• Independent Books to Read for 8-12 Year Old - Great middle grade novels
    book lists,  elementary,  middle grades

    10 Independent Reads for 8-12 Year Olds

    My fourth grader loves to read but goes through spurts where she reads a ton and then weeks where she doesn’t read much. I pretty much do the same so I totally understand.

    Lately she has been reading a ton of books so I thought I would share some of her recent favorites. She can read quite above her grade level (as you’ll see at the end of this list) but she also likes to pick up some age appropriate books to breeze through as well.

    Many of the books on this list are the first books in a series, in those cases my daughter has either continued on with the series and enjoyed the books or intends to continue with the series soon.

    I’m sure I’ll have another list of what she’s been reading lately at the rate she is flying through books these days. If you are looking for more good recommendations for middle grade books I have lots here.

     

    Independent Books to Read for 8-12 Year Old - Great middle grade novels

     

    INDEPENDENT READS FOR 8-12 YEAR OLDS

     

    I created a reading challenge for myself this year and my daughter decided she wanted to participate, this was her choice for a book with a color in the title.

    Ruby Holler

    Brother and sister Dallas and Florida are the “trouble twins.” In their short thirteen years, they’ve passed through countless foster homes, only to return to their dreary orphanage, Boxton Creek Home.

    Run by the Trepids, a greedy and strict couple, Boxton Creek seems impossible to escape. When Mr. Trepid informs the twins that they’ll be helping old Tiller and Sairy Morey go on separate adventures, Dallas and Florida are suspicious.

    As the twins adjust to the natural beauty of the outdoors, help the Tillers prepare for their adventures, and foil a robbery, their ultimate search for freedom leads them home to Ruby Holler.

     

    The Dark Hills Divide

    Inquisitive twelve-year-old Alexa Daley is spending another summer in the walled town of Bridewell. This year, she is set on solving the mystery of what lies beyond the walls. Legend says the walls were built to keep out an unnamed evil that lurks in the forests and The Dark Hills. But what exactly is it that the townspeople are so afraid of? As Alexa begins to unravel the truth, pushing beyond the protective barrier she’s lived behind all her life, she discovers a strange and ancient enchantment — and exposes a danger that could destroy everything she holds dear.

     

    If you haven’t had a chance to see a physical copy of Brian Selznick’s books, you need to. They are a mix of a novel and an illustrated book, it’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before.

    The Invention of Hugo Cabret

    Orphan, clock keeper, and thief, Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the station, Hugo’s undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message from Hugo’s dead father form the backbone of this intricate, tender, and spellbinding mystery.

     

    Matilda

    Matilda is a sweet, exceptional young girl, but her parents think she’s just a nuisance. She expects school to be different but there she has to face Miss Trunchbull, a kid-hating terror of a headmistress. When Matilda is attacked by the Trunchbull she suddenly discovers she has a remarkable power with which to fight back. It’ll take a superhuman genius to give Miss Trunchbull what she deserves and Matilda may be just the one to do it!

     

    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

    Willy Wonka’s famous chocolate factory is opening at last! But only five lucky children will be allowed inside. And the winners are: Augustus Gloop, an enormously fat boy whose hobby is eating; Veruca Salt, a spoiled-rotten brat whose parents are wrapped around her little finger; Violet Beauregarde, a dim-witted gum-chewer with the fastest jaws around; Mike Teavee, a toy pistol-toting gangster-in-training who is obsessed with television; and Charlie Bucket, Our Hero, a boy who is honest and kind, brave and true, and good and ready for the wildest time of his life!

     

    Half Magic

    It all begins with a strange coin on a sun-warmed sidewalk. Jane finds the coin, and because she and her siblings are having the worst, most dreadfully boring summer ever, she idly wishes something exciting would happen. And something does: Her wish is granted. Or not quite. Only half of her wish comes true. It turns out the coin grants wishes—but only by half, so that you must wish for twice as much as you want. Wishing for two times some things is a cinch, but other doubled wishes only cause twice as much trouble. What is half of twice a talking cat? Or to be half-again twice not-here? And how do you double your most heartfelt wish, the one you care about so much it has to be perfect?

     

    Little House in the Big Woods

    Little House in the Big Woods takes place in 1871 and introduces us to four-year-old Laura, who lives in a log cabin on the edge of the Big Woods of Wisconsin. She shares the cabin with her Pa, her Ma, her sisters Mary and Carrie, and their lovable dog, Jack.

