What books should you read to your kindergarten classroom or to your kindergartener at home in January? All the excitement of the holiday season is over and there are so many wonderful book options that just don’t quite fit in January if they are about Christmas. Don’t worry! There are still so many terrific book options to choose from. New books full of fun winter activities can be a great introduction to a new unit you’re working on in school. Winter stories are also great to help younger students discover what woodland animals are up to during the coldest months of the year.
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I’ve made a book list of over 50 options and separated them into a few categories to help make it easier for you to find the perfect winter book to read in kindergarten in January.
Jan Brett Books
Jan Brett is the queen of beautiful winter picture books for young readers. I’ve included a few of her books that are full of winter animals on this list that are perfect for January. She has other books that have a Christmas theme you won’t find on this list since the holiday is already behind us! But let’s take a look at some of her best books that are perfect for your kindergarten class or at home with your child in January.
By Jan Brett
Nicki loses his white mitten in the snow! The creatures of the forest find it and crawl in. Each animal is bigger than the last. What will happen? Can the mitten fit them all? As you read this book with kindergarteners, you can talk about how each of these animals survive in winter time. Do they hibernate? Or store food?
By Jan Brett
Lisa’s stocking goes flying off the clothesline and a hedgehog pokes his nose in! He tries to shake off the stocking but it’s stuck on his prickles – and so begins the fun…
By Jan Brett
This book by Jan Brett is a modern twist to the tale of Goldilocks. Aloo-ki races after her sled dogs who are floating off on an ice floe. She finds an igloo with no one home and Aloo-ki eats some soup, tries on the family’s boots, and finally crawls into the smallest bed for a nap. The home belongs to polar bears: Papa, Mama, and Baby Bear. The bears see her dogs adrift, rescue them and return home to find Aloo-ki fast asleep in Baby Bear’s bed.
by Jan Brett
A musk ox named Cozy is sooooo soft and sooo lonely…
As the snow starts to come down maybe the best place to spend winter is in Cozy’s fur? Animals start to pile in and Cozy needs to lay down the rules to keep everyone happy until they can find their summer homes
By Jan Brett
Hedgehog gets all bundled up and his friends around the farm let him know about all the fun he will miss if he hibernates. The air is getting chilly, will Hedgie miss out on Lisa making a snowman and the pond turning to ice? It all sounds too good to miss until a snowstorm starts…
Characters like Little Critter and Clifford are always a hit! These familiar characters can help make reading books fun and engaging for young readers. Some of your favorite books might be popular characters from this list. Discovering the wonder of the season’s first snow is a common theme for beloved characters to experience in winter themed books like these.
By Reika Chan
After a big snowstorm it’s Clifford to the rescue. He helps dig the town out of trouble. Clifford catches a cold from his busy day in the snow. Can his friends make him feel better?
By Gina Mayer
Little Critter is just starting to experience winter fun as winter is beginning. It’s time to ski and skate in this winter themed story.
By Becky Friedman
Daniel Tiger and his Dad are going to go skating on a sparkling, snowy day. It’s the first time Daniel is going to try ice skating. This fun book is a simple story about a nice winter day with family.
By James Dean
School is canceled and Pete the Cat can’t wait to play in the snow. But when day after day after day the school is still canceled, Pete realizes maybe it’s possible to have TOO MANY snow days after all.
By Jan Berenstain
There are so many wonderful things for bear cubs to do on a wintery day in Bear Country. Ice skating, skiing, sledding and even a snowball fight are some. This lift the flap book is full of joyful surprises.
By Mercer Mayer
As snow piles up higher and higher school is canceled. Little Critter really wants to build a snowman but he has to help out his friend and family first.
By Lucille Colandro and Jared Lee
This book uses the phrase: I don’t know why she swallowed some snow, perhaps you know? No concerns about it saying ‘perhaps she’ll die’ like the classic song. The old lady is swallowing a pipe, some coal and even a hat.. I wonder what’s going on in there?
January is the perfect time of year to build a snowman. The fun of the winter holiday season may be over, but there is still so much to do and enjoy outside. These snowman books are perfect for a wintery day.
by Jeffrey Burton
The itsy bitsy snowman went sledding into town, looking at the snowflakes softly falling down…Here is a wintery spin on a classic rhyme.
