Simona Ciraolo: If Winter Comes, Tell It I’m Not Here

Illustrated by the author

Published by Walker Books, London, 2020

There is nobody like your big sister to tell you the bad news straight up.

In this charming picture book, we meet a young boy who is loving the season of summer and all the cool things there are to do while the weather is hot and balmy: swimming, eating ice cream, feeling that warm sun on his skin and being outdoors almost every day. His big sister, however, has some developing news and is quite happy to pass it on:

“You’d better make the most of it while it lasts. Summer’s going to end soon.”

And she almost delights in the apprehensive reaction she gets from her young brother! There will be shorter days, chillier weather, and trees will lose their leaves. Days and days will go by inside with nothing to do but watch the rain and feel cold and miserable…well, that is certainly a lot to be unhappy about.

But as winter approaches, something amazing happens. It’s just as his big sister says, but there is something wonderful (and not terrible) about snuggling up on the couch with his family, crunching through the colourful autumn leaves, splashing in puddles, skating on ice, and enjoying a big warm bowl of soup.

Yes, life is constantly changing, but if we bend into the change and embrace each new way of living, then sometimes, just sometimes, we can find our silver linings.

I can highly recommend this picture book for children 3-6 years to introduce them to the wonder of our changing seasons and below are more suggestions for picture books which focus on that theme, for both northern and southern hemispheres:

Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit
by Il Sung Na

Tap the Magic Tree
by Christie Matheson

Tree by Britta Teckentrup Illustrated by Patricia Hegarty

Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter
by Kenard Pak

My Boots in Season
by Kerryn Pascoe
Illustrated by Elise Hurst

Sing Me the Summer
by Jane Godwin
Illustrated by Alison Lester

Our Seasons by
Grace Lin & Ranida McKneally Illustrated by Grace Lin

Ruby & Rufus Love the Water!
by Olivier Dunrea

When Spring Comes
by Kevin Henkes
Illustrated by Laura Dronzek

Lift-the-Flap Seasons and Weather by Holly Bathie

Dry to Dry by Pamela Freeman Illustrated by Liz Anelli

A Year on our Farm
by Penny Matthews
Illustrated by Andrew McLean

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

That’s Not a Daffodil
by Elizabeth Honey

Spring for Sophie by Yael Werber Illustrated by Jen Hill

and then it’s spring
by Julie Fogliano
Illustrated by Erin E. Stead

All the Year Round by John Yeoman Illustrated by Quentin Blake

In the Garden by Emma Giuliani

Millie-Mae in Autumn
by Natalie Marshall

The ABC Book of Seasons by Helen Martin and Judith Simpson Illustrated by Cheryl Orsini