Picture books for winter

12 titles that include children’s seasonal classics as well as new books published in 2019 .

Books to make you laugh, books that share a little magic and books to help us appreciate the world around us. Collated by Jan Homden with links through to Amazon – just cick on the book covers.


Geronimo: The Penguin who thought he could fly! Hardcover – by David Walliams (Author), Tony Ross (Illustrator)

Geronimo, a baby penguin has only one dream and that is to fly! But everyone knows penguins can’t fly… or can they? Anything is possible in David Walliams very funny upside down book that reminds us all to follow our dreams.

Note: There are lots of comical pictures of very expressive penguins in this book but any mention of ‘free’ penguins on the back cover is a joke!

Age Range: 3 – 6 years


David Walliams gives us an intro to his brand new, heartwarmingly hilarious picture book featuring illustrations by the artistic genius Tony Ross.


The Snow Dragon Paperback by Abi Elphinstone (Author), Fiona Woodcock (Illustrator)

You can be late for many things in life, but you should never keep an adventure waiting…

In Griselda Bone’s dismal orphanage (home to Phoebe and her sausage dog Herb) where all good things such as daydreaming and skipping are absolutely forbidden and Christmas is abolished, a little bit of hope arrives in the swirling, snow-filled air of winter. A magical story, beautifully illustrated by Fiona Woodcock. 

Age Range: 6 years and up


The Crayons’ Christmas: The New York Times Top Ten bestseller Hardcover by Drew Daywalt (Author), Oliver Jeffers (Illustrator)

‘Tis the season for all of us to write our Christmas wish lists. But everyone knows – even the Crayons – that the best presents are the ones that you give. In this unique book, readers join in as Duncan, the Crayons and their families celebrate the festive season. This funny interactive book includes letters, games, ornaments, a poster and even a pop-up Christmas tree – perfect for the festive season! 

Age Range: 3 years and up


Meerkat ChristmasHardcover by Emily Gravett (Author)

Leaving his home in the Kalahari desert, Sunny the meerkat sets off in search of the perfect white Christmas with a decorated tree, carols and sprouts for dinner.  Read Sunny’s messages as he travels the world only to realize, that maybe Christmas isn’t all about the trimmings. Emily Gravett’s witty and heartwarming celebration of festive fun and family love shows that Christmas can be whatever you want it to be.

Age Range: 3 – 6 years


One Snowy Night (A Tale from Percy’s Park) Paperback by Nick Butterworth  (Author, Illustrator)

One of my favourite stories of all time. Percy the Park Keeper from award-winning author and illustrator Nick Butterworth is celebrating thirty years of enchanting children with more than 9 million books sold, worldwide!

Percy the park keeper always feeds the animals in the park where he lives, but one cold, snowy night he’s faced with a challenge when all the animals suddenly turn up!  A snowy tale of generosity and friendship. 

Age Range: 3 – 6 years


The Christmas Bear (Tom and Bear) A lift-the-flap book by Ian Whybrow (Author), Axel Scheffler (Illustrator)

A storyline that will greatly appeal to young readers. A text full of witty rhymes and illustrations that explode with detail. Poor Bear gets left behind in Santa’s workshop! How will he make it to Tom’s house in time for Christmas morning? Lift the flaps to find out, as Bear chases Santa’s sleigh through icy seas and snowy forests, all the way from the North Pole to Tom’s cosy bedroom.

Age Range: 3 – 7 years



Snow Penguin Paperback by Tony Mitton (Author), Alison Brown (Illustrator)

This wonderful adventure about a bold little penguin who sets off to explore the seas around the Antarctic is beautifully told in Tony Mitton’s elegant and witty rhyming text (LoveReading4Kids) and illustrated in bold vibrant colours by Alison Brown.

On his travels the little penguin meets two blue whales, a family of sea lions and a whole school of orca, but soon he starts to miss his own family. Sometimes coming home is the best adventure of all.

Age Range: 3 – 5 years

Also have a look at Snow Bear who finds shelter and friendship on a cold winter’s night.



The Christmasaurus and the Winter Witch Paperback by Tom Fletcher (Author), Shane Devries (Illustrator)

William and Christmasaurus are off again on a new adventure to protect Christmas. A story that exudes magic and humour and a friendship like no other, The Christmasaurus and the Winter Witch is a captivating Christmas read for the whole family.

‘She is the best-kept Christmas secret of all,’ whispered Santa Claus. ‘Which is surprising, because Christmas itself would not exist without her. She is older than time itself, yet still as young as tomorrow. She is known only as the Winter Witch.’

Age Range: 7 – 11 years


I hope The Christmasaurus and the Winter Witch will be an exciting new story for all the readers who joined William and that impossible blue dinosaur on their first adventure. Tom Fletcher


Secrets of Winter: A shine-a-light bookPaperback by Carron Brown (Author)

Who doesn’t enjoy reading by torchlight? This cleverly designed ‘Shine-a-Light’ non-fiction picture book, will encourage young readers to discover nature’s secrets about the animals and plants that live in and around a snow-covered forest. A wonderful first introduction to nature in winter that adds a whole new dimension of enjoyment for children. 

Age Range: 3 – 6 years



Winter Sleep: A Hibernation Story Hardcover by Sean Taylor  (Author), Alex Morss (Author), Cinyee Chiu (Author)

In this cozy bedtime story, follow a child and his Granny Sylvie through a winter landscape to explore how the Earth goes to sleep for winter. Spot the sleeping animals in the frosty, quiet forest as the tale unfolds, then learn about their hibernation habits and what they will do when they wake up for spring. In each cutaway scene see what the child cannot – that underground below his feet, are dens with sleeping creatures and within the hollow trunks of trees, animals are nesting.

Co-authors Sean Taylor (picture book author) and Alex Morss (ecologist, journalist, and educator) offer a gentle introduction to the concept of hibernation.

 Age Range: 5 – 7


Snowflake Bentley (Caldecott Medal Book) Paperback & Hardcover by Jacqueline Briggs Martin  (Author), Mary Azarian (Illustrator)

From the time he was a small boy, Wilson Bentley saw snowflakes as small miracles. He was determined that one day his camera would capture for others the wonder of the tiny crystal. Bentley’s enthusiasm for photographing snowflakes was often misunderstood in his time, but his patience and determination revealed two important truths: no two snowflakes are alike; and each one is startlingly beautiful.

His story is gracefully told and brought to life in lovely woodcuts, giving children insight into a soul who had not only a scientist’s vision and perseverance but a clear passion for the wonders of nature. “Of all the forms of water the tiny six-pointed crystals of ice called snow are incomparably the most beautiful and varied.”Wilson Bentley. SNOWFLAKE BENTLEY won the 1999 Caldecott Medal.

Age Range: 6 – 9 years


Jan Homden

An early years teaching specialist and designer, Jan has taught in international schools around the world. She has also worked with a leading architectural practice in Istanbul and is now responsible for design and research at Consilium Education.


Feature Image: Gerd Altmann from Pixabay