Ready or not, winter is on its way. (The official start of winter is December 21). Keep these in mind when it's too cold to do anything but curl up in your favorite blanket or relax by a roaring fire and read:
Baby Bear Counts One is just as adorable and outstanding as Baby Bear Sees Blue. As Baby Bear and his mother prepare for hibernation, they count the other animals preparing for winter.
As fun as nibbling a pumpkin with Mouse, running with Dog, or hopping with Frog sounds, The Busy Little Squirrel is much too concerned with preparing for winter. Nancy Tafuri's trademark style of big bold illustrations and simple text makes this a perfect read for toddlers (just like her other books!).
It's Snowing!, like Gail Gibbons's other nonfiction picture books, are attractive and fun reads that introduce basic concepts and topics to readers ready to tackle easy nonfiction. How snow is formed, places where it snows, and safety tips for winter storms.
Kevin Henkes's Old Bear is one of my top three favorite Kevin Henkes picture books (I can't choose just one; my other top favorites are Little White Rabbit and My Garden). While Old Bear slumbers through winter, he dreams of being a little cub again.
Il Sung Na's books are magical; I haven't read one that isn't sublime. Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit: A Book of Changing Seasons features a little rabbit who investigates its surroundings while other creatures hibernate or migrate. Rabbit has a surprise at the end of winter, too!
Joyce Sidman's nature poetry collections are exceptional (her non-nature poetry is fabulous as well!); not only are the poems and illustrations divine, but each poem is enhanced by paragraphs that explain the science behind the subject of the poem. Winter Bees and Other Poems of the Cold is centered on hibernation and migration; why snakes don't freeze during winter, how honeybees survive the cold, and other amazing survival instincts of animals. If you're not familiar with Sidman's work, you are in a treat (don't miss her Newbery Honor book, Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night; as you can probably guess, it's all about creatures' habits of the night--the porcupette poem is fantastic).
Not only is winter approaching, but so are the holidays! If you're shopping with Amazon, please consider using this link when you make your purchases. Fauquier County Public Library will receive a portion of the proceeds. Thank you!
Jennifer Schultz, Youth Services Librarian, Fauquier County Public Library