Are there certain books you always want to read when it gets dark and cold? Horn Book Magazine recently featured several short articles by people describing their favorite things to read on snowy days. My personal list includes The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and The Dark is Rising (but not The Long Winter, which was what I read in summer to cool down).
Here are a few books especially for winter solstice reading. Some talk about the science of the seasons while others are traditional stories that tell why the seasons change. Some are original, modern stories about people’s need for light, and some celebrate winter pleasures like playing in the snow!
City of Light, City of Dark: A Comic Book Novel by Avi
Asterel races against time to locate a token which will prevent the Kurbs from freezing the city.
The Cobble Street Cousins: Special Gifts by Cynthia Rylant
Nine-year-old cousins Rosie, Lily, and Tess spend their winter vacation learning to sew with their neighbor Mrs. White and preparing for a special winter solstice dinner with Aunt Lucy and her boyfriend Michael.
Here Comes Jack Frost by Kazuno Kohara
One cold morning, a lonely boy wishes for something to do. Then someone comes to play who knows what winter is all about.
The Longest Night by Marion Dane Bauer
One very long night, a crow, a moose, and a fox all claim they can bring back the sun, but the wind knows that only one little creature has what is needed to end the darkness.
Lucia and the Light by Phyllis Root
One winter in the Far North the sun disappears and Lucia, accompanied by her milk-white cat, braves the freezing cold and trolls who want to eat her, trying to find the sun and bring it back.
Persephone by Sally Pomme Clayton
Based on the Greek myth of the beautiful young goddess who is snatched by Hades and taken to the underworld, this beautifully illustrated classic brings to life one of the world’s most ancient legends–the origins of the seasons.
The Reasons for Seasons by Gail Gibbons
Here is an explanation of how the position of Earth in relation to the sun causes seasons, and the wonders that come with each one of them.
The Shortest Day: Celebrating the Winter Solstice by Wendy Pfeffer
Find out how and why daylight grows shorter as winter approaches, the effect of shorter days on animals and people, and how the winter solstice has been celebrated throughout history. You can also find ideas for special winter activities.
The Sun’s Daughter by Pat Sherman
Once the Sun’s daughters walked on the Earth, leaving crops growing wherever they had stepped. When the daughter Maize is trapped by Silver, the Sun vows not to touch the Earth until she is returned.
The Winter Solstice by Ellen B. Jackson
Read about what ancient people did at the darkest time of the year. Some activities may look familiar, because people still do some of the same things today!