Cosy winter reading

The winter holidays are here! Now is the time to replace classrooms with dens and evening homework with seed bombs and hot chocolate! It’s a time of fun and connecting with nature, and there is nothing more satisfying than getting all cosy in your pyjamas and getting lost in a story.

The winter holidays are here! Now is the time to replace classrooms with dens and evening homework with seed bombs and hot chocolate! It’s a time of fun and connecting with nature, and there is nothing more satisfying than getting all cosy in your pyjamas and getting lost in a story.

Books can be enjoyed anywhere! Get comfortable and let winter settle outside while your mind runs wild in an exciting novel.  

We asked children of all ages to name the best books they had read between the ages of 4 and 16 years old. They couldn’t stop suggesting book titles! This is a selection of what they came up with! The books are arranged as suitable for youngest first, up to young adult. More details can be found on each including where to buy them. Enjoy!

The Complete Tales of Blackberry Farm

by Jane Pilgrim

Reading bedtime stories to her young children inspired Jane Pilgrim to create her own stories inspired by the farm animals that she had known and loved as a child on Exmoor and in the Lake District. Jane began writing them down and soon had a collection of warm and enchanting tales from Blackberry Farm.

The Tale of Peter Rabbit (The World of Beatrix Potter: Peter Rabbit)

by Beatrix Potter

The Peter Rabbit books warn naughty children about what can happen if you misbehave! When Mrs. Rabbit begs her four furry children not to go into Mr. McGregor's garden, the impish Peter naturally takes this as an open invitation to create mischief.

Percy the Park Keeper

by Nick Butterworth

There are many Percy the Park Keeper stories!

Percy the park keeper loves to spend time with his animal friends, even though his work in the park keeps him very busy. The animals often need Percy's help, and he is always there to lend a hand.

Little Rabbit Foo Foo

by Michael Rosen

For three years old upwards, this is a quirky, sing-song tale of Little Rabbit Foo Foo. With wacky illustrations by Arthur Robins, the rhyming text bounces and bounds along as our hoodlum bunny wreaks havoc by bopping unsuspecting animals on the head. The Good Fairy is summoned to stop Little Rabbit Foo Foo but can she get through to the madcap bunny?

The Big Wide-mouthed Frog

by Ana Martin Larranaga

The big wide-mouthed frog asks all the animals he meets what they like to eat, even the frog-eating crocodile!

Fortunately this is a lesson he learns quickly and, puckering his mouth into the narrowest mouth you ever did see, he says, "I'm just a small narrow-mouthed frog and I'm off!" And away he hops.

Mr. Wolf and the Three Bears

by Jan Fearnley

It's Baby Bear's birthday and Mr. Wolf is throwing a party. He and Grandma Wolf have whipped up lots of tasty snacks. And the Three Bears have just arrived! Then Goldilocks--the rudest girl in the neighbourhood--barges in. Who invited her? Poor Mr. Wolf! Poor Baby Bear! Suddenly everything is going horribly wrong. Time for Grandma to come to the rescue. . . .

My Friend Bear

by Jez Alborough

Eddy and the Bear are both feeling sad. They both wish they had a friend to talk to. All they've got are their teddies, and teddies can't talk. Or can they?

I Love You, Sleepyhead

by Claire Freedman

As the sun slowly fades and the soft, silver moon rises, the baby animals are snuggling down to sleep while their mums watch over them. This enchanting lullaby makes the perfect bedtime storybook for sleepyheads everywhere.

The Winter Hedgehog

by Ann and Reg Cartwright

The hedgehogs gather for their yearly hibernation, but the smallest of them sets out on a journey to discover the mysteries of the icy season. Soon it begins to snow, and he finds that winter can be both beautiful and cruel.

Little Baa

by Kim Lewis

One spring day, Little Baa frisks and runs in the field. Soon he leaves his friends far behind - and his Ma too, but Little Baa's Ma misses him and searches for him. Will she ever find her Little Baa?

