If you haven’t already noticed the slight chill in the morning air, the changing seasons are likely creeping into your thoughts. Winter is coming, as they say. This has us looking forward to cozy evenings curled up on the couch with our families. In recent years, the ideas of the Danish concept of hygge have become rather trendy, and for good reason. Hygge is about shutting out the coldness of the world and making time to connect with the people we love. It’s about cultivating a feeling a coziness and hominess, and that’s something we can all get on board with! To learn more about hygge, click here and here to read two great articles.
Reading is one of the main components of hygge, so it’s important to remember that any book will do the trick! We thought it might be fun, however, to curate a list of extra cozy books that you can enjoy while snuggled up next to your children. We hope you enjoy them!
Pre-Primary & Primary
Kitten’s First Full Moon, by Kevin Henkes
Readers will love following the little kitten around as he tries to reach a bowl of milk, which also happens to be moving in the night sky. Filled with beautiful black and white illustrations and repetition for young readers, this sweet story will surely become a new favorite read this winter!
Goodnight, Gorilla by Peggy Rathman
In this almost entirely wordless picture book, readers watch as a playful gorilla borrows the zookeeper’s keys to let out all the other zoo animals. Readers will love watching the ever-growing line of animals behind the zookeeper as they follow him home and make themselves comfortable. Snuggle up and enjoy this book together, have your child tell you what’s happening on each page!
Ox-Cart Man by Donald Hall, illustrated by Barbara Cooney
A family who live by and rely on the seasons takes us through a year in their life. The story begins with the father loading up an ox-cart with the goods the family has gathered and made throughout the previous year: wool from their sheep, potatoes, and cabbages from their garden, knitted mittens, handmade brooms and shingles, and much more. He drives the cart to the market and sells it all, including the cart and the ox. After a quick stop to purchase a few items, he walks home, and the family enters another year together, working with the land.
Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton
If you find yourself bracing for a blizzard (or even just enjoy the thought of getting snowed in), this is a delightful read to share with young children. Katy is a tractor that works for the city, helping in all sorts of ways. When a major storm hits, she alone is able to dig the city out. Follow Katy as she helps guide firefighters, water main repair workers, doctors, and even airplanes to safety.
Annie and the Wild Animals by Jan Brett
After her cat disappears into the woods at the beginning of winter, Annie sets off to find a new pet. Sparse in words, this story is also told through intricate illustrations that border each page allowing the reader to get a glimpse into the future. Readers can pour over Jan Brett’s beautiful illustrations for hours while snuggled under a blanket!
Lower Elementary & Upper Elementary
Little House in the Big Woods, by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Cozy up with the first book in the series that is loosely based off of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s life living in a cabin in Wisconsin with her Ma, Pa, and sisters. This is a story that can be enjoyed by all ages and will capture those readers who love historical fiction, especially pioneer life.
The Story of Doctor Doolittle by Hugh Lofting
A classic story that will delight animal lovers! Doctor Doolittle was once a human doctor but quickly realized that he related better with animals than people. Follow Doolittle as he befriends a crocodile in his backyard, discusses eye problems with a horse, and confides in his parrot, Polynesia. This off-beat and funny story will bring laughter to any reader and entertainment on gray days!
The Vanderbeeker’s of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser
When the Vanderbeeker’s find out they have eleven days to move out of their beloved brownstone, the children take it upon themselves to come up with a solution to convince their grumpy landlord they can stay. A great series to start this upcoming fall as readers will want to jump right in and join the Vanderbeeker family (despite the cramped living situation!).