    Pioneer life isn’t easy for the Ingalls family, since they must grow or catch all their own food as they get ready for the cold winter. But they make the best of every tough situation. They celebrate Christmas with homemade toys and treats, do their spring planting, bring in the harvest in the fall, and make their first trip into town. And every night, safe and warm in their little house, the sound of Pa’s fiddle lulls Laura and her sisters into sleep.

     

    This has been one of our family favorite audiobooks to date, my daughter loved it so much she has already re-listened to it and wants to read the physical copy as well since I told her about the hilarious footnotes they have.

    On The Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness

    Once, in a cottage above the cliffs on the Dark Sea of Darkness, there lived three children and their trusty dog, Nugget.

    Janner Igiby, his brother, Tink, and their disabled sister, Leeli, are gifted children as all children are, loved well by a noble mother and ex-pirate grandfather. But they will need all their gifts and all that they love to survive the evil pursuit of the venomous Fangs of Dang, who have crossed the dark sea to rule the land with malice. The Igibys hold the secret to the lost legend and jewels of good King Wingfeather of the Shining Isle of Anniera.

     

    A great middle grade fantasy book that reminds me a bit of Alice in Wonderland crossed with Greenglass House.

    Nevermoor

    Morrigan Crow is cursed. Having been born on Eventide, the unluckiest day for any child to be born, she’s blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks–and, worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday.
     
    But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor.
     
    It’s then that Morrigan discovers Jupiter has chosen her to contend for a place in the city’s most prestigious organization: the Wundrous Society. In order to join, she must compete in four difficult and dangerous trials against hundreds of other children, each with an extraordinary talent that sets them apart–an extraordinary talent that Morrigan insists she does not have. To stay in the safety of Nevermoor for good, Morrigan will need to find a way to pass the tests–or she’ll have to leave the city to confront her deadly fate.

     

    It took her a few months but she actually finished this book! She plans to start The Two Towers next month.

    The Fellowship of the Ring

    One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkeness bind them

    In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, The Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell into the hands of Bilbo Baggins, as told in The Hobbit.

    In a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task, as his elderly cousin Bilbo entrusts the Ring to his care. Frodo must leave his home and make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ring and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose.

  • The Best Audiobooks for Preschool to Adult
    audiobooks,  book lists,  elementary

    12 Novels for Grade One

    My son is in grade one this year, when my daughter was this age she was reading novels, he’s not quite there yet but that hasn’t stopped him from taking in a lot of novels this year thanks to audiobooks.

    I asked him to tell him his favorite audiobooks he has listened to this year and he came up with this list! He’s got quite the sense of humor so there are a lot of silly books on this list.

    I have made a couple of other lists of novels for grade one over the years, you can also check those out:

    + Grade One Read Aloud Novels

    + More Grade One Read Aloud Novels

    + 8 More Grade One Read Aloud Novels

    + Classic Novels for Grade One and Two

     

    We listen to audiobooks most through our library’s Overdrive and Libby apps as well as with our subscription to Scribd (you can get your first two months of Scribd free here).

    I have a post I titled the Ultimate Guide to Using Audiobooks in Your Home with lots of audio tips and tricks.

     

     

    12 Great Novels for Grade One - great for read alouds or read alones

     

    12 NOVELS FOR GRADE ONE

     

    Pippi Longstocking has by far been his favorite audiobook of the year. He guessed he’s listened to it 80 times and while I think that’s a little high I know it’s been at least a couple of dozen times. I’m sure he’s drawn to it for the silliness factor and I know he loves that he has the same name as Pippi’s father (Efraim/Ephraim).

    Pippi Longstocking

    Tommy and his sister Annika have a new neighbor, and her name is Pippi Longstocking. She has crazy red pigtails, no parents to tell her what to do, a horse that lives on her porch, and a flair for the outrageous that seems to lead to one adventure after another!

     

    I love that the Magic Tree House series has taught both of my kids so much about history in a really fun way. Sometimes I am amazed that they know about certain people or events and it comes out that they learned it through these books.

    The Magic Tree House

    Meet Jack and Annie! Jack and his younger sister, Annie, are just regular kids. But when they discover a tree house in the woods, something magical happens. Jack and Annie are whisked back in time to the Age of Dinosaurs, a medieval castle, ancient pyramids, and treasure-seeking pirates. Every visit to the magic tree house leads to adventure!

