Some authors create such a wonderful mass of work they deserve their own special post. This week I’m spotlighting Jan Brett, whose works bring the wonder, magic and excitement of winter to life. Jan Brett books some of our all-time favorite books. If you haven’t discovered Jan Brett books for yourself, now is the time!
In addition to recommending books by children’s author Jan Brett, I’ve teamed up with some fellow bloggers to offer you homeschool and classroom resources based on her books! You can find these Jan Brett books at your local library or purchase through the affiliate links provided for your convenience.
Of course, The Mitten and The Hat are absolute classics. If you have a preschooler in your home, don’t miss these. But some of my boys’ favorite Jan Brett books include Honey… Honey… Lion! A Story from Africa, Who’s That Knocking on Christmas Eve? (a new book from Jan Brett that’s going to become a Christmas classic) and Mossy.
The Mitten: Millions of readers have fallen in love with Jan Brett’s The Mitten, and over 2.5 million copies have been sold since publication in 1989. Set in a snowy forest, the fun begins when, one by one, animals crawl into Nicki’s lost white mitten to get warm until the bear sneezes, sending the animals flying up and out of the mitten. On each turn of the page, Jan hints at what animal is coming next in her signature borders, inspired by Ukrainian folk art.
The Hat: Jan Brett’s heartwarming story of Hedgie the hedgehog’s misadventures has become a family favorite. Like its companion The Mitten, The Hat is now available as a wonderful board book to share with young children.
Cinders: A Chicken Cinderella: Jan Brett sets her Cinderella story in a snowy Russian winter where one magical night, Cinders, the most picked upon hen in the flock, becomes the most loved by Prince Cockerel when she arrives at his ball looking so beautiful that even her bossy sisters don’t recognize her.
Gingerbread Friends: That popular little character is back looking for friends, in an adventure he?ll never forget. Confident and cocky, the Gingerbread Baby happens upon a bakery, where he dances and prances in front of a sugar cookie girl, trying to make friends. Irresistible images inside the confectionery and outside in the snowy Swiss countryside will delight Jan Brett fans.
The Three Snow Bears: Aloo-ki glances up from fishing and sees her sled dogs floating off on an ice floe. She races after them and comes upon an igloo. Being a curious girl, she goes inside only to find no one home. That’s because the polar bear family who lives there is out walking while their breakfast cools off. Dramatic illustrations capture the shimmering ice, snow and deep blue seas of the Arctic, and when Jan adds a raven-haired Inuit girl and her appealing huskies, an endearing family of polar bears, and playful Arctic animals in the borders, the result is one of her most beautiful picture books.
Honey… Honey… Lion! A Story from Africa: The African plains provide a stunning environment for Jan Brett’s latest animal adventure. For as long as anyone can remember, the honeyguide bird and the African honey badger have been partners when it comes to honey: Honeyguide finds the honeycomb, Badger breaks it open, and they share the sweetness inside. But this day, Badger keeps all the honey for himself. Foolish Badger! (Note: Even though this book doesn’t fit many of Jan Brett’s winter themes, it is simply an all-time favorite in our home.)
Mossy: Mossy, an amazing turtle with a gorgeous garden growing on her shell, loses her freedom when Dr. Carolina, a biologist, takes her to live in her Edwardian museum. Visitors flock to see Mossy, but it is Dr. Carolina’s niece, Tory, who notices how sad Mossy is living in a viewing pavilion. She misses the outdoors and her friend, Scoot. Dr. Carolina finds a way to keep the spirit of Mossy alive at the museum. She invites Flora and Fauna to paint Mossy’s portrait. Then she and Tory take Mossy home, where Scoot is waiting for her.
Like these Jan Brett books? Find even more engaging book lists for kids with more than 100 book-themed reading lists!
Jan Brett Unit Study
In addition to recommending books by children’s author Jan Brett, I’ve teamed up with some fellow bloggers to offer you homeschool and classroom resources based on her books! These activities may contain affiliate links.
- The Mitten Preschool Classroom Lesson Plans
- The Mitten Theme Home Preschool Lesson Plan
- Teaching with Jan Brett Books
- Reading with Jan Brett Author Study
- Gingerbread Man Theme Home Preschool Lesson Plans
- Gingerbread Man Activities
- Gingerbread Man Theme Preschool Classroom Lesson Plans