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

By Eric Carle

Follow a caterpillar’s magical transformation into a beautiful butterfly. Learn why the caterpillar is so hungry and spends his time chomping through apples, lollipops, Swiss cheese and pickles. Don’t forget to count the eaten holes in the page!

Owl Babies

By Martin Waddell

Three baby owls, Sarah, Percy and Bill, wake up one night in their hole in a tree to find that their mother has gone. So they sit on a branch and wait. Darkness gathers and the owls grow anxious, wondering when their mother will return. But, at last, she does, and they bounce up and down with joy, welcoming her home.

The Snail and the Whale

by Julia Donaldson

This is a tale of a tiny snail, And a great big, grey-blue humpback whale. Together they go on an amazing journey, past icebergs and volcanoes, sharks and penguins, and the little snail feels so small in the vastness of the world. But when disaster strikes one day the whale lost his way...

The Gruffalo

By Julia Donaldson

A mouse takes a walk in the woods and tells some tall tales to keep out of trouble. See what happens when the mouse comes face to face with an own, a snake and a hungry gruffalo...

The Tiger Who Came For Tea

By Judith Kerr

The doorbell rings just as Sophie and her mummy are sitting down to tea. Who could it possibly be? What they certainly don't expect to see at the door is a big furry, stripy tiger! Before they know it the tiger has drunk all the tea, eaten all of the food and even drains the water from the taps!

Spud Finds a Home

by Graham Appleton, Brendel Lang

This is the story of Spud, the sparrow's search for somewhere to nest.

The Shepherd Boy

by Kim Lewis

James' father is a shepherd, and by watching him James learns all he can about lambs, about sheep, about working on the farm. James watches and waits, longing for the day when he can be a shepherd too.

Zoo

by Anthony Browne

The family visit the zoo, where they display behaviour which mirrors that of some of the animals, but where it also becomes apparent that the animals are equally unhappy.Browne’s distinctive illustrations can be read even more deeply than the text, providing extensive insights into his views on captive animals, bars and cages.

Just So Stories

by Rudyard Kipling

These witty stories were originally told by Rudyard Kipling to his own children. In them he gives fanciful accounts of how and why things came to be as they are. Generations of children have delighted to learn how the Leopard got his spots, how the Elephant's Child on the banks of the great grey-green Limpopo acquired his trunk with the help of the Crocodile, and the beginning of the Armadillos.

The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark

by Jill Tomlinson

Plop, the Baby Barn Owl, is like every Barn Owl there ever was, except for one thing - he is afraid of the dark.

"Dark is nasty" he says and so he won't go hunting with his parents. After time spent with Mrs Barn Owl plop realizes that bring out in the dark is super after all.

The Jungle Book

by Rudyard Kipling

When Father Wolf and Mother Wolf find a man-cub in the jungle, they anger the greedy tiger Shere Khan by refusing to surrender it to his jaws, and rear the child as their own. But when little Mowgli grows up, the pack can no longer defend him. He must learn the secret of fire, and with the help of his friends Bagheera the panther and Baloo the bear, he faces his nemesis at last.

Stellaluna

by Janell Cannon

Stellaluna is a fruit bat, separated from her mother before she can fly. Looked after by birds, she learns about similarities, differences and the essence of friendship.

Rusty Flies South

by Graham Appleton

The story of Rusty the Swallow and the friends he meets as he travels south from Honeysuckle Farm to South Africa.

Rusty’s return

by Graham Appleton

Sequel to Rusty Flies South, Rusty returns to Honeysuckle farm. On the last page of Rusty Flies South Esmerelda, one of the farm cows, was 'looking forward to seeing Rusty next summer' and Rusty's Return starts with welcoming her back. The weather is very cold but, with the help of Ned, Rusty is soon ready for summer.

