January Children’s Literature Reviews {Winter Themed}

One of the best parts of winter is getting to read new fiction stories to my speech-language therapy students. Although I do not love cold weather, I do love reading winter themed stories. Here are my 5 favorite books that are ideal for January and even next month as the feeling of winter may still be very present in your area and even here in Atlanta! 

I absolutely love the books written by Jan Brett!!! My speech-language therapy students are always engaged when I read aloud her stories. This week I had a break through moment when a student finally used her correct tongue placement for the /l/ sound during articulation practice during my read aloud! I was so excited!!! This is a student with moderate intellectual disability who struggled immensely with tongue elevation and placement for this sound and woila! She nailed it several times while reading The Three Snow Bears by Jan Brett! 

This is a fun book that follows Aloo-ki a native Inuit girl on an adventure as she searches for her huskies or sled dogs. Along the way, she discovers an igloo and makes herself quite comfortable in the home of Papa, Mama, and Baby Polar Bear. I love this winter themed twist of Goldilocks and the Three Bears and my speech kiddos do too!! This book is great when working with articulation, speech fluency, and language students!

I also like, The Mitten as well as The Hat by Jan Brett. These books are ideal for preschool and early elementary aged kids who need practice with sequencing, verbal narratives, answering yes/no questions, and answering “wh” questions.  Both books follow a simple story line. The Mitten is a Ukrainian Folktale about a boy, Nicki, who loses his white mitten made by his grandmother in the snow. Before he finds it, several animals make it their new home until the bear sneezes and they are all suddenly thrown out of their new dwelling. 

The setting of The Hat is a Scandinavian farm where a little girl, Lisa, hangs her winter clothes on a clothesline. Hedgie, the main character, gets a wool stocking stuck on his head and he tries to convince his animal friends why it’s a good thing. Unfortunately, his friends tease him and tell him that he looks ridiculous! Lisa eventually finds Hedgie with her stocking meanwhile the other animals end up running around the farm wearing other winter clothes that they took from Lisa’s clothesline. At the end of hte story, Hedgie comments by saying, “Don’t they know animals should never wear clothes!”

My other favorite author of winter themed books is Caralyn Buehner. My students and I absolutely adore Snowmen At Night and Snowmen All Year  because they enjoy seeing what activities the characters will do next. 

Both books are excellent instructional and practice tools to address the usual answering “wh” questions, sequencing, and story retell objectives. However, the past 2 weeks I also had students practice naming synonyms and antonyms with specific vocabulary targets with this book. They completed this task orally and on a worksheet that I made with a word bank. I know many of you are familiar with the story lines of these books, but those that aren’t will just have to read them with your students to find out what happens!

Thanks for reading the blog today. 

Tamara Anderson


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