     

    a to z mysteries

    He just breezed through listening to these ones!

    A to Z Mysteries

    A to Z Mysteries have a mystery for every letter of the alphabet.

     

    Another series he breezed through, he claims he likes these ones even more than A to Z Mysteries.

    Calendar Mysteries

    Similar to A to Z Mysteries except there is a mystery for every month of the year!

     

    This is a hilarious and totally ridiculous book that had us all laughing when we had it for a family read aloud and since then both my kids have gone on to listen to the audiobook multiple times.

    The Witches

    This is not a fairy tale. This is about real witches.

    Grandmamma loves to tell about witches. Real witches are the most dangerous of all living creatures on earth. There’s nothing they hate so much as children, and they work all kinds of terrifying spells to get rid of them. Her grandson listens closely to Grandmamma’s stories—but nothing can prepare him for the day he comes face-to-face with The Grand High Witch herself!

     

    This book makes my son giggle to no end.

    George’s Marvelous Medicine

    A taste of her own medicine.

    George is alone in the house with Grandma. The most horrid, grizzly old grunion of a grandma ever. She needs something stronger than her usual medicine to cure her grouchiness. A special grandma medicine, a remedy for everything. And George knows just what to put into it. Grandma’s in for the surprise of her life—and so is George, when he sees the results of his mixture!

     

    Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing

    Two is a crowd when Peter and his little brother, Fudge, are in the same room. Grown-ups think Fudge is absolutely adorable, but Peter and his pet turtle, Dribble, know the truth. From throwing temper tantrums to smearing mashed potatoes on the wall, Fudge causes mischief wherever he goes!

     

    Going, Going, Gone, with the Pain and the Great One

    THE PAIN AND the Great One are going places! In these new stories the kids are on the go—the Pain needs a trip to the emergency room; the family goes to the mall and not everyone stays together; the kids visit a county fair and want to ride the Super Slide; and a beach outing includes a boogie board. Lots more action and adventure for the dynamic duo who never stay still.

     

    Cool Zone with the Pain and the Great One

    The Pain and the Great One hardly agree on anything. But deep down, they know they can count on each other, especially at school, where it often takes two to figure things out. Like when that first baby tooth falls out on the school bus. Or when an unwanted visitor on Bring Your Pet to School Day needs to be caught. Or worst of all, when a scary bully says you’re burnt toast. On days like these it can feel good not to go it alone. (And don’t forget Fluzzy the cat, who knows a thing or two himself.)

     

    Mr. Popper’s Penguins

    A classic of American humor, the adventures of a house painter and his brood of high-stepping penguins have delighted children for generations.

     

    Otherwise Known as Shelia the Great

    Who is Sheila Tubman? Even Sheila isn’t sure. Sometimes she feels like confident Sheila the Great, and other times she’s secret Sheila, who’s afraid of spiders, swimming,and, most of all, dogs. When her family decides to leave the city for a summer in the country, Sheila will have to suffer everything from long-eared dogs to swimming lessons to creepy spiders. That’s enough to drive a city girl nuts! If she survives at all, Sheila may be forced to admit that she’s no supergirl.

     

    This classic is a family favorite!

    Charlotte’s Web

    Some Pig. Humble. Radiant. These are the words in Charlotte’s Web, high up in Zuckerman’s barn. Charlotte’s spiderweb tells of her feelings for a little pig named Wilbur, who simply wants a friend. They also express the love of a girl named Fern, who saved Wilbur’s life when he was born the runt of his litter.

     

    What have been some of your kids’ favorite novels when they were in grade one?

  • The Best Picture Books Published in 2019
    book lists,  elementary,  picture books

    The Best Picture Books Published in 2019

    I love taking time to notice the year a book is published and I am noticing such a great trend in picture books. 2019 was a good year for picture books.

    I’ll admit, we didn’t read as many published in 2019 books at the end of the year but there were so many great ones at the beginning of the year that those were most of my favorites anyway.

    Curious about our favorites from years past? You can check them out here:

    * The Best Picture Books Published in 2018

    * The Best Picture Books Published in 2017

    * The Best Picture Books Published in 2016

     

    If you have some favorite picture books that were published in 2019 that I didn’t share here I would love to hear about them!

