picture books · reading · slice of life

Picture Books to Weather the Storm

We’ve been hit by the blizzard (aka: Stella). What do you do to keep a six-year-old from climbing the walls on a day like this? There are only so many TV shows I’ll let her watch or crafts she’ll want to do.

An idea came to me after reading the lovely comments I received from so many of you after yesterday’s blog post I shared.

“Isabelle!” I called.


“I have an idea of something we can do together today.”

“What?” she asked.

“Would you like to build a fort in the great room? We can turn on the fireplace and read picture books together. I’ll read to you.”

Her face lit up. “Yes! I want to!”

I thought of a tweet I saw from the Anne Arundel Public Library:

“What if we read one book for every inch of snow that’s fallen on the ground?”

“Okay. How much snow do we have?” she asked.

I texted my neighbor who I knew would know. Within minutes I found out we had 17 inches! (That was at 11 a.m.)

“17 inches so far. So we’ll read 17 picture books. What do you think?”

“Good,” she replied.

“I have stacks of review copies I need to read in my office. What if I bring them in here and you select the ones you’d like me to read to you?”

“I like that,” she said.

I brought in piles of picture books and let Isabelle select the ones she wanted me to read to her. Next, we built the fort with blankets, chairs, and heavy-duty clips. (BTW: This is the best fort we’ve ever made thanks to the newly-installed baby gate around the fireplace in our great room.) Isabelle placed pillows on the floor. Then, the two of us crawled in beside each other. (We left Ari in our view, but we didn’t let him inside. We figured he’d pull down the blankets.)

Our fort filled with books.
So far our favorite book has been A River by Marc Martin. The language is beautiful as are the illustrations. (I won’t disclose the titles of the ones we didn’t like.) Each of us gave it a thumbs-up!We’re taking a break so she can watch an episode of “Super Why” while Ari sleeps (and I write). More books to come soon!

We’re taking a break right now so she can watch an episode of “Super Why” while Ari naps (and I write). More books to come shortly!

**** Update: 3/14/17 at 11:15 p.m. ***

We read 19 books since we got 19 inches of snow. Here were some of the 19, which got a 👍🏼 from Isabelle and me.


37 thoughts on “Picture Books to Weather the Storm

  1. This will be one of her favorite all-time memories of time spent alone with you. And I’m sure it boosted her interest in books. And you had some much needed down-time as a bonus. Good thinking, Mom!

  2. Such a charming post and so cozy in your fort. I love how you read a book for each inch of snow. This is a day Is suspect your daughter will remember and perhaps repeat with her own child years from now.

    BTW, I have wanted to read A Horse Named Steve by Collier.

  3. I saw that post on Facebook. What a fun way to spend the day with Isabelle. My favorite thing to do with the grand kids is reading to them. 19 inches of snow–Wow! We didn’t get anywhere near that.

  4. Love the tent and the idea to read a book for each inch of snow! What a great snowday activity! I think the tent made it extra special for you and Isabelle – just a perfect way to pass time quickly – so much fun!

  5. Tying the number of books to the inches of snow was a great idea. Snow days are made for blanket forts, books, and I hope some hot chocolate.

  6. what a lovely way to pass the freezing weather! That’s a ton of snow—good thing you all had such a great selection of books to keep you occupied! Making memories—beautiful.

  7. What a great idea tweeted by Anne Arundel Library and I love the graphic. I think Isabelle will long remember the day it snowed 19 inches… and not because of the snow. 🙂

  8. This is fabulous! (Also, I’m so jealous that you got 19″ of snow!) I love the way you engaged Isabelle and love the idea of a book for every inch! ❤

  9. What a fun way to weather the storm! And I love that Ari was able to chill long enough for you to have this sweet moment (or 19) with your first born!

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