Winter Children’s Books That Make Great Gifts

Want to add to your child’s book collection this holiday season, but don’t know where to start? Are you sick of reading the same children’s books that are cartoon-branded easy readers non-stop? Do you like the idea of adding “something to read” to your categories of gift giving?

Whether you’re like me (pretty much incapable of leaving Schuler’s without at least one new children’s book from the discount rack) or your eyes glaze over at bookstore and library displays, here are some book suggestions by age group. These children’s books are the perfect titles for cozying up under a blanket and reading together.

Lansing Mom is here to share our tried and true favorites. This post does contain affiliate links that help support our small business but every product is something we love! 

Babies and Toddlers

Winter Babies: Sweet, simple rhymes and lovely illustrations of diverse babies enjoying winter from author by Kathryn O. Galbraith.

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Winter is Here: Kevin Henkes’ children’s books are instant classics! This is a delightful celebration of all things winter.

Tracks in the Snow: Wong Herbert Yee (a Michigan author!) tells the story of a little girl following – you guessed it – tracks in the freshly fallen snow.

The Snowy Day: The classic story of young Peter’s snowy day in the city. A young Black boy experiences the magic, and disappointments, of winter in an urban setting. Ezra Jack Keats’ colorful illustrations never fail to captivate my youngest children.

Preschool Children’s Books

Big Snow: I love to think of the little boy in Big Snow as the contemporary, slightly-more-suburban version of Peter in The Snowy Day. Jonathan Bean’s illustrations capture an all-too-real contrast. A mother tries to get the house in order while her son aches for the promise a Big Snow.


The Mitten: Another book that gets read every year in our house! Based on a Ukrainian folk tale, Jan Brett’s adaptation deserves to be poured over for the exquisitely detailed illustrations alone.

Katy and the Big Snow: Written in 1943 by Virginia Lee Burton, this book about the heroics of a giant snow plow named Katy deserves to be on every preschooler’s shelf, especially if they’re obsessed with cars, trucks, and construction vehicles.

A Little House Picture Book Treasury: This adaptation of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s stories of her childhood is a lovely introduction to the history of settlers’ lives. Renee Graf’s illustrations immediately make you feel surrounded by winter. The coziness of the log cabin fireplace. The crisp winter cold of Wisconsin’s Big Woods. The sweet taste of maple sugar. And the thrill of finding a penny at the bottom of a stocking.

Early Readers

Poppleton in Winter: I have a hard time not wanting to gouge my eyes out when sitting down with a new reader. Mind-numbing books don’t make it easier! However, the Poppleton books by Cynthia Rylant are a treasure. I’m so glad we found them in our latest round of learning to read. Lovable characters and enjoyable stories that have made even me chuckle out loud.

Sophie Tompkins's review of Poppleton In Winter

Little Bear: The Little Bear stories by Else Holmelund Minarik are simply the sweetest, and this first reader in the series begins with Little Bear trying to find the perfect outfit for a cold, winter day.

Frog and Toad All Year: In my opinion, Arnold Lobel’s Frog and Toad stories are the gold standard for easy readers. Our family quotes from them all the time. Frog and Toad All Year begins with a hilarious sledding adventure and culminates in the two friends’ Christmas Eve.

Upper Elementary Children’s Books

The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street: In the days leading up to Christmas, five siblings scramble to convince their landlord to renew their family’s lease and let them stay in their beloved Harlem brownstone. Settle in for the boisterous, warm, large family dynamics of the Vanderbeeekers on a mission.

The 24 Days Before Christmas: Fans of Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time series might be surprised to discover her lesser-known Austin Family books. This story focuses on a young daughter’s anxiety nearing Christmas. Her mother is pregnant and will be giving birth away from home on Christmas.

The Family Under the BridgeSet in Paris along the banks of the Seine River, a newly homeless family encounters an older man who’s lived unhoused for years. Will he open his heart and help them?

The Family Under the Bridge by Natalie Savage Carlson (Paperback) | Scholastic Book Clubs

The Lion, the Witch, and the WardrobeDiscover the land of “always winter, never Christmas, which sometimes feels like an apt description of Michigan, right? I love reading this classic out loud in the weeks after Christmas. It’s the perfect children’s book after the holiday decorations come down and we wait in hope for spring.

The Best Christmas Pageant EverI didn’t grow up reading this book, which my husband says makes me tragically deprived. We own it now though! This is a rollicking, hilarious read aloud for the whole family.

Now that you’re filled with inspiration, check out this post about shopping local used book stores to help fill your kid’s shelves!

Elizabeth Hansen
I’m Liz, stay-at-home mom to four kids (preschool age to middle school), freelance writer, and a Lansing resident since 2017. I'm a mediocre homemaker, mildly successful gardener, and not great at doing voices during bedtime stories. When not at home, I'm probably shuttling kids in the van, getting alone time at a coffeeshop or used bookstore, or volunteering at church, school, or St. Vincent's Refugee Services.


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