     

    The Best Picture Books Published in 2019

     

    THE BEST PICTURE BOOKS PUBLISHED IN 2019

     

     

     

    Ame Dyckman is turning into one of my favorite picture book authors. Wolfie the Bunny is still my favorite of hers (because: adoption) but this one was funny and yet educational – the kids had fun retelling some of the shark stats they learned to their Dad at supper.

    Misunderstood Shark: Friends Don’t Eat Friends

    Last time on Underwater World with Bob Jellyfish…
    “SHARK ATE ME! Now get me OUT, Shark!”
    “That’s strange! I can hear Bob, but I can’t see Bob!”

    This hilarious follow-up to Misunderstood Shark by New York Times bestselling duo Ame Dyckman and Scott Magoon tackles what it really means to be a good friend. Bob is already irate that Shark has eaten him, but when Shark doesn’t admit to eating him, Bob is so mad he declares that the ocean isn’t big enough for both of them! Friends Don’t Eat Friends is exploding with over-the-top humor and awesome marine facts! For example, when Shark overdoses on Finilla Ice Cream after fighting with Bob, we learn that shark teeth are coated with fluoride. Lucky for Shark, he can’t get cavities! Join Shark and the gang for another story and find out if Shark learns his lesson about friendship, or if he really is just misunderstood — again!

     

     

    The illustrations in this book remind us so much of Julie Morstad’s (my daughter even noticed it without me pointing it out) and we love a book with so many possibilities.

    BE A MAKER

    How many things can you make in a day? A tower, a friend, a change? Rhyme, repetition, and a few seemingly straightforward questions engage young readers in a discussion about the many things we make–and the ways we can make a difference in the world. This simple, layered story celebrates creativity through beautiful rhyming verse and vibrant illustrations with a timely message.

     

     

    This book had my kids laughing so hard!

    Undercover Ostrich

    Animals can be sneaky. But do you know who is especially sneaky? Undercover ostriches! They’re everywhere, and they’re masters at going undetected. You’ve probably seen one and just assumed it was another woodpecker or owl. The narrator of this book is on the case, following a single ostrich on his many adventures. Not until the final twist does author and illustrator Joe Kulka let the readers in on the narrator’s true motivation: a peanut collection mission involving undercover elephants.

     

    I love the words in this book but also the diversity in the colors of the children. The cover is my favorite because it looks like my two kids!

    When I Pray For You

    With lyricism, whimsy, and heartfelt emotion, Matthew Paul Turner reveals the tender emotions connected with watching a beloved child grow up and experience the world. Paired with Kimberley Barnes’s vivid and playful illustrations, When I Pray for You is a beautifully affirming book, in which children and parents will see their own stories come to life.

    When I Pray for You celebrates the dreams, hopes, and longings parents pray over their children, and shares with the little ones how much care and concern a loved one feels for them.

     

     

     

    I’ve had a desire to have backyard chickens for years now, though I’m not sure if I would like it if they would be able to talk . . .

    Chicken Talk

    The chickens on the farm have a message for their farm owners! They’re tired of arugula salad, how about putting a fan in their hot coop, and HEYwatch out for that snake in your tent.

    As the children walk around their beloved farm, they discover more and more chicken talk scratched into the dirt. The family can hardly believe it. What will the chickens possibly say next!?

     

    As a cat owning family this book was not only hilarious but also very relatable.

    How To Give Your Cat a Bath: In Five Easy Steps

    Step one: fill the bath
    Step two: put the cat in the bath
    Step three: put shampoo on the cat
    Step four: rinse the cat
    Step five: dry the cat

    Seems simple, right? One problem: the cat has no intention of doing ANY of these things! Watch as the steps keep changing, the cat keeps escaping, the girl keeps eating cookies and the mess keeps escalating. Soon it’s not just the cat who needs a bath–it’s the whole house!

    This spoof on an instruction manual features an increasingly bewildered human, a nonchalant cat and a know-it-all narrator . . . who really doesn’t know it all. How DO you give a cat a bath? Read on to find out!

     

    The Bell Rang

    Every single morning, the overseer of the plantation rings the bell. Daddy gathers wood. Mama cooks. Ben and the other slaves go out to work. Each day is the same. Full of grueling work and sweltering heat. Every day, except one, when the bell rings and Ben is nowhere to be found. Because Ben ran. Yet, despite their fear and sadness, his family remains hopeful that maybe, just maybe, he made it North. That he is free.

