January Picture Books to Read Aloud with Your Kids

Children’s books were such a part of our daily rhythm as our kids were growing up. There is something wonderful about how books that are meant for kids offer all of us something worthwhile to learn. It takes a special author and illustrator to brings those ideas to life on every page. Below is a list of some of our favourites that go along with the month of January and a winter theme.

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The Snowman by Raymond Briggs

One winter’s night, a snowman comes to life and an unforgettable adventure begins.

Raymond Briggs’ classic is a true piece of winter magic – narrated entirely through pictures, it captures the wonder and innocence of childhood and is recognised throughout the world.

Brave Irene by William Steig

Brave Irene is Irene Bobbin, the dressmaker’s daughter. Her mother, Mrs. Bobbin, isn’t feeling so well and can’t possibly deliver the beautiful ball gown she’s made for the duchess to wear that very evening. So plucky Irene volunteers to get the gown to the palace on time, in spite of the fierce snowstorm that’s brewing– quite an errand for a little girl.

But where there’s a will, there’s a way, as Irene proves in the danger-fraught adventure that follows. She must defy the wiles of the wicked wind, her most formidable opponent, and overcome many obstacles before she completes her mission. Surely, this winning heroine will inspire every child to cheer her on.

William Steig’s Brave Irene is a 1986 New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of the Year.

Sugar Snow by Laura Ingalls Wilder

A cold snap late in winter allows a pioneer girl and her family to enjoy the rich sugar candy made from maple tree sap.

Owl Moon by Jane Yolen

Late one winter night a little girl and her father go owling. The trees stand still as statues and the world is silent as a dream. Whoo-whoo-whoo, the father calls to the mysterious nighttime bird.

But there is no answer.

Wordlessly the two companions walk along, for when you go owling you don’t need words. You don’t need anything but hope. Sometimes there isn’t an owl, but sometimes there is.

Distinguished author Jane Yolen has created a gentle, poetic story that lovingly depicts the special companionship of a young child and her father as well as humankind’s close relatiohship to the natural world. Wonderfully complemented by John Schoenherr’s soft, exquisite watercolor illustrations, this is a verbal and visual treasure, perfect for reading alound and sharing at bedtime.

Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin

In this Caldecott Medal-winning picture book, the true story of Wilson Bentley and his singular fascination with snowflakes is rendered in rich prose and gorgeous artwork, perfect for the holidays, snow days, and everyday.

Wilson Bentley was always fascinated by snow. In childhood and adulthood, he saw each tiny crystal of a snowflake as a little miracle, and wanted to understand them.

His parents supported his curiosity and saved until they could give him his own camera and microscope. At the time, his enthusiasm was misunderstood. But with patience and determination, Wilson catalogued hundreds of snowflake photographs, gave slideshows of his findings and, when he was 66, published a book of his photos. His work became the basis for all we know about beautiful, unique snowflakes today.

This biographical tribute to a very special farmer is the perfect holiday gift or snow day read.

Brambley Hedge:Winter Story by Jill Barklem

It was the middle of winter and very, very cold. The mice of Brambly Hedge forecasted snow.

And they were right. In the morning they awoke to find their doors and windows hidden behind deep drifts. There hadn’t been snow like this for years. “There’s enough for a Snow Ball!” cried the mice with glee, and set to work in the time-honoured way to make an Ice Hall for the festivities. The little mice watched wide-eyed as all the preparations were made.

Then at last everything was ready, and the Ball could begin…

Also look out for: Spring Story, Summer Story and Autumn Story!

Alfie’s Long Winter by Greg McEvoy

A breeze blew. Alfie closed his eyes, and – held on tight. “AL-FIE, AL-FIE, AL-FIE…” All the leaves on the ground shouted together. But Alfie could not jump. And so, Alfie’s long winter began.

Sadie and the Snowman by A. Morgan

As spring gets closer and closer, Sadie realizes that the snowmen she makes won’t last much longer.

Norman’s Snowball by Hazel Hutchins

About the Annikin Series:

Annikins are mini books made especially for children — small enough to fit into tiny hands and pockets. Each book measures 3 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ and contains full color pages. 

Simon and the Snowflakes by Giles Tibo

Simon is a curious little boy. He wants to know how many snowflakes fall in a snowstorm, but they come down too fast to count. When he learns that there are as many snowflakes as stars in the sky, he tries to count them, but they race across the night sky. Simon decides to visit his friends in the forest, and finds something much better to count there.

The Big Snow by Berta and Elmer Hader

The woodland animals were all getting ready for the winter. Geese flew south, rabbits and deer grew thick warm coats, and the raccoons and chipmunks lay down for a long winter nap. Come Christmastime, the wise owls were the first to see the rainbow around the moon. It was a sure sign that the big snow was on its way.

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