By Adam Wallace and Andy Elkerton
This wonderful picture book is full of rhymes and fun art. The snowman has run away and even though trap after trap have been set, we still can’t catch him. Can YOU?
By Caralyn Buehner and Mark Buehner
What do snowmen do at night? Have you ever made a snowman and then found it the next day with a crooked smile or an arm that’s moved position? This winter tale reveals the snowman’s secrets.
By Yossi Lapid and Joanna Pasek
This book is frosty and entertaining. Paul is a fun loving snowman who wants to play! When Dan meets Paul they become best buddies in a winter wonderland adventure.
By Steven Kroll and Jeni Bassett
Clayton and Desmond decide that they will build the biggest snowman ever for the snowman contest! But no matter how hard they work their snowmen just aren’t big enough. Maybe they have to join forces and work together to build the biggest snowman ever…
New Year Books
What better time of year to talk about New Year’s Day than in January? Use these books to talk about traditions from around the world and learn more about how and why people celebrate the season.
By Pat Miller
Squirrel discovers what it means to make a New Year’s resolution. She visits others around the forest to learn more and help her friends get started on their resolutions for the New Year ahead. This is a great book to start learning about what a New Year’s resolution is.
By Ann Malaspina
This book takes a look at different traditions from around the globe. How do other cultures celebrate the arrival of a new year? Learn about their food, activities, resolutions, and much more.
By Eric Hill
Spot is too young to celebrate New Year’s at midnight so he celebrates early with his family. This lovable character is perfect to help explore the theme of New Year celebrations with.
By Gail Piernas-DavenportThe main character, Shanté Keys, loves celebrating the New Year. But you can’t have New Year’s Day without some black-eyes peas, it would be bad luck without them! In this book, Shanté sets out to borrow some of these beautiful flowers from the neighbors. Learn more about how Shanté’s family celebrates this holiday in this fun, colorful book.
By Lynn Peppas
This nonfiction book takes a look at celebrations, customs and the history of celebrating New Year’s Day. Highlighting how different families celebrate New Year’s traditions from a multicultural perspective and this book is large enough to share in a classroom.
By April Halprin Wayland
The main character, Izzy, likes to celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Her favorite part of the celebration is Tashlich, a ceremony in which apologies are made for the mistakes people made in the previous year so they can start fresh in the New Year. This book has lots of information about the Jewish New Year and is a lovely picture book.
By Eve Bunting
Frog enjoys floating around and spending time with his friends. He prefers things to stay peaceful and simple. This book looks at three different holidays and how Frog and his friends ring in the New Year – with a twist!
By Martha Freeman
Someone has stolen all 37 ice sculptures from the winter carnival! The whole group comes together to solve the mystery and figure out who did it. All the clues lead to a professor who is using fracking technology to create an alternative fuel source…
There are so many wonderful stories and tales out there, we sometimes forget about the joys of non-fiction books. These special books are a great way to help you navigate the details of winter with your kindergarteners. Where does snow come from? What is the weather like in January? The nonfiction books on this list can help get your learning rolling!
By Henrietta Bancroft
Butterflies migrate to warmer places and woodchucks hibernate to escape the winter cold. How do other animals handle the snow and cold of winter? Discover more interesting information in this book.
By Kate Messner
Underneath the snow hide squirrels, bears, bullfrogs and snow hares. This nonfiction picture book explores the subnivean zone (the area between fallen snow and the terrain) with its tunnels and caves under the snow but above the ground. So many animals live here, safe and warm all winter hidden beneath the snow.
By Jon Nelson
How do snow crystals form? What shapes do snow crystals turn into? Is it true that no two snowflakes are alike? This science of snow book will answer all these questions and more. The book features real photos of snow crystals and all their beautiful diversity.
By Gina Shaw Let’s look at the science behind snow and the history of record-setting blizzards. This book also looks at how people have fun in the snow and answers questions like: When does it snow? Why is snow white?
By Charles Ghigna and Agnieszka Malgorzata Jatkowska
Even preschoolers will be able to enjoy this gentle rhyming book about snowflakes, skates and sleds. From traditional outdoor games to snowflakes and skates… Charles Ghigna highlights the many wonders of the winter season.
By Sian Smith
Children can take a tour through the winter season in this book about winter. What changes are going on in the natural world? Beautiful photos and repetition make this a great choice for early readers.
