For the last snow day, I suggested you pick up a classic you’ve been putting off. Today, why not throw it back to one of these childhood classics that is perfect for a winter day?
My news feeds (is that the correct way to make newsfeed plural?) are still blowing up with friends and family posting snow day selfies and celebratory tweets. Even though I personally have not yet had work cancelled for a snow day (alas) I celebrate with you from afar withe these suggestions.
1. Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
This has always been my favorite Wilder book. I know that The Long Winter is probably a more typical choice (it’s in the name) but I don’t really care. Pa builds a little log cabin on the edge of the Wisconsin woods. They explore, play a weird game with a pig’s bladder, take a sleigh ride through the snow, and celebrate a homemade Christmas. I loved all of the bizarre details about their pioneer life. I’d borrow my brother’s Lincoln logs to recreate the cabin, and I had a set of Little House in the Big Woods paper dolls I used to reenact the stories. Every winter, every snow storm, every time I contemplate my apocalypse survival strategy, I think of this book and regret my inability to build a smokehouse and salt a pig. It’s utterly fantastic.
2.From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg
Claudia Kincaid runs away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Her brother Jamie has a ton of money from (spoiler alert) fixing the game of War he plays with his gullible friend everyday on the bus, so she brings him along too. Later on, there is a mystery, lots of files, self discovery and an elderly rich woman. But the epic thing about this novel is that two kids successfully live, undetected, in a museum. Perfect escapism for a snow day.
3. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
The Tuck family kidnaps Winnie Foster when she discovers the secret spring that gave them immortality. It’s one of the first books I remember heatedly debating with my classmates in elementary school — would you live forever without aging if you could? I also got an A on the epic diorama I made to go along with the book. Beautiful and short, it’s a book that’s stayed with me, even after I saw the bizarre Alexis Bledel and Jonathan Jackson adaptation. (Side note: is it just me, or does the IMBD summary of the film sound exactly like the synopsis of Twilight?)
So, this isn’t a winter book. It’s absolutely, firmly a late summer book. But sometimes in the middle of a long winter you need to do some soul searching to help you forget the cold.
4. Little Women by Louisa May Allcott
I know most of this book doesn’t take place in winter. They have many seasonal adventures and do a lot of year-round gallivanting. But it is a book that, in my memory, is fully marked by winter. The opening scene where the March sisters sit around the fire planning Christmas presents for Marmee. Christmas morning with the Hummels. Amy’s disastrous attempt to skate with Jo and Laurie. It’s probably partly due to the cover of the Winona Ryder/Kirsten Dunst film version, but I always picture the characters standing around wearing muffs. Do yourself a favor: grab the book and curl up in your favorite corner of the attic with some limes and a rag blanket.
Am I the only one drawn seasonally to specific childhood favorites? I didn’t even get into the picture books and lovely depictions of winter in those works. Did I miss any great snow days or winter in books that you loved as a kid?