Magical Winter Reads

Edmund Dulac's illustration for "The Snow Queen"

“Late in the middle watch of a calm winter’s night, many years ago, a square-rigged, three-masted ship, the Sarah Casket, was making her way slowly through northern seas under a blaze of stars.”  And so begins the adventures of young Dido Twite, who is rescued from a watery grave by Captain Casket in Joan Aiken’s “Nightbirds on Nantucket.”

Here’s a list of ten magical reads for young and old, to be enjoyed by the fire on a cold winter’s night:

1.  A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas

2.  The Box of Delights by John Masefield

3.  The Lion, The Witch & the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

4.  Northern Lights, known as The Golden Compass in North America, by Philip Pullman

5.  The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper

6.   Nightbirds on Nantucket by Joan Aiken

7.  Children of Winter by Berlie Doherty

8.  The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo

9.  The Navigator by Eoin McNamee

10.  Last but not least, one of my all-time favorites: The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen

“It was a lady; her cloak and cap were of snow. She was tall and of slender figure, and of a dazzling whiteness. It was the Snow Queen.

“We have travelled fast,” said she; “but it is freezingly cold. Come under my bearskin.” And she put him in the sledge beside her, wrapped the fur round him, and he felt as though he were sinking in a snow-wreath.

“Are you still cold?” asked she; and then she kissed his forehead. Ah! it was colder than ice; it penetrated to his very heart..”

Ten books to read aloud:

1.  The Tomten and The Tomten and the Fox by Astrid Lindgren

2.  The Story of the Snow Children by Sibylle Von Olfers

3.  Little Snow Goose by Emily Hawkins, illustrated by Maggie Kneen

4.  Ollie’s Ski Trip by Elsa Beskow

5.  The Big Snow by Berta Hader

6.  Owl Moon by Jane Yolen

7.  The Mitten by Jan Brett

8.  The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

9.   Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton

10.  The Snowman by Raymond Briggs