Inside: this list of hibernation books for preschoolers includes both picture books and nonfiction choices perfect for teaching and celebrating animals in winter.
Kids are fascinated by the changing of the seasons. They naturally wonder what happens to the animals in the cold of winter. Where do they go? How do they stay warm? Where do they find food? These hibernation books for preschoolers will answer all of those questions and more!
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Fiction Hibernation Books for Preschoolers
While fictional, these storybooks still do a lot of teaching. Read these first to get your young students interested in learning more.
Winter Sleep: A Hibernation Story by Sean Taylor and Alex Morss
Follow a young boy and his grandma as they journey through the wintry woods, observing how the plants and animal change for the season. This duo of authors includes a picture book author and an ecologist and educator to ensure this story is perfect for readers yet full of factual information.
Sleep, Black Bear, Sleep by Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple
Lull any child to sleep with this sweet bedtime story. Just the black bear heading to hibernate, your little one will snuggle up for rest after this read!
Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson
In this title, a hibernating bear keeps sleeping despite a host of other animals warming up in its cozy cave. This book is one of several in a series, which is great for engaging young readers.
Be sure to get these free printable bracelets to teach the beginning, middle, and end for Bear Snores On!
Hibernation Station by Michelle Meadows
This fiction book is a great way to teach kids about hibernation or prepare little ones to cozy up for bed. I love how many hibernating animals this book features!
Shh! Bears Sleeping by David Martin
This book takes a spin on the hibernation theme and shows the full yearly cycle of the bear. I love that it shows that hibernation is part of a natural rhythm. This title would be ideal to do a case study of how life changes for each season!
Winter Lullaby by Dianne White
A young bear doesn’t understand why he has to head to bed when the other animals are still out and about. In this conversation with his mother, he learns about the different survival strategies for mice, chipmunks, hares, skunks, and more.
Don’t Wake Up the Bear! by Marjorie Dennis Murray
Follow along as animals sneak into a sleeping bear’s cave to keep warm. As each one enters, they are reminded: “Don’t wake up the bear!” With this repetition and engaging imagery, your students will join in reading with you.
The Snowy Nap by Jan Brett
Hedgie the Hedgehog doesn’t want to miss out on all the winter fun his friends will be having. He desperately tries to stay up, and ends up falling asleep in the snow! How will he make it to his den?
After learning so much about hibernation, kids can make their own model of hibernation based on the book The Snowy Nap in this hibernation craft activity.
Nonfiction Hibernation Books for Preschoolers
Preschoolers love to learn about the world, and these titles
Snack, Snooze, Skedaddle: How Animals Get Ready for Winter by Laura Purdie Salas
I really appreciate that this nonfiction picture book covers a broad range of animals and winter survival strategies: it’s not just bears and hibernation. This is a great way to introduce the idea that there are many different ways to prepare for the winter.
Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner
With beautiful illustrations, this book teaches about the whole host of animals who live over and under the snow in the winter. I love that this title features how animals survive in the winter and students will be drawn in learning about all of these interesting animals!
Eat Up, Bear by Terry Pierce
This book by the Yosemite Conservancy teaches the youngest learners about how bears prepare for their winter rest. It highlights the need for bears to eat real bear food, not human food. This is a great book to promote environmental awareness from an early age!
A Bed for Winter by Karen Wallace
The real-life photographs of animals nestled in their homes are absolutely precious. Little ones will want to read this one again and again!
Animals in Winter by Henrietta Bancroft and Richard Van Gelder
Animals in Winter is a modern classic for a reason! It provides an accessible and visually-exciting overview of how animals prepare for winter. This nonfiction book would be a great way to introduce the idea of preparing for the seasons with your preschooler!
Hibernation by Robin Nelson
In the winter, where do all the animals go? Dig deep into the caves and burrows to find the resting animals hibernating.
Sleep, Bear! by Shelby Alinksy
This National Geographic title offers vivid photographs to back up the preschooler-appropriate text. Young readers will love following a little bear cub as it prepares to hibernate!
All About Animals in Winter by Martha Elizabeth Hillman Rustad
This title offers an overview of all animals in winter, including bats, deer, bugs, rabbits, and more. There are also some great text features to help highlight the ways non-fiction books are organized!
More Fall and Winter Resources
Looking for something else? I have even more resources to support young learners!
- 10 Wonderful Winter Books about Winter
- 10 Children’s Books about Snow
- 15 Children’s Books about Seasons
- Stone Soup Science Activity
In addition, I have found that the North American Bear Center has some fantastic bear-related lesson plans and resources for preschool and kindergarten (and up).
Do you have other hibernation books for preschoolers you’d recommend? Be sure to add them in the comments below!