Media Reviews: Winter-Themed Books for Kids
A Day So Gray by Marie Lamba, illustrated by Alea Marley
This story centers around two friends who venture outside on a cold winter’s day. While the first friend focuses on the dull and dreary, the other friend encourages her to see the best in the circumstances. This book features a brightly illustrated setting with expressive, rhythmic text. It also emphasizes social and emotional learning by encouraging children to use positive thinking through descriptions and words. It’s a great choice for sparking gratitude in any weather. FOR AGES 2-7
Snack, Snooze, Skedaddle: How Animals Get Ready For Winter by Laura Purdie Salas
What do you do when winter is coming? This whimsically illustrated nonfiction book about what different animals do highlights fun, rhyming text throughout with additional featured facts about each animal. Children learn interesting bits of information about animals that burrow underground, migrate south and some that even stop breathing. This book’s unique format starts with a simple narrative but unfolds into longer, more detailed information at the end. Children will be ready to engage with the outdoors and conceptualize the natural world. FOR AGES 5-9
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Some Places More Than Others by Renée Watson
Amara has a big birthday coming up: She’s about to turn 12. And all Amara wants is a trip to New York City, where her grandpa lives. After her mother and father surprise her with the fact that she’s going to be a big sister after years of being an only child, she’s determined to make the trip happen. Amara has always wondered why she’s never met her extended family, and when she gets to the big city, she finds out she has many unanswered questions. This is a heartwarming story about the importance of acceptance and the love of family. FOR AGES 8-12
Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy by Rey Terciero, illustrated by Bre Indigo
This graphic novel retelling of “Little Women” is sure to delight kids who are fans of Raina Telgemeier as well as grown-ups who are fans of the classic story by Louisa May Alcott. In this adaptation, the March sisters find themselves dealing with a father sent to war in the Middle East and a mother trying to keep everything together at home, leaving little time or money to help the girls. This modern version features a blended family facing the problems of adolescence as well as issues that arise as a racially diverse family in America. Through it all, the March sisters root for and support each other. FOR AGES 9-14
Snowflake, AZ by Marcus Sedgwick
Ash leaves home to find his stepbrother, who was last seen in the small, desert town of Snowflake, Arizona. Though not especially excited to make friends in the middle of nowhere, he finds some kindred spirits. However, along the way he also finds that the strange sickness that residents in the town have complained about leaves him afflicted as well. Will he and the other residents recover? This is a thoroughly 21st century story that brings up serious questions about illness and environmentalism in modern life. FOR AGES 14+
BookFlix is a Scholastic subscription service where fiction stories and nonfiction text connect. Columbus Metropolitan Library cardholders can access this resource for free from the library’s website.BookFlix offers animated classic storybooks that children can watch, followed by a reading of a nonfiction book that supports the fiction story. Text on the screen is highlighted for easy read-along and deeper exploration of subjects. With nine modules organized by theme, this site is often used by teachers in elementary school classrooms, so children love having access from home. The site is suitable for children in pre-K to third grade.
Christy Meister is an information services specialist at the Reynoldsburg branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library.