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A few weeks ago, parts of the UK were treated to a rare cloud phenomenon called ‘nacreous clouds’. They are also known as ‘rainbow clouds’ and have an ethereal, other worldly appearance. If you were lucky enough to see them, you will know how beautiful they are and what a joy they were to behold.

Nacreous clouds are so rare because of the very specific conditions that are needed to produce them – they need very cold temperatures at high altitudes when the sun is low on the horizon, which is why they are usually only seen in the polar regions.

The appearance of these stunning clouds got us thinking about just how wonderful winter can be and how special it is to see such sights in mother nature. In the summer, the sunshine has a significant positive effect on our well-being, but we think that the beauty of winter can also inspire this same joy too. It helps us to re-focus on what is important and appreciate all the small, but beautiful things around us.

(Nacreous Clouds near Fiona’s house in Yorkshire)

There is something that feels magical and exciting about this kind of weather too; something that inspires great stories and enticing adventures. In fact, some of our favourite books are set, or have links with, wintery weather – The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and the His Dark Materials trilogy, to name just two.

If you feel the same, read on for some brilliant book recommendations all about special winter weather that are perfect for a cold January day…

Snowflakes by Cerrie Burnell

Age range: EYFS and KS1

A wonderful story about a young girl who moves to the forest to live with her Grandma. Unsure at first, she soon discovers that the snow is beautiful and the snowflakes, just like her, are unique and brilliant. A lovely story about new beginnings and big changes.

A Cat’s Guide to the Night Sky by Stuart Atkinson

Age range: KS1

A wonderful introduction to the maze that is our night sky, including constellations and the northern lights. It is an easily accessible non-fiction option, told through the eyes of Felicity the Cat.

The Lights that Dance in the Dark by Yuval Zommer 

Age range: KS1 and KS2

A book that will inspire the most reluctant of adventurer to seek wonder in winter spectaculars! This lyrical and magical story is a real delight to read.

Sky Song by Abi Elphinstone 

Age range: KS2

For fans of C.S.Lewis, this thrilling adventure in a frozen icy world is a great choice for a class book. It has everything – great characters, edge-of-seat action and fantasy on every page. It also covers themes of courage and belonging so it’s a good option for kids about embark on the next stage of growing up.

Way Past Winter by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Age range: KS2

If escapism is what you’re looking for, this wintery tale delivers the perfect transportation to the frozen north. It tells the story of Mila, who must rescue her brother Oskar after he is taken away by strange men. Like many of the books we’ve listed, this one also covers themes of bravery and hope – perfect as we enter a new year.



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