The Five Best Winter Tales for Children chosen by Jenny Nimmo
1. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S.Lewis
Lucy’s first cautious steps through the wardrobe, feeling fir trees instead of coats, and snow she thought was mothballs. My favourite introduction to ‘other worlds’.
2. Moominland Midwinter by Tove Jansson
Who could not love Moomintroll. To me Tove Jansson is at her best when illustrating a snowy Moomin landscape.
3. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken
What an exciting concept. Set in a non-existent 1832 Joan Aiken depicts a winter so harsh that rivers freeze all the way to the sea, and desperately hungry wolves travel to England through the Channel Tunnel, all adding to the troubles of two very different girls.
4. A Winter Bear by Ruth Craft and Erik Blegvad
This is a poem, and great to read aloud. Three children take a walk through wild winter fields as it begins to snow. They find a woollen bear, high in a tree, and have to get it home. The children remind me so much of my own, thirty years ago, I feel the illustrator must have known them. [Sadly A Winter Bear has been out of print for some time. You can find a tribute to Erik Blegvad and his art in this 2015 article from Print magazine]
5. Bear and Bird by Gwen Millward
A heartwarming story of friendship and bravery, with beautiful, snowy illustrations. Bear does all the work while Bird sings, but one snowy day, Bear goes missing.