31 Best January Picture Books for Kids: Favorite Read Alouds

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Best January picture books arranged in rows with images of favorite children's picture book covers with a white circle text overlay and decorative font reading Best January picture books for kids.

January Picture Books for Kids. This January booklist for kids is filled with literary gems centered around snow, winter, owls, knights, dragons, music, and books. I’ve even thrown in a few personal favorite books! This booklist for kids is the first of twelve monthly booklists, so make sure you sign up for my mailing list to have it delivered straight to your inbox. I hope you enjoy these beautiful stories throughout the month of January.

Welcome to Sprinkled with Stories: A Story-Formed Childhood. Here is January’s Booklist! Scroll to the pink box and grab your freebie and printable booklist.

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31 Best January Picture Books for Kids: Favorite Read Alouds

1. Snow Horses by Patricia MacLachlan

This is the perfect book to read close to the New Year. On a wintery New Year’s Eve, two black horses pull their sleigh through the snowy town, bringing joy to people as they celebrate the beginning of a New Year. The illustrations are absolutely beautiful.

2. Home in the Woods by Eliza Wheeler

While this adventure into the woods is not by choice but rather by unforeseen circumstances and great loss, this family finds a little house in the woods. Even in difficult circumstances, the children find ways to have fun and find beauty in their new home. The family’s homestead evolves as the story unfolds. My heart aches for this family. I hope you choose to add this beautiful book to your January books stack. CONTENT WARNING: Death and hardship.

3. Moose’s Book Bus by Inga Moore

Moose runs out of stories to share with his family, so he visits town to borrow books from his local library. His woodland neighbors soon join and crowd into his living room to hear Moose read aloud. I love the author’s emphasis on the power of books and the value of community. As a family that values read-aloud time, this sweet book is a sure win!

4. A Story of Patience and Fortitude: Lost in the Library

Fortitude and Patience are the two lions that greet everyone entering the New York Public Library. However, one morning Patience is missing, and the sun is rising. Where is Patience? Fortitude abandons his post to search for his friend.

5. Ada’s Violin: The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay by Susan Hood

This beautiful picture book is based on the true story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay. Ada and her sister grew up in Caterua, a small town built on a landfill. With little money and surrounded by mischief, Ada and her friends began taking music lessons from Favio Chávez. Favio helps the children make instruments from trash, and their town is changed forever.

6. Because by Mo Willems

Because a young girl sat in her sick uncle’s seat, she heard the beautiful music performed by the orchestra, and a dream was born. This is a good book to share with kids of all ages.

7. Mole Music by David McPhail

This sweet story features Mole and his simple underground life. He hears and falls in love with the sound of the violin. Mole learns to play. Although he plays alone, he is unaware of the effect his music has on those around him. This is a perfect addition to the best January picture books for kids booklist.

8. A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead

Amos is a zoo keeper who keeps a strict daily routine, but a sick day keeps him home and away from his best friends. His concerned, compassionate, and caring animal friends give their elderly companion an unexpected visit.

9. Brave Irene by William Steig

A dressmaker’s daughter named Brave Irene sets out to deliver a ball gown to the duchess after Irene’s mother becomes ill. She faces harsh wintery weather on her long walk. Irene demonstrates determination, bravery, and persistence in the face of discouragement. This one is a great addition to any winter picture book list.

10. Owl Moon by Jane Yolen

A father takes his little girl owling. She trails behind her father quietly for when you go owling you only need hope. This is a classic book that focuses on a nighttime adventure and a father-daughter relationship.

11. Blizzard by John Rocco

Based on John Rocco’s childhood experience of the blizzard back in 1978. The great book begins with a little boy’s excitement about the first snowflake before making a heroic expedition to the store.

12. Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin

This Caldecott Medal winning picture book is based on the true story of Wilson Bentley and his fascination with snowflakes. I love Bentley’s determination to follow his passion even when misunderstood. This is an excellent choice to share with kids of all ages. This story is a great introduction to the study of snowflakes and using microscopes.

13. Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton

This classic children’s book is a fun story about a big red tractor named Katy who pushes a snow plow in the winter, and an underdog, gets her opportunity to shine and rescue the town during a blizzard.

14. A Home in the Barn by Margaret Wise Brown

This is a classic farm book! Winter has arrived, and with it, a cold wind. The wind’s presence is evident on almost every page as the animals seek warmth and shelter in the barn.

15. The Snowy Nap by Jan Brett

Jan Brett has quite a few winter-themed books. This simple story may be my favorite one. Hedgie hears so many wonderful things about snow that he delays hibernation. Rescued by Lisa, he enjoys the wintery scene from a cozy bed positioned near a window in Lisa’s home.

16. Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner

The Over and Under book series are great nature books for young children to learn about all the winter animals. This one follows a dad and daughter on a cross-country ski trip through the winter woods. Along the way, they learn about different animals making their home in the winter snow.

