10 Great Ways to Celebrate Winter with Jan Brett

Jan Brett is every teacher's favorite author for winter. Her books are simply charming. This post offers LOTS of teaching options to go with her very best titles. Be sure to check it out to learn more.

Children LOVE books by Jan Brett. She has been a longtime favorite author of mine for the winter months in particular. In fact, she was the first author I met in person! So many of her books are set in snowy places, and of course, her animal characters appeal to any child. I absolutely love how she researches the area to make sure every detail is included.

In this post, I’d like to share what I’ve learned about these texts, how I’d use them, and what I’ve developed to go along with them. I hope you catch a title or two that you can use in your classroom.

why use Books by Jan Brett in your author study?

Of course, if you follow my blog, you know how much I love author studies. This post gives all of the reasons I believe students benefit from their use. For me, the ease of planning, the exposure to new authors (for the children), the ability to really study the author’s craft, and the opportunity to build long-term memories are the top reasons to use them.

Over on Reading Rockets, you’ll see a few more

Author studies offer great benefits to students. They help them develop reading skills, foster critical thinking, and help them improve their writing. Connecting to specific authors helps students form deeper bonds with books giving them content to discuss with peers too. By highlighting a variety of authors, teachers can introduce students to different literary voices and support author research. Additionally, author studies can be easily incorporated into your curriculum and always make learning fun.

Reading Rockets

With all of these book titles to choose from, you can truly analyze Jan Brett’s writing style and perhaps have students follow her lead.

Example of How I use Books by Jan Brett

The Snowy Nap features Jan Brett’s favorite character, Hedgie. In true Jan Brett form, it includes adorable illustrations to aid in making predictions. The rich vocabulary helps stretch this text for use with older readers, and many of the reading skills included provide teachers with ways to build close reading skills with repeated reading.

The Snowy Nap by Jan Brett is an adorable book about hibernation. Your students will love reading about the beloved hedgehog, Hedgie, that Jan Brett often includes in her stories. This post includes a sneak peek at some of the unit contents and how to use them.
The Snowy Nap by Jan Brett is an adorable book about hibernation. Your students will love reading about the beloved hedgehog, Hedgie, that Jan Brett often includes in her stories. This post includes a sneak peek at some of the unit contents and how to use them.

With this book, two of my favorite ways to use the book is by comparing it to other Hedgie tales. There are common threads that weave these books together. However, it is also a wonderful mentor text for writing. I chose to have a narrative writing prompt with this one because all kids can relate to the theme of “A Snowy Adventure”.

For the writing portion of the unit, students plan their narrative piece using the organizers provided. The planning pages are includes as well as an anchor chart for organization, a writing checklist, and final draft pages. You can compile the final drafts into a class book using the book cover provided.

My Jan Brett Author Study Options:

Author Study one

The first Jan Brett bundle I added to my TPT store included all of the classics I had used with my students over the years. When I had our son 25 years ago, it was around the time I met Jan Brett at our state reading conference. At the conference, I bought quite a few of her books to add to his library (autographed of course!), and naturally, I enjoyed sharing them with my students in guided reading groups and with lessons.

The first bundle I created includes these eleven titles plus an author study lapbook you can use for researching her life. The titles are:

  • The Mitten
  • The Hat
  • Armadillo Rodeo
  • Trouble with Trolls
  • Gingerbread Baby
  • Ginberbread Friends
  • Berlioz the Bear
  • Annie and the Wild Animals
  • Wild Christmas Reindeer
  • The Three Snowbears, and
  • Town Mouse and Country Mouse

The bundle is for sale both in my online shop as well as in my TPT store.

Jan Brett is a favorite author for teachers and students. This bundle of ELEVEN units includes all of her classics. You can print, project, or assign digitally fun activities to improve your students' close reading and comprehension skills. Activities are fun and engaging, but planning them is a breeze.
Includes Eleven Units plus an Author Study Project

Jan Brett Author Study Two

As I mentioned, this is the second Jan Brett Author Study I’ve done. I felt like there were so many new titles out that I just had to create another bundle, and I really am pleased with the final product. The bundle includes ten titles in digital for Google Slides TM and in PDF.

  • Cozy
  • Mossy
  • Hedgie Blasts Off
  • Hedgie’s Surprise
  • The Snowy Nap
  • The Mermaid (a version of Goldilocks)
  • Daisy Comes Home
  • The Tale of the Tiger Slippers (set in China and perfect for use near the Chinese New Year)
  • Cinders, a Chicken Cinderella Tale, and
  • Fritz and the Beautiful Horses

If you’d like to learn a bit more about this bundle, you can check it out in my website shop HERE or in my TPT shop HERE. There are over 500 pages in all (500 PDF and the same 500 in Digital), so no matter your teaching scenario, you’re covered.

Thanks so much for all you do every single day for your students and their families. I very much appreciate your hard work, hope that these resources are load of fun for your students, and that they lighten your load in the coming weeks and months. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with those you love most! Stay well!


Carla is a licensed reading specialist with 27 years of experience in the regular classroom (grades 1, 4, and 5), in Title 1 reading, as a tech specialists, and a literacy coach. She has a passion for literacy instruction and meeting the needs of the individual learner.