    An ode to hope and a powerful tribute to the courage of those who ran for freedom, The Bell Rang is a stunning reminder that our past can never be forgotten.

     

     

    We Are the Gardeners

    From their failed endeavors, obstacles to overcome (bunnies that eat everything!), and all the knowledge they’ve gained along the way, the Gaines family shares how they learned to grow a happy, successful garden. As it turns out, trying something new isn’t always easy, but the hardest work often yields the greatest reward. There are always new lessons to be learned in the garden!

    You and your children can learn all about the Gaines family’s story of becoming gardeners in Joanna’s first children’s book—starting with the first little fern Chip bought for Jo. Over the years, the family’s love for gardening blossomed into what is now a beautiful, bustling garden.

     

    Sea Bear: A Journey for Survival

    A solitary polar bear travels across the sea ice in pursuit of food. As the ice melts and food becomes scarce, she is forced to swim for days. Finally, storm-tossed and exhausted, she finds shelter on land, where she gives birth to cubs and waits for the sea to freeze again.

    Informed by the author’s background in marine science, Sea Bear is a vivid and moving page-turner with a vital message about our changing planet. This is a gorgeously illustrated book, with the perfect marriage of scientific fact and poetry, that shows the reality of climate change and how it poses a threat to animals of the Arctic.

     

    If you have some favorite picture books that were published in 2019 that I didn’t share here I would love to hear about them!

  • book lists,  elementary,  picture books

    The Best Children’s Books for December

    Here we are at the end of monthly book lists! I can’t believe how fast this year went by!

    For this month’s book list I wanted to stick with the reason behind this season and focus on books that prepare us for the Christmas season.

    I am always looking for more great Christmas books that keep Christ at the center so if you have some that aren’t on this list let me know so I can check them out!

    If you are looking for Advent resources you can find some here.

    You can also check out a similar themed list (with almost completely different books) I wrote three years ago!

     

    The Best Children's Books for December

     

    The Children’s Books for December

     

    The Jesus Storybook Bible

    I think this (the Bible) is the best place to start in December. It was apparently unintentional but it just so happens that they are 24 readings leading up to the Christmas story! This is my favorite children’s Bible, I found it so impactful reading it an an adult.

    While other Kids’ Bibles contain stories from the Old and New Testaments, The Jesus Storybook Bible tells the Story beneath all the stories in the Bible, pointing to Jesus as our Savior. From the Old Testament through the New Testament, as the Story unfolds, children will clearly see that Jesus is at the center of God’s great story of salvation—and at the center of their story too.

     

    Jotham’s Journey

    I’ve heard about this series for so many years I am glad to finally read this one this year!

    In this widely popular, exciting story for the advent season, readers follow ten-year-old Jotham across Israel as he searches for his family. Though he faces thieves, robbers, and kidnappers, Jotham also encounters the wise men, shepherds, and innkeepers until at last he finds his way to the Savior born in Bethlehem.

     

    Song of the Stars

    An another amazing work by Sally Lloyd Jones, such a good book for this season!

    The skies shouted it to the seas that thundered it to the waves that roared it to the great white whales that sang it to the starfish in the deep. And tiny sandpipers danced it on shining sands… “It’s time! It’s time!” On one quiet night, creation whispered a secret. Grass and bees, robins and trees all spread the word. Sheep told their young while angels sang the song to the shepherds. Hushed news of a miracle echoed to the ends of the earth. The moment had come. The long-awaited child had arrived! Creation cried out in celebration, but only a few people heard. Only a few joined nature’s chorus, a song in praise of the newborn King.

     

    THE CRIPPLED LAMB

    This one is so sweet, I loved it when I was younger and I love reading it now!

    In this timeless bestseller, readers experience the tender love God has for those who feel alone and different. Joshua was a lamb with a crippled leg who felt left out because he couldn’t run and play like the other lambs. But God had a very special plan for Joshua’s life, as He does for all who feel alone. Readers can expect a gentle tug on their hearts as the little lamb’s prayers are answered in an amazing way. Original oil-painting illustrations by Liz Bonham brilliantly capture the beauty and warmth of this endearing story.

     

    The Littlest Watchman: Watching and Waiting for the Very First Christmas

    Benjamin is a Watchman. It’s his job to watch for the sign that all God’s promises are coming true. It’s his job to watch a stump.

