As we transition into the new year and winter continues to hold a firm grasp over us, here are a few books that celebrate the beauty of winter that offer cheer even on the bleakest of days.

Song for the Snow by Jon-Erik Lappano, illustrated by Byron Eggenschwiler

Jon-Erik Lappano and Byron Eggenschwiler’s beautiful picture book is a moving tale about the power of a wish and a lament for the changes seen in the natural world due to human activity and interference. The book centres around a little girl named Freya who loves the snow. So, when two years have gone by and there hasn’t been any snow in her town, Freya begins to wonder when it will be cold again so that she can once again experience the beauty of snow. Things begin to look up when Freya finds a snow globe, which plays the melody of a song that the townspeople sang for generations to call the snow home. Freya sings the song, but there is no snow. Then she has the idea to share the song with the townspeople and soon, everyone in town is signing the snow song until, one morning, the winds change and it starts to snow! Song for the Snow is a gentle story that celebrates traditions as much as it subtly conveys the message about how we can undo some of the damage we have done to nature by our shared effort and hope. Grades Preschool-1       

Snow Days by Deborah Kerbel, illustrated by Miki Sato

Snow is special, because it evokes a sense of wonderment and joy even in the littlest of humans. Snow Days is a simple, rhyming board book that celebrates the beauty of now. In the book, a group of small children steps outside and plays in the snow and observes as it transforms the world and makes everything magical. Snow sparkles and glitters; it invites the children to make snow angels, to skate, build forts, and, of course, make fluffy snowballs. Even when there’s a blizzard outside, the snow brings everyone together as they clear the snow away. Author Deborah Kerbel’s rhyming couplets unabashedly celebrate the joy of snow and perfectly complement Miki Sato’s textural collage art made with felt, paper, and embroidery silk, that make this book a tactile winter wonderland for little ones experiencing snow for the first time in their lives. Grades Preschool   

Painted Skies by Carolyn Mallory and illustrated by Amei Zhao

Painted Skies is a full-colour, illustrated tribute to the aurora borealis, or the northern lights, the brilliant lights that appear in the sky in high-latitude regions at night. Even for people used to the sights and sounds of the Arctic, the lights can be breathtaking; so, how would a newcomer react on seeing them for the first time? The short story in this book is about Leslie, who is new to the Arctic. She is surprised with the amount of snow there and amazed at all the interesting things she sees, not the least of which are the amazing northern lights, which she discovers with her friend Oolipika. Painted Skies invites us to share in the sense of awe that Leslie feels when she sees the stunning natural light show at night. The book also introduces young readers to an Inuit legend about the northern lights, followed by an epilogue that explains the science behind this amazing phenomenon. Grades Preschool-2