Snow & Ice: Favorite Children's Picture Books about the Winter

In the winter, playing in the snow may be fun, but reading about winter and snow can be just as fun!

We love books that are adventures, as well as books for learning about nature and science, so I’ve put together a list with some of our favorite picture books about snow, ice, and wintertime. The first few books are fictional, but many of these books are informational fiction, and I’ve included some fun nonfiction picture books as well.

If you are looking for something to read this winter, I recommend checking out some of these picture books!

(This list includes affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small fee from qualifying purchases. There is no additional cost to purchasers to use these links. If you prefer to avoid Amazon, you can also find most of these books here on Bookshop. )

three picture books about snow

Picture Books for Winter: 

  • The Snowy Day,by Ezra Jack Keats – the classic story of a child exploring in the snow.
  • A polar bear in the snow, by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Shawn Harris – a wonderful book about a polar bear and his icy arctic world. The illustrations are fabulous with minimalist white-on-white imagery.
  • The Snowy Nap, by Jan Brett - Hedgie is supposed to go into hibernation for the winter . . . but he doesn’t want to miss out on all the icy fun! This is a lovely story of changing seasons and winter wonders, and it’s just one of the fantastic winter-time stories Jan Brett has created. Others include folktale adaptations like The Mitten (from a Ukrainian folktale), The Three Snow Bears (a polar bear adaptation of Goldilocks and the Three Bears), as well as The Wild Christmas Reindeer (a story about getting Santa’s reindeer ready for Christmas).
  • Ten Ways to Hear Snow, by Cathy Camper, illustrated by Kenard Pak – when a young girl walks through the snow to visit her grandmother, she discovers all the sounds that snow can make.
  • Time to Sleep, by Denise Fleming – when Bear smells winter coming, she heads off to get ready . . . but not before telling Snail, as a bevy of animals stop and noticed the changing season.
  • Owl Moon, by Jane Yolen, illustrated by John Schoenherr – the story of a family on a nighttime hike, exploring the snowy woods as they watch for great horned owls.
  • Nanuk the Ice Bear, by Jeanette Winter – a sweet, simple story about a polar bear hunting, courting, and raising her cubs in a world that is slowly changing.
  • Over and Under the Snow, by Kate Messner, illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal – a beautiful story about exploring outdoors as a girl and her father ski through the snowy woods.
  • The Snow Knows, by Jennifer McGrath, illustrated by Josée Bisaillon – a fantastic, gorgeous celebration of sound, color, and animals hiding, playing, and exploring in the woods during the winter.
three picture books about animals in the winter

  • Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter, by Kenard Pak – part of Kenard Pak’s magnificent series about the seasons, the book explores the tell-tale signs of fall turning into winter. It’s followed by Pak’s Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring, showing the end of winter and the returning warmth and sunshine of springtime.
  • Winter's Coming, by Jan Thornhill, illustrated by Josée Bisaillon – a young snowshoe hare doesn’t know what to expect when she hears that winter is coming. All the other animals can tell her what they during the winter, but she doesn’t know what she’s supposed to do.
  • Under the Snow, by Melissa Stewart, illustrated by Constance Bergum – this nonfiction picture book shows the different ways that animals survive the winter, as they sleep soundly under a blanket of snow.
  • Bugs and Bugsicles: Insects in the Winter, by Amy S. Hansen, illustrated by Robert C. Cray – another fun book looking at the different ways that insects survive the winter. This one is a bit longer and has more information about the insects and their habits.
  • Sizing up Winter, by Lizann Flatt, illustrated by Ashley Barron – part of the math in nature series, this book explores sizes, units of measurements, and other math concepts shown through a fun winter wonderland adventure.
  • Snowflake Bentley, by Jacqueline Briggs Martin, illustrated by Mary Azarian – the story of the scientist who learned how to photograph and study snowflakes.

An image of an adult nonfiction book.

While I usually focus on children's books—if you or another adult you know wants to learn more about how animals survive the winter, I highly recommend Winter World: The Ingenuity of Animal Survival, by Bernd Heinrich. Winter World focuses mainly on New England ecosystems, and it's a fascinating story about animal adaptation and survival. It was one of my favorite nature/science reads from the past year.

Happy reading!