    Trouble is, it’s hard just waiting. And one night, Benjamin finally gives in and stops watching. But that same night, as he sits outside Bethlehem, he gets to watch something wonderful.

    A Very Noisy Christmas

    Some think that Christmas was a “”Silent Night””. Far from it. It was filled with shouting, singing and screaming! It was as noisy as any of our Christmas celebrations.

    This fun and fresh retelling of the Christmas story comes with sound effects so that children can join in as parents read to them. But it also shows children that at the heart of the Christmas story is something we should all be quiet and see: God’s son Jesus was born, so that we can be friends with God forever. Now that’s something worth shouting about!

     

    From Eden to Bethlehem

    Your family will love this unique board book! Using colorful, engaging artwork, From Eden to Bethlehem introduces little ones to the coming messiah – from fall to prophecy to Incarnation – using the animals of the Bible to tell the story.

    Children will delight in the beautiful illustrations and learning about key animals in the Old and New Testaments. The creatures featured in From Eden to Bethlehem follow the narrative arc of Scripture and help children understand Jesus’s coming as the central story of the Bible.

    You will appreciate the artistic design, theologically sound content, and helping your little one gain a greater understanding of the animal kingdom, as well as the coming/establishing of God’s kingdom on earth.

     

    The Christmas Promise

    A captivating retelling of the Christmas story showing how God kept His promise to send a new King. Superb illustrations by Catalina Echeverri and faithful, Bible-centered story-telling by Alison Mitchell combine to make this a book that both parents and children will love.

    A long, long time ago so long that it’s hard to imagine God promised a new King. He wasn’t any ordinary king, like the ones we see on TV or in books. He would be different. He would be a new King; a rescuing King; a forever King!

     

    The Silent Noisy Night

    The night Jesus was born is frequently referred to as a silent night. But how could it possibly have been silent if Jesus was born in a manger, with cows and sheep and donkeys and probably chickens and mice and birds all celebrating His birth? How could these creatures keep quiet?

    The Silent Noisy Night takes on a new twist to the Christmas story by exploring what the night may have been like if all the creatures and people celebrated the birth of Jesus in their own God-given, special ways. With cows mooing and donkeys braying, it may have been a very noisy night.

     

    What are you favorite children’s Christmas books?

  • The Best Picture Books to Read in November - picture books about snow, hibernation and the arctic
    book lists,  elementary,  picture books

    The Best Picture Books for November

    Wow, the year is almost over already! I can’t believe we’re already on to the November picture book list!

    Most November picture book lists floating around on the internet include a large number of Thanksgiving books but I knew I wanted to make this list different, not that I am anti-Thanksgiving, but because as a Canadian we celebrate the holiday at the beginning of October.

    If you are looking for a list of Thanksgiving picture books you can find that here.

    So, this list will include a list of some introduction to winter books. For the record, I know that winter doesn’t technically start until halfway through December but we’ve got a pretty decent cover of snow here already so I hope you’ll forgive me if I just dive right in to all things winter.

     

    The Best Picture Books to Read in November - picture books about snow, hibernation and the arctic

     

    THE BEST PICTURE BOOKS FOR NOVEMBER

    In November

    In November, the air grows cold and the earth and all of its creatures prepare for winter. Animals seek food and shelter. And people gather together to celebrate their blessings with family and friends.
    Cynthia Rylant’s lyrical language and Jill Kastner’s rich, cozy paintings capture the cherished moments of this autumn month–the moments we spend together and the ones we witness in the world around us.

     

    Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter

    As leaves fall from their trees, animals huddle against the cold, and frost creeps across windows, everyone knows―winter is on its way!

    Join a brother and sister as they explore nature and take a stroll through their twinkling town, greeting all the signs of the coming season. In a series of conversations with everything from the setting sun to curious deer, they say goodbye to autumn and welcome the glorious first snow of winter.

     

    Winter Walk

    Slide, step, and stomp through the snow with “Grammy” as she takes her grandkids on a winter adventure. As they explore the woods, they spot a cardinal, learn why some trees are green all year, and build a tall snowman. At the end of the day, they learn how to build a pinecone bird feeder.

     

    I love this look into a farm preparing for winter!

