As Autumn turns into Winter, there is nothing I like better than being wrapped up in a warm blanket, hot chocolate in hand allowing myself to become lost in a winter wonderland. From enchanting picture books, haunting tales to murder mysteries, all of these books are guaranteed to transport you to worlds filled with icy glaciers, crunchy white snow and magical snowflakes.
The Snowflake Mistake – Lou Treleaven & Maddie Frost
In an ice palace high above the clouds, a magical machine chugs and churns, making beautiful, identical snowflakes under the watchful eye of the perfectionist Snow Queen, But one day when she leaves her daughter, Princess Ellie in charge everything goes wrong and Ellie must find a way to create her very own snowflakes. A lovely, magical story from Lou Treleaven which explores the beauty of being unique and individual. The gently rhyming tale makes it ideal for sharing or reading aloud. Combined with Maddie Frost’s colourful and vibrant illustrations, makes this book a perfect winter treat.
A Dot in the Snow – Corinne Averiss & Fiona Woodcock
‘Dot in the Snow’ is the story of a curious polar bear, a little girl lost in the snow, and the precious friendship they discover together. A polar bear called Miki would rather play than learn to fish but his mother is far too busy. Whilst she is distracted, his curiosity leads him away to a snow field where he spots a dot in the snow who turns out to be a little girl. When the ice begins to crack and a blizzard sets in, Miki has to find the courage to brave the arctic wilderness and help his new friend. A wonderful irresistible tale of courage and friendship. Corrinne Averiss has created a truly enchanting story. Fiona Woodcock’s exquisite illustrations capture the tenderness and joy of the relationship between Miki and the girl, whilst managing to create a book filled with warmth and coldness simultaneously. Beautiful and gentle a perfect bedtime story for younger readers.
Robin’s Winter Song – Suzanne Barton
How do you describe Winter to someone who has never experienced snowflakes falling or crunched through deep crispy snow. For Robin who is enjoying a beautiful Autumn day in the forest bustling with activity, he wonders what this ‘Winter’ could be, who is making his friends fly away, squirrel away their food and hunt for a cave to hide away until it is over. Robin decides he doesn’t like the sound of Winter, until one day he wakes up and sees a sparkling and shimmering world covered with snowflakes. Filled with awe and wonder ‘Robin’s Winter Song’ is bound to captivate younger readers. Bringing the changes in the seasons to life through its beautifully contrasting spreads packed with intricate details, this is an absolute gem of a picture book.
Raven Child and the Snow Witch – Linda Sutherland & Daniel Egnéus
A dark, captivating and enchanting story from Linda Sutherland with stunning and vivid illustrations from Daniel Egnéus, ‘ Raven Child and the Snow Witch is a true delight. Anya lives with her mother and father in the shadow of the icy glacier where the Snow Witch reigns. Every spring, Anya’s mother journey to the glacier to pick the blue gentian flowers that grow there. But this time, she does not return. The ravens tell Anya the Snow Witch has captured and imprisoned her mother and she sets off on a perilous mission to find her. A tale of courage, hope and the power of love, this is a beautiful fairytale that will be enjoyed by older readers.
The White Fox – Jackie Morris
The day the fox comes, things begin to change for Sol. He’s adrift too, lost in the big city with his father, longing for the wild and frozen north. The fox offers a way back, a chance to reconnect and find his way home. Inspired by the true story of an Arctic fox who ended up as a stowaway in Seattle, this powerful tale explores the themes of loss and bereavement, the connection between animal and humans and the need for us to find a place in the world where we belong. Filled with Jackie Morris’s stunning illustrations this book will entrance the reader with its magical storytelling and sheer beauty. This collectable hardcover edition with a foiled jacket and case, joins Barrington Stoke’s Colour Conkers – glorious, full-colour books that celebrate the very special alchemy that is interwoven word and picture.
Snow Sister – Emma Carroll
It wouldn’t be a wintry line up of books without featuring a tale from the author who for me captures winter like nobody else, the wonderful Emma Carroll. ‘Snow Sister’ is a poignant novella about loss and hardship and the importance of families. Since her sister, Agnes, died, Pearl has a tradition every time it snows. She makes a person out of snow. A snow sister. It makes Christmas feel a little less lonely. On Christmas Eve, her father receives a letter about a long-lost relative’s will. Is their luck about to change? A beautiful, Victorian tale filled with sadness but ultimately at its heart lies hope and happiness. Emma Carroll transports you to a different time and place with her intricate descriptions filled with glorious details, you really find yourself lost within this story. An absolute gem of a winter read!
Winter Magic – Curated by Abi Elphinstone
‘Winter Magic’ is an enchanting collection of delectable short stories from an amazing array of children’s writers which captures completely the adventure, mystery, excitement and joy of this wondrous season. With a marvellous mixture of historical and contemporary settings every story is wonderfully different each of them giving us a different insight of the magic of winter. It is the perfect gift and I’m sure any child would be thrilled to find this under their Christmas tree. Ideal for sharing with younger readers or for more confident readers to read independently. To find out more read the full review of ‘Winter Magic’.
There May Be A Castle – Piers Torday
A mesmerising tale of courage, hope and the power of imagination ‘There May Be A Castle’ is simply beautiful. Piers has created these wonderful characters in Mouse and his sister Violet who are tested to their limits by extreme events and have to fight for their family in the most hopeless of circumstances. The contrast between reality and fantasy allows the story to be filled with fun and excitement giving the story a magical element, to contrast with the true danger they face. Putting the children at the centre of the story and allowing them to control their own destiny, gives them the power to make a difference to their ending. Unique and spellbinding, a truly extraordinary book which I whole heartedly loved. To find out more you can read the full review of ‘There May Be A Castle.’
Murder in Midwinter – Fleur Hitchcock
Little does Maya know that when she takes a photo of a Christmas window display from the top of the bus, that it will bring danger to her and her family. She captures a couple arguing violently in the middle of a crowded street and is convinced she has spotted a gun. When she goes to the police they dismiss her suggestion, but when a body turns up in the river she is sent into hiding in the country. Trapped in the middle of nowhere she resolves to get to the bottom of the mystery. Then the snow comes and no one can get out. But what if someone can still get in? Packed with tension, drama and danger this story is wonderfully compelling and will keep you turning the pages desperate to find out the truth behind this unexplained murder. It will keep you on the edge of your seat providing just enough twists and turns to entertain younger readers without terrifying them. To find out more read the full review of ‘Murder in Midwinter.’
Thank you to Barrington Stoke, Bloomsbury, Maverick Books, Nosy Crow, OUP, Quercus Books, SImon and Schuster and Templar Publishing for sending me copies of these books.