Since it is January, and the boys are upset every day there isn’t snow (Mom and Dad not so sad), I thought we’d share some snow books—nonfiction and our favorite fiction ones, too.
Asking Questions and Getting Answers in Nonfiction
As Allie mentioned in her post about informational text, kids are inquisitive! Nonfiction books are a great opportunity to get their questions answered and encourage them to learn even more.
The boys have lots of questions about snow:
- What is snow?
- Why does it snow?
- How do you know when it will snow?
- Why can’t it snow all the time?
- Why does some snow make a good snowman and other snow doesn’t?
We didn’t have time to get to the library so we do what we usually do—head to Amazon FreeTime Unlimited. After Allie’s post, I realized how few nonfiction books in our collection. But FreeTime makes up for that.
I’m an Amazon addict, and we have Kindles/Fire Tablets for every member of our family. On the boys’, there is FreeTime, which is a subscription for Fire Tablets that offers unlimited access to thousands of kid-friendly books (of course!), movies, TV shows, educational apps, and games. When we need a nonfiction title to learn about a holiday, person, or topic, we go search in FreeTime.
With this in mind, we headed to the Fire in search of books that will help us answer our questions about snow. Here’s what we found.
This book by Tamra Orr answered lots of our questions. And it is done through a narrative where a kid (named Taylor so could be a boy or girl) is hoping for a snowstorm and talking with his mom about it. Photographs with captions provide additional facts.
A question at the end of each chapter help kids consider the information they learned and take it further. There are even suggestions for additional research topics as well as books and website to investigate further.
This Wonder Books Level One Reader by Alice K. Flanagan is a book CJ can read by himself. The text and information provided are simple, but still explains things like why it snows, how snow becomes a storm, and what it does for plants and animals. Photographs support the text for early readers or engage non-readers.
Animals have a good sense of what the weather is going to be. So watching them can be a good indication of what weather’s coming. Sweet illustrations in this book by Hye-won Yang takes the reader through different weather. Interwoven throughout are facts about what animals do when certain weather is coming. At the end of the book, author Eun-gyu Choi and editor Joy Cowley include questions to think about and a related activity.
From the How-To Library, this book by Dana Meachen Rau and illustrated by Kathleen Peterlinsek not only answered the question about what snow makes the best snowman, but gave the boys lots of other ideas for playing in the snow. It includes a list of tools, ideas for decorating, and step-by-step directions for constructing with snow. Both illustrations and photographs are included for guidance.
Note before you read: Some projects are rather involved. You might want to read before your child and select the projects you think are appropriate (and you have the supplies for).
More Learning on the Internet
Another great source for information is the Internet. We go there when we want/need an answer quickly or can’t find a book. I also love showing the boys how to use the Internet and technology for something other than games and videos. Plus, this is how they’ll do their research later in life. Guiding them through how to do this gives them a head start.
To make searches more kid friendly, I add “for kids” to my search term. Here’s what comes up in Google for “facts about snow for kids.”
Science Kids offered a list of snow facts. There’s an activity for making a snowflake, though we didn’t try it. No Borax in the house. (And I had to look up what it was. According to About Education, it’s a common household chemical. I wouldn’t say it’s THAT common. According to Wikipedia, it is also known as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate. None of those names helped me either.)
Cool Kid Facts reads like a book with heads that organized the information. We like the Interesting Facts best. Did you know that snow technically isn’t white? It doesn’t have a color. But the reflection from the sun makes it look white.
We also found Weather Wiz Kids, which has a whole page on winter weather. We learned about more than snow and found activities, too.
Letting Our Imagination Snow with Fiction Books
While we love getting information, we love letting our minds wander in fiction. Here are our favorite fiction snow titles:
I gave this classic to CJ in his first snowy February. Though very well known, it was one I didn’t remember. A friend highly recommended it and now it’s one of our favorites! We’ve read it so much that the boys will often do what it describes—make tracks in the snow and try to bring snow inside—and then refer back to the book. I love when they make connections to what we read. I know they’re really getting it!
If you haven’t read this simple yet magical tale by Ezra Jack Keats about what a little boy does on a snowy day, you must check it out! It will remind you of the wonder of childhood.
Talk about imagination—author Caralyn Buehner has a great one! “What do snowmen do at night?” is just the kind of question a kid would ask. This book has creative answers that are all a spin on what kids do in the snow.
The illustration by Mark Buehner add to the fun. There are even hidden shapes that have been painted into the scenes. (See the note on the last page with the copyright notice.) Something else to do during what I’m sure will be multiple readings of the book.
We had to add a silly book to our snow picks for you. You and your kids will be rolling your eyes while you read this book by Maureen Wright, illustrated by Stephen Gilpin. It’s good for talking about sharing and being persistent…even with someone stubborn like Sneezy.
Sneezy the Snowman is cold. He’s constantly trying to warm up in ways that melt him. But the kids help him find a way to feel just right.
We hope you enjoy these books about snow. Please share your favorites and tell us how you access nonfiction with your children.