    Sleep Tight Farm: A Farm Prepares for Winter

    A captivating exploration of how a family gets a farm ready for the snow of winter, Sleep Tight Farm lyrically connects each growing season to the preparations at the very end of the farm year. This beautiful and informative book paints a fascinating picture of what winter means to the farm year and to the family that shares its seasons, from spring’s new growth, summer’s heat, and fall’s bounty to winter’s well-earned rest. All year long the farm has worked to shelter us, feed us, keep us warm, and now it’s time to sleep.

     

    You really can’t go wrong with Jan Brett . . .

    The Snowy Nap

    Snow is on the way, and as Hedgie trundles around the farm all his friends tell him of the winter-time fun he will miss as he hibernates–Icicles decorating the chicken coop! Lisa making snowmen! The pond turned to slippery ice! It sounds so amazing, Hedgie decides to stay awake instead of going to his burrow. But then a snowstorm starts. Luckily, Lisa finds him and brings him inside so Hedgie gets to see the wonders of winter from inside the cozy house.

     

    I remember this book from when I was young and the pre-Christmas season seems like the perfect time to read it. I especially enjoyed watching the mice scenes at the bottom of the book.

    Something From Nothing

    The blanket Joseph’s grandfather made him is transformed into many things as the years go by: a jacket, a vest, a tie, a handkerchief–and finally a button. 

     

     

    Stella, Queen of the Snow

    Winter was never so magical as in this marvelous book about Stella and Sam discovering a familiar landscape transformed by a heavy snowfall. Sam makes his very first snowstorm, and, as usual, he has lots of questions: Where do snowmen sleep? Can you eat a snowflake? Do snow angels sing? Older and bolder, Stella knows all the answers, and she delights in showing Sam the many pleasures of a beautiful winter’s day. Young readers are enchanted as Stella and Sam build a gigantic snowman, then they go skating and sledding and make beautiful snow angels in a fluffy, white, magical, and wondrous world.

     

    Sea Bear

    A solitary polar bear travels across the sea ice in pursuit of food. As the ice melts and food becomes scarce, she is forced to swim for days. Finally, storm-tossed and exhausted, she finds shelter on land, where she gives birth to cubs and waits for the sea to freeze again.

     

    The Great Serum Race: Blazing the Iditarod Trail

    In the winter of 1925, Nome, Alaska, was hit by an unexpected and deadly outbreak of diphtheria. Officials immediately quarantined the town, but the only cure for the community of more than 1,400 people was antitoxin serum and the nearest supply was in Anchorage-hundreds of miles of snowbound wilderness away. The only way to get it to Nome was by dogsled.

    Twenty teams braved subzero temperatures and blizzard conditions to run over 600 miles in six days in a desperate relay race that saved the people of Nome. Several of the dogs, including Togo and Balto, became national heroes. Today their efforts, and those of the courageous mushers, are commemorated every March by the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

     

    Bear Has a Story to Tell

    It was almost winter and Bear was getting sleepy.
    But first, Bear had a story to tell…

    Bear found his friend Mouse, but Mouse was busy gathering seeds and didn’t have time to listen to a story. Then Bear saw his friend Duck, but Duck was getting ready to fly south. What about his friend Toad? He was busy looking for a warm place to sleep. By the time Bear was through helping his friends get ready for winter, would anyone still be awake to hear his story?

  • The Best Book Lists (Picture Books and Chapter Books) from Intentional Homeschooling
    book lists,  elementary,  middle grades,  picture books

    The Best Books – A Guide to the Best Book Lists

    If you’ve been around here for any length of time you’ll have noticed that I share a few book lists (the understatement of the year).

    I thought it would make sense to create a place to share some of the best and most popular of the book lists so that’s what this space is!

    This is by no means an exhaustive collection of all the book lists on this site, I also have many book lists by grade, monthly book lists, seasonal book lists, our monthly reading wrap up and a lot more. You can see all the lists here.

    I will keep this list updated and share the best of the best book lists from the blog here.

    Have an idea for a future book list topic? Let me know!

     

    If you love reading and discovering new books I would also highly recommend signing up for my monthly book-ish newsletter where I share all sorts of book-ish things:

     



     

    The Best Books for Kids - great book lists with over 150 book recommendations for babies, preschool, elementary, middle school, high school and adults!

     

    PICTURE BOOKS

     

     

    MONTHLY THEMED PICTURE BOOKS

     

    CHAPTER BOOKS