17. The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter’s Wonder by Mark Cassino

This is a great nonfiction book to introduce to your kids even to the youngest readers. Each page contains bold simple language with informative illustrations. Underneath the bold text, the writer goes more depth on the creation of snow, the water cycle, and the shape of snowflakes, and ends with a how to catch your own snow crystals activity. This book is a great addition to your list of January best picture books!

For More books on Snow (HERE)

18. Knight Owl by Christopher Denise

Ever since Owl was born, he has dreamed of becoming a knight. He might get his chance as many of the knights go missing. This is such a clever book on words and one of our favorites! Your little ones will love this silly story!

19. The Storybook Knight by Helen Docherty

This little gentle knight is sent to tame a scary dragon. His weapons of choice include a shield, a sword, and a pile of books.

20. The Knight and the Dragon by Tomie dePaola

This is not your typical knight and dragon battle. First, the knight must learn all about dragon-fighting from books in the castle library, and the dragon has to refer to his ancestor’s things to prepare to fight like a dragon.

21. Pancakes, Pancakes! by Eric Carle

Do not read this book if you do not want to make pancakes in the morning. Jack wakes up hungry for a big pancake, but first, he must collect all the ingredients for his mother.

22. Moon: A Peek-Through Picture Book by Britta Teckentrup

This book is filled with simple rhyming text and beautiful illustrations. The book depicts the lunar cycle, showing the moon changing sizes and shapes. This is one of our favorite bedtime stories and my girls love all the woodland animals.

23. After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back up Again by Dan Santat

Humpty Dumpty is an avid bird watcher who loves to sit high on the wall amongst the birds. After his famous fall, he has a great new fear of heights. “There were some parts that couldn’t be healed with bandages and glue.” Although fearful, Humpty misses his birds. Humpty breaks free of his fear in this story after the fall.

24. Three Billy Goats Gruff retold by Mac Barnett

This is a fun retelling of the classic folktale, “The Three Billy Goats Gruff.” Don’t miss out on this one because of Jon Klassen’s earthly illustrations and the troll’s dialogue of “I love Goat! Let me count the ways…”

25. Three Little Pigs retold by Paul Galdone

I adore the classic retellings of the folktales by Paul Galdone. I have included many of his books on my monthly picture booklist for kids. This book is filled with charming illustrations. But please note the story is not a watered down classic.

26. Henny Penny retold by Paul Galdone

The best part of Henny Penny is the fun rhyming names, which turns into an articulation drill for the reader. This book is a retelling of a classic folktale by Paul Galdone.

27. A Visitor for Bear by Bonny Becker

Grumpy Bear wants to be left alone to enjoy his breakfast, but Mouse keeps showing up in the most random places. He becomes quite paranoid and blocks all the entrances of his home, only to finally give in and make a friend.

28. Learning to Ski with Mr. Magee by Chris Van Dusen

Mr. Magee and his dog, Dee, learn how to ski one beautiful, snowy morning, but a curious Moose causes some problems, and Mr. Magee finds himself hanging over a cliff. Chris Van Dusen writes plenty of good books, but this one is perfect for a snow day!

29. Yaks Yak: Animal Word Pairs by Linda Sue Park

This book is a comedic twist on homographs. My girls always giggle at the word play. However, I don’t think they fully understand it just yet. It’s a fun book to read!

Featured Children’s Treasury

30. A Little House Picture Book Treasury

This treasury includes six stories filled with adventures of the pioneer family. The family lives off the land on a frontier unfamiliar to today’s little readers. If this book is not available at the public library, check out Winter Days in the Big Woods for a bonus book for January picture books for kids.

Featured Board Book

31. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

In this beloved sweet story, Peter dons his snowsuit and goes out on a beautiful snowy day. This child’s wonder of the snowy day is so contagious and the perfect board book to feature on the best January picture books for kids!

Interested in More Booklists for Kids: Check These Out!

27 Books about Snow: A Picture Book Collection

A collage of book covers featuring books about snow for toddlers and kids with cool-colored decorative snowflakes and black bold text.

Get the complete booklist HERE.

Food and Story: A Picture Book Collection for Kids

Images of Children's book covers arranged in two rows over a teal background with bold text reading Food and Story books for kids. Book covers include images of colorful birthday balloons, dumplings, bowl of ramen, tamales, geese, picnic, and children.

Get the complete booklist HERE.

Picture Books About Perseverance

Childrens books about perseverance are displayed on a purple background with big, bold, and black text.

Get the complete list of favorite picture books about perseverance Here.

More Booklists Coming Soon!

Thanks for Stopping By!

Lastly, thank you for stopping by! Please say Hi in the comment section and share your favorite book on the Best January Picture Books for kids booklist. This booklist was so fun to make. If you enjoyed this booklist, subscribe to my mailing list to receive each monthly picture booklist right in your inbox. Each booklist includes 31 wholesome picture books for kids and a free printable.


– With Great Joy, Katie


Best January picture books arranged in rows with images of favorite children's picture book covers with a white circle text overlay and decorative font reading Best January picture books for kids.

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