By Lani Aquino
Whether the topic is snow or the forecast is snow, there’s no better time to settle into a seasonal read. Students can get lost in winter-centered literature as they discover snow facts or as authors use snow as the backdrop for the telling of a favorite tale. This collection of snowy reads has something for students of all ages that can be enjoyed in class as a whole group or at home snuggled under a cozy blanket.
It’s Snowing!- This engaging and informational read by Gail Gibbons has a lot to offer. Students can learn about how snow forms, how to prepare for snowy weather, how to study snowflakes, and more. Geared toward a lower elementary audience, the illustrations, diagrams, and information shared make the science behind snow a fun and easily comprehensible study.
Snowflake Bentley- This Caldecott winner written by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and illustrated by Mary Azarian tells the true story of Wilson Bentley, a pioneer in the study of snow. Bentley’s captivation with snow spanned a lifetime, and his development of a microphotography technique gave science a new view of snowflakes. His story is told through engaging text with sidebars that offer additional gems of information. An excellent selection mixing interests in snow and photography.
Blizzard- This tale of an endless snow stems from author John Rocco’s own experiences during the blizzard of 1978. The simple text accompanies beautiful illustrations and tells the story of how a young boy battles excessive snow to make a heroic trip to the store. A wonderful example of storytelling based on life experiences and the determination of a young boy.
The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter’s Wonderland- Who better to share information about snow than retired ice physicist Jon Nelson, PhD? His expertise on snow coupled with Mark Cassino’s photographs make an engaging and visually appealing nonfiction read for early elementary students. The science behind the beauty of snow unfolds among the pages, and readers will even discover instructions for snowflake catching.
Middle School Snow Day: How I Got Trapped in a Snowstorm and Spent the Longest Week of My Life in School- This comical eread by Emery Trax will have students in the middle grades delighting in a snow day gone awry. Rather than enjoying time away from school when a wintery mix causes a town to shut down, Erwin and all of his fellow students are stuck in school with a mean principal, bullies, girls, and dreaded cafeteria gruel. There are fun and antics around every corner in this short chapter book that can be enjoyed via ereader.
Breadcrumbs- An original tale peppered with elements of Andersen’s Snow Queen, Anne Ursu and Erin McGuire take readers on Hazel’s journey to rescue Jack and their friendship. This fairy tale set in a modern-day winter will draw readers in with its relatable struggles. An engaging coming of age tale set in a wintry landscape, this read for tweens and/or fairy tale lovers will surely become a favorite.
Ice Dogs- Terry Lynn Johnson, an author and experienced musher, weaves a tale filled with great adventure in Ice Dogs. After the loss of her father, protagonist Victoria turns to his team of sled dogs as a way to escape. As she ventures out on a run with the team, she comes across a city boy in need of rescue, and they both end up having to rely on her wilderness skills when they become lost in a blizzard. Lots of suspense accompanies this newfound duo and the dog team as they fight to survive. This is a real nail-biter for upper middle grades.
Twelve Kinds of Ice- The team of Ellen Bryan Obed and Barbara McClintock have paired up to chronicle winter with engaging vignettes and illustrations depicting the different stages of ice. The family begins to discover the first signs of a frozen winter in the different forms of ice that start to appear. Thin and easily breakable panes eventually evolve into a frozen gathering place as ice skaters enjoy the excitement of an outdoor rink. The wonders of ice offer a simple and nostalgic read peppered with life lessons for elementary students.
The wonders of winter and snow are appealing to all ages. These 8 reads rely heavily on snow to engage readers in both fiction and non-fiction texts. Whether it’s the science behind cold-weathered precipitation or the wonder of self-discovery within the season often blanketed in white, this collection holds some heart-warming and educational options for wintry reads.
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