The White Giraffe

 by Lauren St John


A young girl is sent to live on a game reserve with her grandmother in Africa - a place where mysteries and secrets abound and a giraffe waits for her in the moonlight.

The Brer Rabbit Book and other stories

By Enid Blyton

This loveable trickster rabbit finds ingenious ways to avoid trouble and outwit his enemies. 

Bramble Hedge book series

By Jill Barklem

A series of stories following the lives of a community of mice hidden in the hedgerows of the English countryside. Whatever the season, and whether they are by the sea, in the High Hills, or simply at home by the fire, there is always someone ready to lend a helping hand.

The Animals of Farthing Wood

By Colin Dann

Farthing Wood is being bulldozed and a drought means the animals no longer have anywhere to live or drink. Fox, Badger, Toad, Tawny Owl, Mole and the other animals band together and leave their ancestral home and set off to move to a far-away nature reserve. Their journey is full of adventure and fraught with disasters: a fire, a storm, a treacherous river crossing and a hunt.

Charlotte's Web

by E B White


The tale of how a little girl named Fern, with the help of a friendly spider, saved her pig Wilbur from the usual fate of nice fat little pigs.

The Wind in the Willows

By Kenneth Grahame

The Wild Wood seems a terrifying place to Mole, until he finds it’s full of friends - Kind, sleepy Badger; brave and lively Ratty; and the irresponsible Mr Toad, famous for his wealth and his car smashes. But there are also the sinister weasels and stoats, and they capture Toad Hall when Mr Toad is in jail. How will he escape? And can the friends fight together to save Toad Hall?

The River Singers

by Tom Moorhouse

Knowing their lives are under threat, Sylvan and his brother and sisters have no choice but to abandon their burrow forever. Together they set out on an epic journey along the Great River; but with dangers lurking at every turn, will they ever find a safe place to call home?

The Dark Wild

by Piers Torday

This is a story of a twelve-year-old boy who's rescued the last wild creatures in the land. He thinks his adventure is over - but he could not be more wrong. Below the sparkling city of Premium, deep underground, a dark wild remains: animals who believe the time is right to rise up against their human enemies. Is Kester the only one who can stop them?

Watership Down

by Richard Adams

Their warren in danger, a few brave rabbits secretly leave and hop tentatively out into a vast and strange world. In search of a new home, the small band of rabbits faces many challenges...

My Family and Other Animals

by Gerald Durrell

When the unconventional Durrell family can no longer endure the damp, grey English climate, they do what any sensible family would do: sell their house and relocate to the sunny Greek isle of Corfu. My Family and Other Animals is a delightful account of Durrell’s family’s experiences, from the many eccentric hangers-on to the ceaseless procession of puppies, toads, scorpions, geckoes, ladybirds, glow worms, octopuses, bats, and butterflies into their home.

Into the Blue and Touching the Waves: v. 1 & 2 - Dolphin Diaries

by Lucy Daniels


Jody McGraths dolphin dreams are coming true! Her family is sailing around the world researching dolphins and Jody is recording all their exciting adventures in her Dolphin Diaries. Into the Blue : Jody can’t believe her dolphin voyage has begun! But an unexpected passenger threatens to spoil the trip of a lifetime. And when a sudden storm puts Jody’s life in danger, who can she turn to for help? “Touching the Waves”: The McGraths are in Key West, Florida, visiting a dolphin centre. Jody loves watching the dolphins at work but then one of the dolphin teachers goes missing.

The Chronicles of Narnia

by C.S. Lewis

In brief, four children travel repeatedly to a world in which they are far more than mere children and everything is far more than it seems. Richly told, populated with fascinating characters, perfectly realized in detail of world and pacing of plot, the story is infused throughout with the timeless issues of good and evil, faith and hope. There are 7 books in the series, starting with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe .

Moon Bear

by Gill Lewis

When twelve-year-old Tam is sent to work at a bear farm in the city, he has never felt so alone. He hates seeing the cruel way the bears are treated, but speaking up will mean losing his job. And if he can't send money home, how will his family survive?

