Wednesday, August 17, 2022
Aug. 17, 2022

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Check It Out: Warm up winter with picture books


Another year, another January and I am ready to snuggle up with some delightful picture books. Now that school is back in session, perhaps you and your little ones would appreciate a bit of quiet reading time just for fun. When everything around me feels too much (come on, 2022 — you’re supposed to be better!), my brain processes things slowly — even when I’m reading. So, picture books are a perfect antidote to the woes of the world and my sluggish gray cells. If you haven’t become acquainted with the picture book genre, I recommend you give it a try.

This week’s reading list celebrates winter. There are many lovely picture books with a winter theme, so I encourage readers to go beyond the brief list I’m recommending in this column. Outside it may be cold, and it may be wet, but reading — no matter the genre or format — can keep things warm and toasty inside.

  • “Button Your Buttons: It’s a Snowy Day!” written by Lori Haskins Houran, illustrated by Edward Miller.

I can still remember learning how to tie my shoes and how to work a button and a zipper — I felt so important! Dressing for cold weather requires multiple zips and buttons, so help your littlest family members bundle up with this sweet picture book full of coats, hats and adorable animal friends.

  • “The Longer the Wait, the Bigger the Hug” written by Eoin McLaughlin, illustrated by Polly Dunbar.

Some animals hibernate during the winter (I keep trying to hibernate, but apparently humans are not supposed to tuck in for several months. Boo). This means that a hibernating hedgehog won’t be able to give his best friend, a tortoise, a hug for quite some time. But you know what they say: absence makes the heart grow fonder. Check out this story to read about Hedgehog’s and Tortoise’s eventual — and hug-filled — reunion.

  • “The Snow Dancer” written by Addie Boswell, illustrated by Merce Lopez.

Stepping outside after a heavy snowfall can be magical. And if school is canceled, that magical feeling just gets better! In this charming picture book, Sophia, a young girl decked out in a bright yellow coat, revels in the unexpected snow day by dancing her way across a snow-covered field.

  • “A Thing Called Snow” written and illustrated by Yuval Zommer.

Best friends, Fox and Hare, live in the arctic. They were born during springtime and have been best buds through the summer and fall seasons. Now Bird tells them that winter is soon to arrive, and there will be snow! But what is snow, they wonder? Descriptions from friendly animal neighbors help, but snow isn’t snow until they experience it for themselves. That’s life in a nutshell — or snowflake, in this case.

  • “When Winter Comes: Discovering Wildlife in Our Snowy Woods” written by Aimee Bissonette, illustrated by Erin Hourigan.

Nothing delights me more during wintertime than to look out a window and observe a Bird Fest taking place at my backyard feeders. Our feathered friends might be the easiest wildlife to spot when it’s cold, but with careful observation the winter habits of other animals can be discovered. This delightful story about a family who visits the woods on a snowy day shares how nature reveals the activities of animals even as temperatures fall.

Jan Johnston is the collection development coordinator for the Fort Vancouver Regional Libraries. Email her at

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