By Kathryn Clay
What does the weather look like in winter? Cold, icy and snowy. Pretty photos and a simple design make this book perfect for early readers.
Other Winter Books
These books are full of beautiful illustrations that will capture the minds and hearts of young readers. Little learners will love looking at a new class book together as you read to them about the wonders of winter.
By Ezra Jack Keats
Peter puts on his snowsuit and ventures out into the deep, deep snow. This sweet adventure captures a child’s sense of wonder at our natural world.
By Uri Shulevitz
One boy and his dog believe the snowflakes falling will amount to something spectacular. They’re the only ones who really know how to enjoy it, maybe they can show everyone else how wonderful snow really is.
By Kevin Henkes
This book captures the beautiful wonders of winter and what winter means. Snow will fall, animals burrow in their nests, and children prepare for the winter wonderland. Winter is Here captures the joy of a winter wonderland.
By Matthew Cordell
Can a girl and a wolf cub find their way home? They are lost in a snowstorm. This is a tale of friendship and trust with rich paintings that will warm your heart on a wintery day.
By Cynthia Rylant
A girl, her grandmother and friend enjoy a very snowy day for all that it has to offer. Lyrical descriptions of this book tell a tale of the sights and feelings you get when snow is falling.
By Katy Hudson
Tortoise sleeps through winter every year and assumes he’s not missing out on too much. Will his friends convince him to stay awake this year and enjoy all the frosty fun that winter has to offer?
By Maureen WrightOld man winter keeps telling Big Bear it’s time to hibernate: “Sleep, Big Bear, Sleep.” But Big Bear doesn’t hear very well. Big Bear is wondering what that pesky Old Man Winter keeps saying? To leap? Drive a jeep? Sweep? Eventually, Old Man Winter gets noisy and grabs Big Bear’s attention.
By Karma Wilson
The animals find their way into Bear’s warm cave and out of the cold snow. Even after they pop their corn and have their tea, Bear just keeps snoring! This is a cute rhyming book. Read it to find out if anything will wake Bear up?
By Maclear, Kyo
This poetic text is about Charles, who wants to find a wish tree. No one but his trusty companion Boggan believed in him. Along the way they find out the most unexpected ways wishes can come true.
By Jane O’Connor and S.D. Schindler
A little family who lives in a snow globe are waiting and waiting for it to snow again. If only someone would pick it up and give it a shake.
By Andi Cann Puddles the snowman is made with magic friendship snow. He’s the perfect companion for any child who struggles to make friends and for parents who try and show their children how to make friends. The Magic of Friendship Snow celebrates the special bond between friends.
By Deborah Kerbel
This rhyming book depicts the wonders of nature’s sparkly snow from the perspective of a preschooler. Snow transforms the world outside. From snow angels to fort building and skating, winter is magical.
By Robert Neubecker
Two siblings build snowmen, catch snowflakes and go sledding before cuddling up in a warm family home. It’s a snowy adventure in a winter wonderland.
By Marie-Louise Gay
Stella and Sam build a humongous snowman, beautiful snow angels and they even go sledding and skating. They explore their transformed landscape after a big snow storm.
By Addie K. Boswell
The world is quiet and bright after a big snowfall. Sofia is a young dancer who finds her neighborhood park open and silent and she’s ready to show everyone what a snow dancer can do!
By Suzanne Del Rizzo
Moe has neighbors from all around the world. Sami is one of these neighbors who is from Syria. The two kids find a cardinal, stunned by the cold, and help rescue the bird together while becoming friends.
By Cindy by Jin
This board book shows how each and every one of us is as special as a snowflake that comes from above.
By Cynthia Rylant
Winter is coming, and the snow starts to fall on excited penguins. They grab their boots, mitts and hats to go outside. It’s time to waddle!
By Divya Srinivasan
Little Owl is excited for the changing seasons! Some animals start hibernating and the raccoon can see his breath. Here comes the snow in this beautiful picture book.
By Cathy Goldberg Fishman
Hanukkah, Chinese New Year and Christmas too! Everyone has a reason to celebrate the winter season. This simple rhyming book shows why living in a culturally diverse city is so wonderful.
I hope you’ve found a great book to read in this long list of my favorite winter books. January read alouds, short rhyming books, and even some board books that are perfect and durable for little hands; this list has it all! How many of these books do you think you can get through in the coming winter months?
For more great book lists check out some of our other articles!