Winter book ideas from those who know


With this compilation of winter reading recommendations, we introduce a new monthly column: book recommendations from area librarians. Big thanks to Rebecca Donnelly of the Norwood Public Library for coming up with this idea and for contacting other librarians to contribute their picks to the list. If you’re a librarian, please contact Rebecca at and let her know you’d like to be notified as she puts together next month’s list. Rebecca will probably organize each month around a theme. Welcome and thanks to our regional keepers of the books.

January 2017: Winter Books

Picture Books

nowitiswinterNow it is Winter by Eileen Spinelli, 2004

As the young mouse yearns for the sun, the ducks, and the flowers, his mother gently reminds him of snowflakes and sleds, hot oatmeal and warm beds — the wonders of winter he can enjoy now.

“I love this book for its gentle reminder to be happy in the moment, and for the cozy winter scene it sets.”–Val White, Canton Free Library

Sneezy the Snowman
by Maureen Wright, 2010

Summary: A snowman who finds it dreadfully cold keeps doing things that cause him to melt, while the children who rebuild him each time offer clothing to keep him warm.

“​I love this book because it is so much fun to share with kids! It has a great rhythm to the text and follows a predictable pattern for kids–both of which make for a great read-aloud. Kids get to follow the action and predict what will happen next. It also has a fun twist at the end, which always makes for some giggles.”–Ashley Pickett, Flower Memorial Library

Mouse’s First Snow
by Lauren Thompson, 2005

Summary: A mouse tries many new things when he and his father go out and play in the snow.

“I love this book because it engages even the smallest toddlers! The text is very simple, but has enough content where a savvy reader could use different voices when reading aloud. The ending allows kids to predict what is going to happen next and opens the door for discussion on their favorite winter activities.”–Ashley Pickett, Flower Memorial Library

, by Deirdre Gill (2014)

When his brother refuses to come outside, a child plays by himself in the snow and creates an imaginary world.

“A celebration of outdoor winter play.”–Angela Newman, North Country Library System

Little Penguins
, Cynthia Rylant (2016)

During the first snowy day of winter, five little penguins bundle up and venture outside to play.

“A perfect snowy read-aloud for toddlers and preschoolers.”–Rebecca Donnelly, Norwood Public Library


Children’s Nonfiction

thestoryofsnowThe Story of Snow:  The Science of Winter’s Wonder   by Mark Cassino   2009

How do snow crystals form? What shapes can they take? Are no two snow crystals alike? These questions and more are answered in this visually stunning exploration of the science of snow. Perfect for reading on winter days, the book features photos of real snow crystals in their beautiful diversity. Snowflake-catching instructions are also included. (recommended by Dorothy Dineen, Mexico Public Library)

The Shortest Day: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
 by Wendy Pfeffer  2003

The beginning of winter is marked by the solstice, the shortest day of the year. Long ago, people grew afraid when each day had fewer hours of sunshine than the day before. Over time, they realized that one day each year the sun started moving toward them again. In lyrical prose and cozy illustrations, this book explains what the winter solstice is and how it has been observed by various cultures throughout history. Many contemporary holiday traditions were borrowed from ancient solstice celebrations. (recommended by Dorothy Dineen, Mexico Public Library)


Young Adult

TheBigDark_cvThe Big Dark, by Rodman Philbrick (2016)

When something knocks out everything electrical at midnight on New Year’s Eve, the world is plunged into chaos, including the town of Harmony, New Hampshire, where Webster Bragg, a vicious survivalist, sees an opportunity to dominate his fellow citizens–but as the town struggles to maintain order and civilization, young Charlie Cobb sets out on a dangerous journey through the snow to find medicine for his diabetic mother. (recommended by Angela Newman, North Country Library System)


Adult Fiction

Snowblind by Christopher Golden, 2014.

Summary: Snowblind is a thrilling contemporary ghost story with both horror and heart. The small New England town of Coventry is haunted by its memories of a deadly winter… in which loved ones were lost, families torn apart, and a town buried in a terrible blizzard. Now, twelve years later, the people plagued by their memories of that storm are haunted once again as a new storm approaches, promising to wreak new havoc. Old ghosts trickle back, and this storm will prove even more terrifying and deadly than the last.

“A chilling read about the bonds of family, small town intrigue, and the power of guilt.  Fast-paced with strong characters, this is a book best read with the lights on and a cup of hot cocoa at your side.”–Linda Adams, Gouverneur Library

The Snow Child
, by Eowyn Ivey (2012)

Catalog description: Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead, and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart–he breaking under the weight of the work of the farm; she crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the season’s first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning the snow child is gone–but they glimpse a young, blonde-haired girl running through the trees. This little girl, who calls herself Faina, seems to be a child of the woods. She hunts with a red fox at her side, skims lightly across the snow, and somehow survives alone in the Alaskan wilderness. As Jack and Mabel struggle to understand this child who could have stepped from the pages of a fairy tale, they come to love her as their own daughter. But in this beautiful, violent place things are rarely as they appear, and what they eventually learn about Faina will transform all of them.

“A compelling mix of realism and fantasy.”–Angela Newman, North Country Library System

Love Me Sweet
, by Tracy Brogan (2015)

Delaney Masterson isn’t looking for fame.

Yes, she has famous parents and a reality TV show, but she’s not the wild-child celebrity the paparazzi have painted her to be. Until…The Scandal. When an old boyfriend releases a private video, Delaney’s name becomes every comedian’s favorite punch line. To escape the media, she sneaks away to Bell Harbor, Michigan—during the worst winter in fifty years. Adventure show cameraman Grant Connelly has stayed away from Bell Harbor—mostly by choice—but when a family obligation converges with a spontaneous career decision, it’s time to return home. When bad weather, missing money, honky-tonk musicians, and Elvis impersonators throw Grant and Delaney together on an unexpected road trip, emotions get all shook up. They know only fools fall in love, but they can’t help falling. Still, Delaney has a secret that could tear them apart forever.
Can they weather the storm? Or will this romantic ride end at the Heartbreak Hotel? (recommended by Angela Newman, North Country Library System)

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