Winter is my favorite season. I enjoy cold weather and love when it snows (and not just because of snow days!) During the month of January my story times feature many winter and snowman books as well as penguins and Martin Luther King. Jr. biographies. Below is a list of some of my favorite January read alouds.
A note: I read most of these stories with kindergarten and first graders. I teach my second graders about the Caldecott during January. If you would like to read about how I teach the Caldecott Medal, click here.
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All You Need for a Snowman by Alice Schertle
Lists everything that one needs to build the perfect snowman, from the very first snowflake that falls.
Axle Annie by Robin Pulver
The schools in Burskyville never close for snow because Axle Annie is always able to make it up the steepest hill in town, until Shifty Rhodes and Hale Snow set out to stop her.
A Big Bed for Little Snow by Grace Lin
When winter comes, Mommy makes a soft bed for Little Snow to sleep on, but each night he cannot resist jumping on the bed, causing tiny feathers to fly down.
The Emperor’s Egg by Martin Jenkins
Describes the parental behavior of Emperor penguins, focusing on how the male keeps the egg warm until it hatches and how the parents care for the chick after it is born.
Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King by Jean Marzollo
An illustrated biography of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., discussing his contributions to the civil rights movement.
The Hat by Jan Brett
When Lisa’s woolen stocking flies off the clothesline, Hedgie finds it and pokes his nose in. He tries to pull it out, but the stocking gets stuck on his prickles — and the fun begins.
Immi’s Gift by Karin Littlewood
Day after day in the frozen north, a young Inuit girl catches brightly-colored objects while ice fishing and uses them to decorate her igloo, until the ice begins to melt and she drops in a gift of her own before leaving for the season.
It’s Snowing! by Gail Gibbons
Colorful illustrations and simple text explain how snowflakes are formed from ice crystals that fall from the clouds and describe sleet, snowstorms, blizzards, and ways people have fun with snow.
Little Owl’s Snow by Divya Srinivasan
Winter’s almost here!’ says Little Owl, as he observes leaves falling, animal friends hibernating, and a chill from his feathers to his feet. And just as he and his friend racoon are watching their breath make fog in the cold air, it happens- Snow! Here is the perfect follow-up to Little Owl’s Nightand Little Owl’s Day, and a wonderful introduction to the changing of the seasons!
A Loud Winter’s Nap by Katy Hudson
Unmoved by his friends’ attempts to draw him out with singing classes and snowball fights, Tortoise tries to settle down for his annual winter nap and instead stumbles into a wonderfully icy experience.
Martin’s big words : the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Looks at the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, explaining his work to bring about a peaceful end to segregation.
The Missing Mitten Mystery by Steven Kellogg
Annie loses her fifth mitten of winter and searches the whole neighborhood, with her dog, Oscar, to find it.
The Mitten by Jan Brett
One by one, woodland animals find it and crawl in; first, a curious mole, then a rabbit, a badger and others, each one larger than the last. Finally, a big brown bear is followed in by a tiny brown mouse.
Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner
Over the snow, the world is hushed and white. But under the snow is a secret world of squirrels and snowshoe hares, bears and bullfrogs, and many other animals who live through the winter, safe and warm. This book takes readers on a cross country ski trip through the winter woods to discover the secret world of animals living under the snow.
Penguin Pete by Marcus Pfister
Pete the penguin has a good time playing on land with his fellow birds and learning how to swim in the sea.
Sneezy the Snowman by Maureen Wright
Sneezy the Snowman is cold, cold, cold. To warm up, he drinks cocoa, sits in a hot tub, stands near a warm fire–and melts! But the children know just what to do to build him up again–and make him feel “just right”.
Snow by Cynthia Rylant
Full-color illustrations and simple text introduce different types of snow to early readers, which includes soft, light, and heavy snow.
Snow by Uri Shulevitz
As snowflakes slowly come down, one by one, people in the city ignore them, and only a boy and his dog think that the snowfall will amount to anything.
Snowballs by Lois Ehlert
The disappearance of the seeds left out for the birds heralds a new snow fall, allowing a group of children to use up the stuff they have been saving to create a snow family. Includes labeled pictures of all the items they use, as well as information about how snow is formed.
Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin
A biography of a self-taught scientist who photographed thousands of individual snowflakes in order to study their unique formations.
Snowmen All Year by Caralyn Buehner
A child imagines what it would be like if a snowman, made of magical snow, could be a companion throughout the year.
Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner
Snowmen play games at night when no one is watching.
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
A little boy enjoys many adventures in the city when he has a snow day.
Snowzilla by Janet Lawler
When neighbors complain that her snowman is too tall, Cami Lou finds a perfect new place for him in the community garden.
Squirrel’s New Year’s Resolution by Pat Miller
Squirrel cannot think of a New Year’s resolution until she realizes that by helping her friends, she has made one after all.
The Story of Snow : the Science of Winter’s Wonder by Mark Cassino
Text and photographs answer a variety of questions about snow, discussing how it forms, shapes of snow crystals, why no two flakes are alike, and more.
There Was a Cold Lady who Swallowed Some Snow! by Lucille Colandro
There was a cold lady who swallowed many different things, one after the other, but what happens after she swallows snow? Modeled on the folk song: There was an old lady who swallowed a fly.
The Three Snow Bears by Jan Brett
The Goldilocks story takes a fine twist when an endearing snow bear family and a curious Inuit girl meet center stage.
The Thing About Yetis by Vin Vogel
Yetis love snow and all things winter, but sometimes they need a dose of summer as well.
Time to Sleep by Denise Fleming
Bear notices that winter is nearly here and hurries to tell Snail, after which each animal tells another until finally the already sleeping Bear is awakened in his den with the news.
Way Up in the Arctic by Jennifer Ward
A counting book in rhyme presents various Arctic animals and their offspring, from a mother caribou and her “little calf one” to a mother Arctic fox and her “little cubs ten.” Includes related facts.
Winter is Here by Kevin Henkes
Snow falls, animals burrow, and children prepare for the wonders winter brings. Caldecott Medalist and award-winning author Kevin Henkes’s striking text introduces basic concepts of language and the unique beauty of the winter season.
January Read Aloud Resources
These products that complement the Favorite January Read Aloud Books are also available in my TpT store.
- The Mitten and The Hat by Jan Brett – Bundle
- Snowman Printables and Worksheets
- Snow – Nonfiction Activity Pack