check out and read as we prepare for winter. While our library appointment was made a little early before the Christmas "season" began (our librarian even remarked on the fact that we checked out so many winter and Christmas books before Thanksgiving), putting together a list before the Christmas holidays was very easy and fun for me. So, what would you like to include in your Winter-themed morning basket or reading lists? How will you learn about the seasons?
Winter on the Farm
Part of the My First Little House Books series, Winter on the Farm, by Laura Ingalls Wilder and illustrated by Jody Wheeler and Renee Graef, is a beautiful book that takes a look at the winter season on a farm in the mid-1860s. Winter on the Farm contains text adapted from Farmer Boy which features Laura Ingalls Wilder's husband, Almanzo Wilder. He lives on a large farm in the New York countryside with his father, mother, big brother, Royal, and his big sisters, Eliza Jane and Alice. In this children's picture book, we see a typical day while Almanzo helps prepare clean beds for the farm animals and milks the cows. At the close of the book, the family eats a wonderful meal of sweet baked beans, salt pork, boiled potatoes, ham, and more!
Waiting for Winter
A simple children's book is often the most fun to read aloud – especially during arts and crafts time. I read Waiting for Winter by Sebastian Meschenmoser to our children while they were painting, and the giggles ensued. In the story, Squirrel decides he wants to stay out of his tree to wait for winter and see the first snowflake. He is eventually joined by Hedgehog and Bear, who also want to wait for the first snowflake, but none of them know what a snowflake looks like. This is where the giggling begins as the book shows us what they each think a snowflake is!
Sleep Tight Farm
The gentle but educational text by Eugene Doyle and illustrations by Becca Stadtlander make Sleep Tight Farm: A Farm Prepares for Winter a wonderful children's book to read about the approaching winter season. I found so many wonderful things to talk about with our children as I read through the book with them one day at lunch. As the farming family prepares their farm for the winter weather, we learn about covering crops to protect them from the cold, the varieties of food the farm was harvesting, and the preparation of the raspberry bushes. I think one of my favorite parts to share with them was about the bees and beehives since we had recently watched a video clip about beekeeping.
Snowflakes and Ice Skates: A Winter Counting Book
Part of the same series of books from which we read Footballs and Falling Leaves, this book introduces key images associated with winter and reinforces counting. How many mittens? How many sleds? It is an easy book for early readers to read aloud with you.
Why Do Geese Fly South in Winter? A Book About Migration
For children who are a bit beyond learning to count, you can read this book by Kathy Allen about migration with them. Key vocabulary words include habitats, hibernate, instinct, migrate, and sense. These words are defined in Why Do Geese Fly South in Winter in the glossary and throughout the book. Our son enjoyed reading about the different animals that migrate and applying that knowledge to the other books we read about winter.
Winter's Coming: A Story of Seasonal Change
One of our favorite books from the library was Winter's Coming by Jan Thornhill and illustrated by Josée Bisaillon. The story traces a young snowshoe hare, Lily, during her first year. She was born in the spring and has never met winter before this one. Just who or what is Winter, she wonders. Throughout the story, there are funny moments as she tries to figure out if she should get ready for winter like other animals are getting ready. In the end, she meets winter and leaps in the air just for fun.
Learning about the seasons can be so much fun when you incorporate books – both picture books and nonfiction – into your homeschool day. Even the smallest of libraries can provide access to a great number of books. These were only a few of the books that our library had available for checkout, so we will be sure to find more in the near future!