Sky Hawk

by Gill Lewis

When Callum and his friends find Iona on Callum's farm they try to chase her back into the village. But Iona runs from them up into the hills. She is guarding a secret hidden in the forest above the dark waters of the loch. So they make a deal. Iona shares the secret and in return Callum allows her back onto the farm.

An enthralling tale of friendship, loyalty, and hope.

Swallows and Amazons

by Arthur Ransome

This is the first title in Arthur Ransom's classic series, originally published in 1930, for children and grownups. This first book introduces the Walker family and the camp on Wild Cat Island.

Great Northern

By Arthur Ransome

Dick's bird watching discovery turns the cruise of the Sea Bear into a desperate chase. The Swallows and Amazons have to dodge the savage natives and evade the ruthless pursuit of a fanatic egg-collector, determined to kill a pair of rare birds and steal the credit. Fortunately, Nancy has a few plans.

Shadows in the Sky

By Pete Cross

Once the magnificent red-billed chough was king of the Cornish skies. But for two hundred years, numbers of these beautiful birds have dwindled. Now there are none left. Until one day, a watcher on a cliff sees three shapes swooping in over the sea and hears a haunting cry...

James and the Giant Peach

by Roald Dahl 

A story about an orphan called James who has to live with terrible aunts for guardians. To escape the drama, he decides to live inside a giant peach and embarks on a journey to New York City with the strangest group of insect friends. 

White Fang

by Jack London

A wild dog's journey toward becoming civilized during the 19th Century Klondike Gold Rush. White Fang is a companion novel to “The Call of the Wild”.

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

by Robert C. O'Brien

Mrs. Frisby, a widowed mouse with four small children, must move her family to their summer quarters immediately, or face almost certain death. But her youngest son, Timothy, lies ill with pneumonia and must not be moved. Fortunately, she encounters the rats of NIMH, an extraordinary breed of highly intelligent creatures, who come up with a brilliant solution to her dilemma.

Fantastic Mr Fox

by Roald Dahl

Fantastic Mr. Fox is on the run and the three meanest farmers around are out to get him. Fat Boggis, squat Bunce, and skinny Bean have joined forces, and they have Mr. Fox and his family surrounded. Mr. Fox would never surrender. But only the most fantastic plan ever can save him now.

Dear olly

Michael Morpurgo

Olly’s brother Matt wants to go and work with children who have been made orphans, through war, in Africa. He wants to be a clown and make them laugh. His mother and sister want him to stay in England and go to university. Hero, a swallow, has a journey to make too. He must fly to Africa for the winter to join all the other swallows. His journey is difficult and fraught with danger. Watch as these stories unravel and fall together.

This Morning I Met a Whale

by Michael Morpurgo

At sunrise, young Michael spots a whale on the shores of the Thames and thinks he must be dreaming. But the creature is real and it has a message for him – one that only an open-minded child can deliver to the rest of the world. Michael must now join his new friend in a race against time to reach the ocean, and hold fast to his promise in the race to save the world itself.

Why the Whales Came

by Michael Morpurgo

Rushy Bay was forbidden territory to Gracie and Daniel. And not just because of the currents; the Birdman lived there. Gracie brings the curse of Samson Island on her own family. It is only the Birdman who can avert the tragedy.

Benny the Blenny's Shallow Sea Adventure

Teresa Naylor 

Benny tells you all about his life in the sea just beyond our beaches. He introduces you to his neighbours: crabs, starfish, sea snails, barnacles, sea anemones, squat lobsters, seals, cuttlefish, gobies and many other fish. Fact boxes reveal how Benny and his neighbours are adapted to their habitat, how they find food and avoid being food for someone else. 

What’s your favourite wild read?

What book have you lost yourself too during winter? Did we miss your favourite title? Post your comments below and tell us about your winter reading experiences. 

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