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School Closings in New York: 5 Books to Read with Your Kids

Let your kids experience winter without leaving the house!

The weather outside is frightful, and many schools are closed in New York, leaving some parents at a loss for what to do with their kids who are home from school. If the thought of going out in the cold isn’t appealing, how about staying inside and curling up to read a good book? Reading with your kids will ensure that they’re still learning, despite the day off from school. Here are a few picture book ideas that are perfect for a snow day occasion.

1.) Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton – After all the plowing problems and Bloomberg controversy surrounding New York City’s recent snowfall, Katy and the Big Snow takes a more positive spin on snow plows. The book tells the story of Katy, a big red snow plow that saves the day when a snowstorm hits the city, responding to cries of “Help!” from important figures in the city. The illustrations and simple repetitions make it perfect for three- to six-year-olds.

2.) Snow Crazy by Tracy Gallup – Snow Crazy tells the story of a little girl experiencing the joy of snow, waiting eagerly for it to start falling after she hears the forecast for a snowstorm. She makes snowflakes and drinks hot chocolate with her mother, and when it finally arrives, she sleds, skates and makes snow angels with her friends. After reading Snow Crazy, maybe you can make some snowflakes and hot chocolate of your own.

3.) Stranger in the Woods by Carl R. Sams II – Is your child an animal lover? Stranger in the Woods is a beautiful book with full page photographs of all kinds of animals including bluejays, owls, deer and squirrels. It tells of a young brother and sister who wander into the woods to build a snowman and interact with all the animals who live there. This book will captivate your child, appealing most to four- to eight-year-olds.

4.) Owl Moon by Jane Yolen  – This is another animal-related book about a little girl who goes “owling” with her father. Illustrator John Schoenherr received the 1988 Caldecott Medal for his beautiful watercolors in Owl Moon. The artwork and words show the love between father and daughter–a great way to celebrate the bond you have with your child.

5.) The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats – The Snowy Day is another Caldecott Medal Winner that tells the story of Peter, a young African-American boy who lives in a city and experiences the delight of his first snowstorm. Keats wrote and illustrated this book in the 1960s after he realized he had never seen an African-American child pictured as the hero of a children’s book, so although this is an older book, it might present a good opportunity for a mini history lesson with your kids.

Photo: Flickr user Eyeliam

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