10 Books Celebrating Winter

Curated by Emma Kerr, Early Childhood and Elementary Librarian

Winter is the perfect season to introduce children to the rich diversity of experiences our world offers through learning about the seasonal holidays and festivities around the globe. While our celebrations may look different, children are reassured to learn that there are common values and themes like kindness, giving, and love which reveal our shared humanity.

Our BFIS Library has many winter celebration books for you to read and enjoy.  Please email Miss Emma if you would like any of them to enjoy over the winter break.

Celebrating Winter- Young Readers

Simon and the Bear

By Eric A. Kimmel

Before Simon sails to America, he promises his family that he will get a job and send for them. Simon’s mother knows he will need a miracle, so she reminds him to celebrate Hanukkah wherever he may be. Little does either of them know that Simon will spend the first night of Hanukkah on an ice floe after his ship sinks.The lone survivor out in the wide ocean, Simon lights the first candle, and it attracts a visitor: a polar bear. Does she eat him? No! She shares his latkes, enjoys his songs, goes fishing for him, and even keeps him warm at night. By the last day of Hanukkah, Simon has nearly given up hope of ever being rescued. But then he recounts all of the miracles that have befallen him so far. Perhaps it is not too much to hope for one more, he thinks, as he lights all of the candles in the menorah. The bright glow signals a passing ship, and Simon makes it to New York after all. This fanciful Hanukkah tale-like none you’ve ever read before-celebrates eight miracles: family, friendship, hope, selflessness, sharing, faith, courage, and love. A retelling of the ancient Hanukkah story is included on the last page. (From Goodreads)

Baboushka and the Three Kings

By Ruth Robins

A Russian folk tale [adapted by Ruth Robbins] about an old woman who, declining to accompany the Three Kings as they followed the star in search of the Babe and failing to find Him on her own, each year renews her endless search. The strikingly effective pictures are distinctive in design and rich in color. ~~Booklist (Awarded the Caldecott Medal as the Most Distinguished American Picture Book for Children in the year of its publication) (From Goodreads)

I Got the Christmas Spirit

By Connie Schofield

In the same feel-good style of I Got the Rhythm, this exuberant picture book explores the joys of the holiday season, once again illustrated by award-winning artist Frank Morrison.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and a mother and daughter are enjoying the sights and sounds of the holiday season. The little girl hears sleigh bells ringing and carolers singing. She smells chestnuts roasting–CRUNCH! CRUNCH! CRUNCH!–and sees the flashing lights of the department store windows–BLING! BLING! BLING! She spreads the spirit of giving wherever she goes. And when she reaches Santa, she tells him her Christmas wish–for peace and love everywhere, all the days of the year. (From Goodreads)

Letter on the Wind

By Sarah Marwil

A retelling of a Jewish folk tale reminds readers of the first Chanukah and of Mattathias’s bravery in protecting his faith. Once in a far-off village there nearly was a year without Chanukah. The withering olive trees produced olives for oil, and without oil, there would be no lights for the menorahs. Hayim, the poorest man in the village, said to himself, “We cannot have a year without Chanukah. I will ask the Almighty for help.” Despite mockery and laughter from the villagers, Hayim asks the local scribe to write a letter to the Almighty. In it, Hayim prays for oil to light the town’s menorahs. The poor man takes his letter to the highest hill and sends it off on the strongest breeze. Hayim’s prayers are answered, and the villagers can celebrate Chanukah—but many in the town are convinced that Hayim is a thief. Neil Waldman’s lyrical illustrations complement Sarah Marwil Lamstein’s elegant text in this Sydney Taylor Honor Book. (From Goodreads)

Chinese New Year

The Cultural Holidays illustrated nonfiction book Chinese New Year teaches young readers about the background, traditions, foods, and celebrations of the Asian holiday. Easy-to-read text combines with colorful illustrations to provide entertainment and facts for even the youngest audience. Looking Glass Library is an imprint of Magic Wagon, a division of ABDO Group. Grades P-4. (From Goodreads)

Celebrating Winter- Older Readers

Frozen Fire

By James Houston

Based in part on a true story, Frozen Fire vividly depicts the traditional Eskimo way of life. It is a story about wisdom, hope, and the will to survive.

The Canadian a frozen land where bone-chilling winds and negative forty-degree temperatures can last for days on end. Matthew and Kayak are familiar with the territory, and they plan carefully before they set out on their secret snowmobile search – a search for Matthew’s missing father. But when the boys become stranded, every minute is a struggle for survival. (From Goodreads)

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

By C.S. Lewis

Narnia, the land beyond the wardrobe door, a secret place frozen in eternal winter, a magical country waiting to be set free.

Lucy is the first to find the secret of the wardrobe in the professor’s mysterious old house. At first, her brothers and sister don’t believe her when she tells of her visit to the land of Narnia. But soon, Edmund, then Peter, and Susan step through the wardrobe themselves. In Narnia, they find a country buried under the evil enchantment of the White Witch. When they meet the Lion Aslan, they realize they’ve been called to a great adventure and bravely join the battle to free Narnia from the Witch’s sinister spell. (From Goodreads)

A Christmas Carol

By Charles Dickens

Through the intervention of four ghosts, Ebenezer Scrooge is shown the spirit of Christmas. Beautifully illustrated with full-page color paintings. (From Goodreads)


By Ingrid Law. Three years after Ledge’s adventure in Scumble, Gypsy narrates this brand-new addition of the Savvy Series. (From Goodreads)


By S. Jae-Jones

Dark, romantic, and unforgettable, Wintersong is an enchanting coming-of-age story for fans of Labyrinth and The Cruel Prince. The last night of the year. Now the days of winter begin and the Goblin King rides abroad, searching for his bride…

All her life, Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, dangerous Goblin King. They’ve enraptured her mind, her spirit, and inspired her musical compositions. Now eighteen and helping to run her family’s inn, Liesl can’t help but feel that her musical dreams and childhood fantasies are slipping away. But when her own sister is taken by the Goblin King, Liesl has no choice but to journey to the Underground to save her. Drawn to the strange, captivating world she finds—and the mysterious man who rules it—she soon faces an impossible decision. And with time and the old laws working against her, Liesl must discover who she truly is before her fate is sealed.

Rich with music and magic, S. Jae-Jones’s Wintersong will sweep you away into a world you won’t soon forget.

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