Winter Reading List: Book Picks for All Ages - Chapter Books, Picture Books and More

Saturday, January 6, 2024
When I was teaching I used to display new book choices every month for my students, so consider these my special picks just for you! I know it can be challenging to find something that every kid loves (reluctant readers are especially tough), so hopefully, this post will give you some new reading ideas.  

Disclosure: Some books were sent to me as samples, but all opinions are my own. Also, this post contains affiliate links to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I may earn a (very small) commission from qualifying purchases. You can read more about this on my Disclosure page.

Be sure to Pin this post for future use! You never know when you'll need a good book to read.

Board Books: The Very Hungry Caterpillar's First Winter - Eric Carle

The Very Hungry Caterpillar and his friends explore all of the wonderful things that winter has to offer in this sweet board book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar's First Winter by Eric Carle. Recommended for baby- 3 years, board book, 16 pages. And if you're tired of winter, they have these board books available for each season, so maybe grab The Very Hungry Caterpillar's First Spring instead!

Non-Fiction: National Geographic Kids Titles

It wouldn't be a reading suggestion list without some amazing title suggestions from National Geographic Kids. Here's a list of some of my favorites from 2022 and new titles for 2023.

-For Trivia Buffs and Armchair Travelers: Weird But True World 2023 (304 pages, hardcover, 8-12yrs)
-For the Young Foodie: National Geographic Kids Ultimate Food Atlas (160 pages, paperback, 8-12yrs)
-For the Feline Fanatic: Ultimate Book of Big Cats (192 pages, hardcover, 8-12 yrs)
-For the Animal Lover: Why? Animals (192 pages, paperback, 8-12 yrs)
-For the Family Jokester: Just Joking 7 (208 pages, paperback, 7-10 yrs)

Each one is packed with beautiful color photographs, facts and info (or jokes, if you're picking Just Joking 7!). They're perfect for kids who love science, animals, fact seeking or are just plain curious at heart. They're also good for reluctant readers who claim they "don't like reading." You can never go wrong with a National Geograohic Kids book. The hardcovers, especially, make great gifts.  

Picture Book: Cozy in Love by Jan Brett

I absolutely adore Jan Brett but I wasn't sure how kids would feel about a Jan Brett 'love story.' Never fear! Cozy in Love continues the tale of Cozy the Musk ox, and how he hopes to win the affection of his crush, Lofti. Stunning illustrations by Jan Brett of amazing arctic animals, including Cozy's belluga whale friend, Bella. Nothing beats a Jan Brett book. The text is always top notch and the illustrations are incredible. Recommended for 4-8 years, hardcover, 32 pages. 
Picture Book Special Mention: 
Kindness is My Superpower by Alicia Ortego

Kindness is My Superpower, a cute picture book by Alicia Ortego is part of a series of 'superpower' books about virtues and traits like honesty, patience, confidence and more. Available in both english and spanish, Kindness is My Superpower features colorful illustrations about a boy named Lucas and how he learns what it means to be kind, empathetic and compassionate. The rhyming text makes it easy for kids to remember the important story that Lucas shares. The author also includes simple ideas for spreading acts of kindness at the end of the book. Recommended for ages 3-6, paperback, 38 pages. Available for purchase on Amazon here

Chapter Book: ChupaCarter by George Lopez

Actor/Comedian George Lopez released ChupaCarter, fun chapter book written in conjunction with Ryan Calejo and Sandy Gutierrez (illustrator). ChupaCarter is one of two books in a series from Penguin Kids. The story follows 12 year old Jorge and his unlikely friendship with a boy who turns out to be a Chupacabra (an infamous legendary monster who is known for killing livestock). But, of course, Carter is misunderstood, and they each learn something from their unique friendship! Wonderfully illustrated text keeps young readers interested, too. Recommended for ages 8-12, hardcover, 272 pages 

YA Novel (Mystery): Winterhouse

Winterhouse by Ben Guterson is the first in a three part series (and I've read them all!). They're filled with mystery, and The Winterhouse Hotel is a fascinating place, even for the reader. When young Elizabeth is shipped off to live at Winterhouse, she meets a cast of intriguing characters and is plunged into a mystery that she is somehow connected to. Add in a hint of the paranormal and you've got yourself a winner. And might I also add that the cover art is beautiful. Paperback, 400 pages, recommended for grades 4-6.

YA Novel (Scary): The Night Gardener

The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier is a seriously spooky tale and not for the faint of heart! I read this aloud with my son when he was about 11 and we both loved it, but it was definitely creepy. It's described as a "ghost story with shades of Washington Irving and Henry James." Two orphans are working in an old manor where the family is not exactly what they seem. A mysterious phantom gardener and an old curse all intertwine for a scary story that will leave you hiding under the covers. Paperback, 384 pages, recommended for ages 9 and up (but be forewarned that it is quite scary). 

For Fun: The Official Minecraft Coloring Book 

Ah, it's about time, isn't it? I can't tell you how long we've waited for an official Minecraft Coloring Book to be released! These two are finally on the market thanks to Insight Editions. Truth be told, though, these are not for very young kids. Sure, they'll enjoy them, too, but these are more 'sophisticated' Minecraft images with fine details for thin markers or colored pencils. Adult coloring book enthusiasts will love this, as well as older kids and teens who still play Minecraft. Thick, quality pages so the colors don't bleed through; features scenes, biomes, mobs, and more from the game. The Official Minecraft Coloring Book: Create, Explore, Relax (paperback, 64 pages) and The Official Minecraft Coloring Adventure Book (paperback, 48 pages) are available now. Both books are recommended for 4th grade and up.
Adults: Another Lost Boat

I have to give a shout-out to my old friend Glenn G. Coats from our days teaching together. Glenn is such a nostalgic writer with a beautiful, quiet voice that instantly puts you at ease. His latest book, Another Lost Boat: Poems, is best read on the beach or under your favorite blanket with a warm beverage of choice. Even if you've never fished a day in your life you will appreciate the imagery and peaceful tones of the book. Treat yourself (or someone you love- makes a great gift, especially for the fishermen/women in your lives, or those who love the water)! As I get older I find it harder and harder to concentrate on reading long books. Glenn's poems and short style of writing make them easy to read through, too. Paperback, 111 pages (and by purchasing it, you'll support an amazing person who has helped countless children - and adults- become better readers). I also highly recommend An Innocent Mission: More Reflections of a Reading Teacher.

Be sure to check out all of my other book suggestion lists and reviews here!

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