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The Wonderful Stories of Jan Brett

It’s time for our Kid’s Virtual Bookclub again — and December’s featured author will be the AMAZING Jan Brett!

I’m sure you’re familiar with at least one of her many books.  She has authored and illustrated more than 30 beautiful stories, and many of them are holiday and winter books.  So it was the perfect time of the year to feature her work.

I’m telling you, it is going to be hard to choose just one book this month 🙂  There are so many that we love!  And in addition, Jan has a wonderful website with activities, games and printables to go along with many of her stories.  I’ll share a few of them below along with affiliate links for our favorite books too.

As you read these books, pay close attention to the side drawings — there are clues to what may happen in the story, and sometimes a side story is illustrated. 

I think it’s one of the best things about Brett’s books.




Wonderful Winter Books for Kids

Many of the holiday and winter books make great read-alouds at this time of the year.  We’re including some of our favorites — it was hard to choose! — and including a summary, links to some of our favorite story activities and affiliate links so you can learn more about each of our selections.


The Wild Christmas Reindeer

Teeka needs to get Santa’s reindeer ready but they’re a bit unruly this year.  She tries to use a firm hand with them but it only makes things worse.  How will she ever get them to work together?  A wonderful story about how to earn the respect of others and work together.


The Three Snow Bears

Aloo-ki comes across an empty house that belongs to three polar bears who are out for a walk.  She eats some soup, tries on their boots and crawls into bed — what will happen when the bears return?

 The kids will love these printable 3 Snow Bears bookmarks too!


Who’s That Knocking on Christmas Eve?

Every year, the trolls knock down Kyri’s door and eat her Christmas feast!  But this year there will be a big surprise — a new friend and his ice bear!  Ha!  Take that trolls! 

Make sure to read the side panels in this book too!


The Night Before Christmas

A beautifully retelling of the perennial poem that’s enjoyed by so many during Christmas!  Brett also adds a side story with the adventures of two stow-aways in Santa’s toy bag.

 Print your own Night Before Christmas Tree Topper!


The Mitten

An excellent book to read on the first day of winter (and one of Jan Brett’s most well-known stories too!).  When a mitten is found by the woodland animals, they all want to crawl inside because it’s too cold in the snow.  As they all cram into the mitten, which becomes very crowded, they realize that they must decide how to share their new find.


Jan Brett’s Snowy Treasury

And if you’re like me and just can’t decide which book to read, you may enjoy the Snowy Treasury — which includes four of her stories:  Gingerbread Baby, The Mitten, The Hat and The Three Snow Bears.


Other non-winter favorites of ours include:

Daisy Comes Home

Mei Mei has the happiest hens in China.  She gives them fresh hay and baths and loves them dearly.  But one of her hens, Daisy, is not always so happy, and one day drifts onto the river in a basket.  Now Daisy must learn how to survive on her own.


Comet’s Nine Lives

When Comet walks away from his lighthouse to explore the town, he gets into trouble at each stop and loses one of his nine lives.  He starts to worry and longs to be in a safe place before he uses up all 9 lives.  Lots of beautiful details in this story!



Jan’s newest book is Mossy – 


a great story about an amazing turtle who has a beautiful garden growing on her back.  When a biologist finds her and puts her in a museum, a young girl sees how unhappy Mossy is with her new home.  An excellent story about the feelings of others and how beauty can be appreciated.


Looking for more Book Lists?  Try these:

Classic Winter Books Kids & Parents will Enjoy!

30 Books about Your Favorite Christmas Traditions


 how to enjoy the holidays with kids

Get Ready for the Holidays:

25 Ways to Slow Down & Enjoy the Holidays

30 Service Projects & RAKs for Families to do Together



free advent calendar activities

100 Ideas for Your Advent Countdown

20 Great Stocking Stuffers for Kids