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Preschool Winter Reading List

Updated: Mar 8, 2021

Whether you cuddle up on a winter's night, or read at the breakfast table prior to a day out in the snow, we hope you enjoy this collection of our winter favourites! Please comment and also let us know your favourite winter reads!

Winter Reading List:

At the end of this book I felt shivers as if I had been outside under the owl moon myself. This book is written by someone who has been out on that cold night, filled with anticipation, feeling the cold but not caring, and coming back brimming over from an incredible and exhilarating experience.

The author, who writes of the experience of her daughter “owling” with her father, paints such a real picture, that you feel in the shoes, thoughts, and feelings of the young girl out on a cold, clear, dark night with her Pa.

A wonderful book to read and to experience as a listener. We read it after coming in from a cold and snowy afternoon - the perfect set up! Maybe it was the snacks, but I think it was the story and beautiful illustrations, that held both my toddler and preschooler spellbound. We now have owl sounds resonating through the house on a regular basis! A definite on both our "winter" and “classic” reading lists and one that will join us on many a snowy afternoon / winter evening for years to come!

Note: Click on book pictures for links to purchase

Definitely includes elements of fantasy making it not necessarily Montessori aligned for toddler/preschool age, however it is charming, fun, and beautifully worded and illustrated. The writing is a pleasure to read aloud and additional elements such as hidden shapes make it fun beyond a great story.

We loved reading Snowmen at Night after spending a day outside building our first snowman of the year. It also tied in very nicely for motivating our skating, sledding, and outdoor adventures during a particularly cold few weeks this winter! Of course, every winter activity is also not complete without some hot cocoa - this made for an interesting basic introductory science discussion on why snowmen need to drink theirs cold!

Jan Brett does a masterful job of weaving the story in Annie and the Wild Animals through both the written story and also through the multiple illustrations. The unique way that a back story is told through illustrations on the margins of each page was something I missed on our first few reads. Once discovered, it added layers and elements of human / animal interconnectedness that are both heartwarming and fun. A great pairing with learning about types forest animals as well as the difference in domestic pets and the wild. Also a great discussion point for why it is important to store food away and carefully when camping in the woods!

One of many in our collection of Margaret Wise Brown books and our second with Jeremy Pinkney's illustrations. The combination of both creating A Home in the Barn, make it not only a living example of life on the farm, but bring to life the seasonal changes that come with winter. Through words and the absolutely beautiful and lifelike illustrations, one can feel both the chill that winter brings in the air and on the ground, as well as the warmth the barn provides both to the heart and the body. An excellent book for detailing farm life and stimulating many discussions on animal, seasonal, and human behaviour.

We were very excited to come upon this book very shortly after spending a day in the winter woods feeding chickadees and a Downey Woodpecker from our hands! We had also recently spent a morning building a snowman and the combination and timing couldn't have been better. The animal sounds and the living photography make this book interesting to read and explore for all age groups. Our toddler and preschooler loved it. Definitely an excellent choice to preclude activities of bird feeding, snowman building, or combining the two!

A Canadian Classic! Just as much fun to read now as it was to hear when I sat cross-legged on the elementary school floor. Although, we were really lucky and had Robert Munsch himself read us the book during a school tour. Awesome. Somehow his voice still seemed to echo in my mind and naturally enhanced my "NNNNOOOOOO". I was a bit worried about the influence of Thomas on my easy-going pre-schooler, however I realized fairly quickly that my toddler not only identifies with Thomas, but LOVES this book. At 15 months old, this is her top pick for (both first and last) stories of the evening.

As a Caldecott Medal winner, this book is as beautifully illustrated as expected. We were lucky to find this book second-hand near the end of winter and just read it for the first time. It does have a lot of description, so a bit harder for littles to follow along in detail, but definitely captivating (ages 3 through adult!) and if you more stick to describing the pictures, it is great for younger toddlers as well.

Having just come through the winter, (and growing up in Canada experiencing yearly winters growing up), I appreciate this book as it sheds a lot of light on what specific animals do for the winter (who hibernates, who goes south, and who stays to forage). It gave us all a greater appreciation for walking in the woods during winter and added magic and mystery to who might be sleeping nearby! A fabulous read, especially prior to any kind of winter wood excursion!

Christmas Themed:

Magical! We were looking for a book that spoke to the magic of Christmas, but that gave a non-materialistic perspective. This book provides a visceral feeling of the magic of Christmas eve - soft snow gently falling, warm, rich hot steaming cocoa, the anticipation and excitement of children, and the magic of belief.

We chose and read this book the year our son was almost turning 3, the first year we had to contemplate how to frame the Holidays as he definitely could grasp the concept. This gave a great context for highlighting the magic of the season without placing gifts as central to the experience. A classic indeed and we now know why!

Stay tuned as we continue to add books from our collection and new, loved finds!

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