Are you looking for some secular winter read alouds? If so, I have you covered from picture books to novels that are about winter or take place during the winter.
I’ve rounded up several of my favorite winter read alouds that you can read to your kids. Remember that read alouds provide the perfect opportunity to develop fluency and comprehension so this time is not wasted (just in case you needed to hear that).
If you want Christmas or holiday themed winter read louds, check out this list of Christmas Read Alouds for Grades K-7.
Winter Read Alouds for Early Elementary
These books are great for pre-k through second grade.
The Snowy Day
In this classic book, a little boy wakes up to find it it snowed overnight. He puts on his snowsuit and walks through the neighborhood covered in snow.
Hush Hush, Forest
A cute story about how some residents of the forest get ready for winter. Great for younger listeners.
A Loud Winter’s Nap
Tortoise hibernates during every winter thinking he’s not missing out on anything. But this year his friends try to convince him to stay awake to experience the magic of winter.
The Story of Snow
This is a great nonfiction book that answers all the questions about snow. With photos of real snow crystals and answers to questions like, “Are no two snow crystals alike?”, your kids are sure to love learning about snow.
There Was a Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow!
A fun winter twist on the classic tale of There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly. Follow along as she swallows all kinds of winter items and get to the surprise at the end.
Snowmen at Night
What do snowmen do when no one is watching? This is a cute story about snowman playing games at night.
The animals prepare for winter by migrating, stockpiling food, and getting a new coat. But what should the fox do? He consults with other animals before finding the perfect way to celebrate the season.
How to Catch a Snowman
Experience a winter wonderland as you try to catch the snowman. The snowman seems to escape the many traps the kids set for him, but they need to catch him to enter the snowman contest.
The Lights that Dance in the Night
A beautiful story about the Northern Lights. Kids will love the illustrations and the story is just magical.
Lemonade in Winter: A Book About Two Kids Counting Money
Two siblings decide to set up a lemonade stand in winter. They gather their money, buy supplies, and make lemonade, limeade, and lemon-limeade. They get a few customers but don’t make enough money to cover their costs, though it does get them two popsicles.
Sneezy the Snowman
Sneezy the Snowman is cold and needs to warm up. He tries hot cocoa, a hot tub, and a warm fire which melts him. But the children know exactly how to fix him and get him back to good as new.
The Shortest Day: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
This book teaches kids about the winter solstice and how it has been observed by different cultures throughout history. A great choice if you want to touch on a few different religions and be more inclusive of holiday celebrations.
Winter on the Farm
Follow a young boy doing his afternoon chores on the farm during winter. This book is from the Little House series and introduces younger readers to the characters and setting.
After what seemed like an endless snowstorm, Cami Lou and her brother build a huge snowman. The snowman is so big it gets lots of attention, good and bad. A judge rules that Snowzilla must come down so Cami and her brother must save Snowzilla.
A little boy loses his mitten and a snowy adventure ensues. Several woodland animals, from small to big, find the mitten and crawl inside. A funny modern classic that younger readers will enjoy.
Winter Sleep: A Hibernation Story
Use this story to teach kids about hibernation. The story follows a child and his grandma as they walk through a wintery forest and spot sleeping animals. At the end of the story there is more information about the animals’ hibernation habits.
Cozy, a soft musk ox in Alaska, has very warm fur. He gets separated from his family during a storm, but soon other animals find his warm and cozy fur. They end up under his fur and spend the winter there.
The Magic of Friendship Snow
This is such a great book for kids who struggle to make friends. Jojo is sad and lonely, but one day she meets a snowman named Puddles. Puddles teaches Jojo how to be a friend, but what happens when spring comes and Puddles is gone?
One Cool Friend
Elliot visits the aquarium and takes a penguin home. Now he must care for this penguin in his home without his dad noticing. Lots of laughs and a surprise ending.
One Winter’s Day
Little Hedgehog’s nest gets blown away by a strong storm. He puts on his winter clothes to go visit his friend Badger’s warm house. On his way there, he finds many cold friends and ends up giving away his warm clothes to each one. Will he make it through the rest of the storm without his warm clothes?
Winter Read Alouds for Upper Elementary and Older Students
These chapter books take place during winter and make great read alouds for older kids.
The Winter King
A village has been trapped in winter from the Winter King’s grasp ever since Cora’s father disappeared through the ice. Desperate to escape the bleak season, she breaks some rules, discovering a deep secret, and that she has put herself and others in greater danger.
