WILD & WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY: Winter picture books


The intricate beauty of snowflakes is fully revealed in this amazing pop-up book. An enchanting explanation of the uniqueness of snowflakes supplemented by information about the real life Snowflake Man, Wilson A. Bentley, who was the first to photograph snowflakes, engages readers of all ages. Each of the seven spreads features fully illustrated pop-ups and delicate mixed media that are sure to surprise and delight.


Pop-up book are always fun, although once you put them in a child's hands they don't tend to last very long.  Which is why I can't put them in my school library.  I got this one to share with my kindergartners though when I talk about snow and winter.  There is basic text describing snowflakes and their uniqueness and beauty, but there are also smaller pop-ups with more information about snowflakes and Snowflake Bentley who helped discover the uniqueness of snowflakes.  A wonderful, glittery book that children as well as adults are bound to enjoy.


There's a blizzard blowing toward Lilypad and someone has to warn the frogs! Frog News Network meteorologist Sally Croaker is busy in the newsroom and Polly Woggins is preparing for live broadcasts in the snow. It's up to Freddy the Frogcaster to spread the news and get everyone prepared for the snow storm!

The second book in the popular Freddy the Frogcaster series from Janice Dean "The Weather Machine," Freddy the Frogcaster and the Big Blizzard will entertain the whole family with a fanciful blend of weather facts and froggy fiction.


I thought it was fun to meet up with Freddy again in this new book by Janice Dean.  Freddy and his classmates are enjoying a field trip to the Frog News Network when Freddy helps point out to them that a blizzard is on the way.  Freddy being on top of things sets out to prepare for the blizzard and when he realizes that Polly Woggins is going to be out in the blizzard, he sets out to help her too, whether she accepts it or not.  The frogs are adorable and the way the weather facts are blended into the story makes this both an enjoyable story and an informative one.  The additional information at the end of the book about blizzards and preparing for them add further value to the book.  A great book for those young readers who are fascinated with the weather.


In this outstanding picture book collection of poems by Newbery Honor-winning poet, Joyce Sidman (Song of the Water Boatman, Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night), discover how animals stay alive in the wintertime and learn about their secret lives happening under the snow. Paired with stunning linoleum print illustrations by Rick Allen, that celebrate nature's beauty and power.


I've long been a fan of the printmaking style of illustrations and this book reminded me once again why that is the case.  These illustrations are absolutely gorgeous.  Whether it's a picture of a fox pouncing, as on the cover, or a hive of bees sequestered for the winter or the beavers in their lodge, Allen has created beautiful artwork that is sure to stand the test of time.  And the poems are just as amazing. There are poems highlighting tundra swans, garter snakes, moose, snowflakes, bees, beavers, and more.  In addition to the wonderful poetry, the author also includes a short explanation of the facts behind the poems.  A beautiful book all the way around and I would be surprised if it doesn't get some award love.  This is definitely one of my favorite picture books of the year.


Blizzard is based on John Rocco's childhood experience during the now infamous Blizzard of 1978, which brought 53 inches of snow to his town in Rhode Island. 

Told with a brief text and dynamic illustrations, the book opens with a boy's excitement upon seeing the first snowflake fall outside his classroom window. It ends with the neighborhood's immense relief upon seeing the first snowplow break through on their street. In between the boy watches his familiar landscape transform into something alien, and readers watch him transform into a hero who puts the needs of others first. 

Rocco uses an increasing amount of white space in his playful images, which include a gatefold spread of the boy's expedition to the store. This book about the wonder of a winter storm is as delicious as a mug of hot cocoa by the fire on a snowy day.


I've long been a fan of John Rocco and this book joins the other books of his that I love.  This is a book that children are bound to enjoy because the focus is on the children in the story.  It's told in first person by the boy as he experiences the joys and difficulties of a powerful blizzard.  Some aspects of the experience were enjoyable such as having school off and playing in the snow, but there were plenty of challenges too, such as the door being stuck, shoveling the driveway, and not being able to get to the store.  But the boy has been reading up on his survival skills and comes up with a way to save the day.  The illustrations are endearing and delightful and so child-friendly, especially the fold-out picture of the boy's meandering journey to the store on his tennis racket snow shoes.  A winner through and through and one I would love to see get some award love in January.

Picture Book Month


  1. My husband and I were just talking about bees and winter this morning...I like the illustrations too. I'll have to check it out. Oh, and a pop-up! I loved those as a kid. What a fun book to read and then follow up with a snowflake making activity.


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