Santa Barbara County may not have a snow season, but winter is still in the air. These frosty new picture books will excite young readers with stories involving cooler temperatures, especially considering the proximity of the December holidays.

Guess How Much I Love You in the Winter

By Sam McBratney; illustrated by Anita Jeram; Candlewick Press; 12 pages; $18.99

Sam McBratney’s book, Guess How Much I Love You in the Winter, is one of the most beloved children’s books in recent history.

This cute deluxe paper edition showcases a snowy backdrop with layered three-dimensional scenes that feature exquisite paper artwork. Trees and fences look real with cut-out spaces between branches and logs, while silvery glitter adds sparkle to snowy details in a display of love between Big Nutbrown Hare and Little Nutbrown Hare.

The playful story ensues when the pair plays I Spy and gives each other clues about shadows, a stream and a feather.

The last scene is a satisfying answer to clues “It’s little. ... It’s nutbrown. ... It’s my most favorite thing. ... And it can hop.”

“It’s me!” is the cuddly answer.

Cozy and perfect for sharing before bed or naptime, this cut-paper edition of a favorite winter variation is splendidly charming.

First Snow

By Bomi Park; Chronicle Books; 34 pages; $16.99

Simple with a timeless, vintage appeal, First Snow is a black, white and red tale that introduces readers to a little girl who spots snowflakes, dons her winter clothes and heads outside in the night to roll a snowball across the town and the woods.

The story is told with punctual text, such as: “Beneath the lights. Beneath the moon. Fast, fast, fast.”

The girl eventually spots a field full of children who all wear red scarves and mittens like hers and have giant snowballs. They work together to concoct many snowmen.

Newcomer Bomi Park’s little book has lots of hidden details and childlike appeal. It’s magical, flowing and easy to read, and it succinctly captures the joy of a first snow.

The Most Perfect Snowman

By Chris Britt; Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins; 32 pages; $17.99

In The Most Perfect Snowman, Drift was a plain lonely snowman that had a few pieces of coal for a face and arms. He dreams of stylish mittens and an orange carrot nose, especially since all the other fancy snowmen just laugh and avoid him.

One happy morning, some children walk by and festoon Drift with their own hats, scarves and mittens. One little girl squishes a pointy carrot into Drift’s face and declares: “Now you’re the PERFECT snowman!”

Drift seems to come to life then, playing with the children happily. Eventually, though, a blizzard blows his hat and mittens off, and he’s left with only his scarf and his nose. He spots a shivering hungry bunny, shelters him, warms him with his scarf and feeds him the carrot, then becoming the real “most perfect snowman of all.”

A heartwarming, sweet tale about the power of giving, generosity and kindness, cartoonist Chris Britt’s newest story is sweet, fun and filled with frosty spirit.

Bunny Slopes

By Claudia Rueda; Chronicle Books; 56 pages; $15.99

Interactive, witty and unique, Claudia Rueda’s book, Bunny Slopes, invites preschoolers to shake it to make it snow, tilt to help Bunny down the ski slopes and turn it to help him escape a cliff in his path.

Kids are instructed to “tap tap tap the top of the book” to pack down the snow, and even jump to help Bunny clear a hill.

As an added bonus, a cut paper hole in the book enables Bunny to fall (down the rabbit hole, methinks) into his cozy home, where Mom is waiting with a cup of hot cocoa.

With simple penciled sketches and an exciting day of twists and turns on the bunny slopes, Rueda’s innovative book is a winner.

Bears in the Snow

By Shirley Parenteau; illustrated by David Walker; Candlewick Press; 30 pages; $15.99

In Bears in the Snow, the sixth in Shirley Parenteau’s bears series, we find the Bears in the snow. It’s a colorful rhyming adventure about a sled that’s too small for four.

The Bears say: “Yellow falls off at the top of the hill. Floppy Bear is the next to spill. Then Fuzzy Bear tumbles into the snow. Whump! Calico is the last to go.”

Oh, no. What will they do?

Big Brown Bear happily comes to the rescue, belly flopping into the snow, inviting all four little bears to ride on his back down the hill. And when they do they shriek with joy.

The end result is a cozy scene with hot chocolate and laughs.

This book is adorable and wintry.

— Lee Littlewood writes the Kids’ Home Library column for Creators. The San Diego wife and mom’s pure love of children’s literature helps her stay interested in words and pictures meant for tots to teens. Click here to contact her, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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