This classic is all about a thrilling dogsled race. Little Willy lives with his grandfather who is too sick to work on the farm. Little Willy is determined to enter the National Dogsled Race so he can win the prize money to save the farm. But he has fierce competition from experienced racers, including a Native American man named Stone Fox who has never lost a race.
Warriors in Winter (Magic Tree House)
From the popular Magic Tree House series, this book takes Jack and Annie back to the Roman times. They must be like a warrior but it’s easier said than done. A fun adventure in the winter of the early 100s AD.
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
This classic makes a great read aloud that takes place in a winter wonderland. Four siblings walk through a wardrobe into the land of Narnia, a land frozen in eternal winter and enslaved by the White Witch. But these siblings go on an adventure that ends up changing Narnia forever.
Winter of the Ice Wizard (Magic Tree House)
Another Magic Tree House book that takes place in winter. After Merlin the magician and Morgan le Fay disappear, Jack and Annie go looking for them in the Land-Behind-the-Clouds, a frozen kingdom of ice and snow. They need to solve the Ice Wizard’s riddle to rescue Merlin and Morgan or they disappear forever.
A high stakes adventure about three kids who find themselves in the middle of a historic blizzard. Two siblings head to New York to visit their cousin, excited about experiencing snow for the first time. But instead of the fun they expected, they experience the arctic air and blackouts. Then their dog gets lost outside and the cousins set out to save him.
The Adventurers and the City of Secrets
This is book 3 in a series of 6. The Adventurers track down two criminals who stole some ancient treasure in London. They must follow clues, decipher codes, and find their way through the city. A fast paced adventure that is highly entertaining.
The Adventurers and the Continental Chase
As the Adventurers are on a holiday in France, they learn about some suspicious activity in the Alps. They head there to investigate and it turns into an epic road trip with a chase across Europe.
Brian’s Winter (A Hatchet Adventure)
If your kids have read and liked Hatchet, this is the third book in the saga. What if Brian was not rescued at the end of summer and instead had to face a harsh winter in the Canadian wilderness? This riveting and inspiring story of survival is sure to entertain older kids.
The Long Winter
From the Little House on the Prairie series, this book takes place in the Dakota Territory in the winter of 1880-1881. The town is hit with horrible blizzards and the family must ration their food and coal. The supply train is not able to deliver any supplies and the town is cut off from the outside. With provisions running out, young Almanzo Wilder and a friend must journey through the dangerous terrain to find supplies.
The Arctic Code
A fast paced adventure story that takes place during a new ice age in the future. Eleanor Perry lives in Tucson, a popular destination for refugees of the Freeze. Her mother is a climatologist who thinks she found the key to survival in some oil deposits in the Arctic – but she suddenly disappears. Eleanor has to find her, but first she has to solve the cryptic messages left by her mother.
The Great Hibernation
Think Lord of the Flies set in winter and full of comedy, and that’s what The Great Hibernation is. In the town of St. Polonius, the annual Tasting of the Sacred Bear Liver is held where every 12 year old must eat one bite of liver to prevent the recurrence of the Great Hibernation, when the town founders fell asleep for months. That means Jean Huddy has to taste the liver this year, and it does not go well. Within a few hours, the adults fall into a deep sleep and the kids are left on their own. It’s fun at first, but Jean begins to suspect that maybe someone engineered the whole “hibernation” thing.
Jasper and the Riddle of Riley’s Mine
A historical fiction about two siblings who escape their drunkard of a father and set out on the dangerous journey to Alaska during the Klondike Gold Rush.
This story has a complex synopsis so here is the text from the publisher: “Trapped in a hidden fortress tucked between towering mountains and a frozen sea, Solveig–along with her brother the crown prince, their older sister, and an army of restless warriors–anxiously awaits news of her father’s victory at battle. But as winter stretches on, and the unending ice refuses to break, terrible acts of treachery soon make it clear that a traitor lurks in their midst. Solveig must also embark on a journey to find her own path. Yet, a malevolent air begins to seep through the fortress walls, as a smothering claustrophobia slowly turns these prisoners of winter against one another. Those charged with protecting the king’s children are all suspect, and the siblings must choose their allies wisely. But who can be trusted so far from their father’s watchful eye? Can Solveig survive the long winter months and expose the traitor before he manages to destroy a kingdom?”
Twelve year old Maddie wakes up to find she’s alone. The entire town was mysteriously evacuated and abandoned. She has to survive without power, phones, and internet. All she has is a Rottweiler and many books. Months pass as she survives disasters, looters, and wild animals, but the loneliness is her biggest problem.
Let me know if there are any winter books I should add to this list.