As the chilly weather settles in and blankets of snow adorn the landscape, there’s a timeless joy in gathering your children around a crackling fire, perhaps with hot cocoa, and diving into the wonderful world of books. There’s something beautiful about the shared experience of reading aloud as a family – especially during the wintertime.
Winter evenings are the perfect backdrop for creating these kinds of lasting memories with your loved ones. In a world filled with screens and distractions, the simple act of reading together provides a precious opportunity to connect and bond with one another. And the cold outside only enhances the coziness of being huddled together with an edifying story, immersing yourselves in a tale that not only entertains but also encourages and inspires you in living out your faith.
In the spirit of encouraging this special warmth and togetherness in your family, I’ve compiled a list of my top 10 wintertime family read-alouds to share with you. Each one is brimming with Godly wisdom, a family-friendly storyline, and a Biblical worldview.
These handpicked selections hold a special place in my own heart, as nearly all of them were cherished stories from my own childhood. Now I’m excited to share them with your family, too. They are not only captivating on a cozy winter evening, but they also carry timeless messages of faith that will serve as beacons of light as we navigate life in a spiritually dark world outside our homes.
I hope that the books on this list will bless your family as you continue the beautiful tradition of reading together as a family – or starting it for the first time if you’ve never done it before! This winter, let’s embrace the warmth of Godly and edifying stories as we share moments that will be treasured for years to come!
All for our King’s glory,
Top 10 Wintertime Family Read-alouds
Mary Jones’ family could not afford their own Bible. For years, Mary walked two miles to the home of a nearby farmer to read his family Bible. Mary diligently read the words of the Divine Book, storing them up in her heart. All the while, she prayed that the Lord would provide her with a Bible of her own. After six long years of saving her pennies, Mary Jones set out at last to buy her long-desired possession: a Bible. Walking barefoot for twenty-six miles, she crossed the Welsh countryside to the home of Thomas Charles, a local pastor. Mary offered her hoard of pennies and asked Pastor Charles for a Bible. Astounded by young Mary’s love for God’s Holy Word, Thomas was inspired to found the Religious Tract Society, an organization that would provide Bibles for countless men and women yearning for the truths of Holy Scripture. Based on a true story, this classic tale is sure to captivate young minds and teach children the great blessing it is to possess the written Word of God. Available from generations.org.
When the Probyn boys, Adolphus and Constantine, come to live with the Roby family, conflict ensues. The Roby children are shocked by Adolphus’ and Constantine’s behavior. “How can those boys be so selfish, rude, and spoiled?” the Roby children ask. But in time, the Roby children begin to see their own faults as well. Through allegorical tales of “Fides the Giant Killer,” told by Mrs. Roby, the children discover that it is not just the Probyns who need to repent and believe in Jesus. The Roby children have their own battle with sin. The giants of Pride, Sloth, Selfishness, Anger, and Untruth in their own hearts must be put to death. Charlotte Maria Tucker’s delightful and creative tale uses allegory to teach children that it is by faith that we overcome the giants of sin. It is by faith in Christ, our Captain and Victor, that we overcome. “This is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith” (1 John 5:4). Available from generations.org.
Join Faith Stanby as she makes a selfless sacrifice, leaving her home in England and crossing over to war-torn France in the midst of the French Revolution of the 1790’s. Will she be able to serve her lady faithfully and still maintain her relationship with the Lord? Will she stand up for the truth, despite the threats of a treacherous fellow-servant? Will she be able to escape from the murderous mob of Revolutionaries that is pursuing her? And will she have the courage to remain firm in her faith, even at the foot of the guillotine itself?
You won’t be able to stop turning the pages in this freshly-revived story from the beloved 18th-century children’s writer, Charlotte Maria Tucker. Available from ChristianFamilyReformation.com.
In 1894, a publisher held a writing competition to obtain the best manuscript that would strengthen a child’s faith in Christ and love for Christ. Titus: A Comrade of the Cross was the result. This fictional recounting of the life of Christ was so popular that after six weeks, another 200,000 copies were produced by the publisher.
Titus powerfully shows the love, mercy, and compassion of Jesus for sinners. In this story, you will find sadness and sorrow, but you will also find the power of Jesus at work to “heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound” (Isaiah 61:1). Available from generations.org.
Heidi is one of the most popular children’s books ever published – second only to Pinocchio – with over 50 million copies in print around the world (in at least 50 languages). It’s a delightful read, and one of the most heartwarming Christian stories of all time for children. It’s a book filled with joy, gratefulness, and praise to God. It’s an ideal story for the Christian family, complete with vivid descriptions of sin, rebellion, God’s mercy, forgiveness, reconciliation, and faith. Young readers will learn about prayer, the purpose of trials, the sovereignty of God, and the goodness of God.
Over the years, much of the Christian content was removed from modern English editions of Heidi. The goal of this landmark republication was to restore all of the original Christian content, some of which was restored from the original German edition of 1881. Available from generations.org.
Step into the wild moorlands of 17th-century Scotland and witness the clash between the English crown and Scottish Covenanters! Seamlessly weaving fact and fiction, Bond’s richly textured stories follow the dissident M’Kethe family as they endure persecution and hardship because of their refusal to recognize the king as head of the church. Breathtaking adventures in three volumes, approximately 250 pages each. Available from christianbook.com.
Following a raging storm in the Pacific, a Swiss family is shipwrecked on a deserted island. Together, they labor to build a new Switzerland in a faraway place. As this Christian family builds a new home away from home, they learn that God is the all-merciful Provider of everything that mankind enjoys. The Lord is the bountiful Creator who has made the things of this earth for the benefit of His creatures.
This new edition of The Swiss Family Robinson is revised from the popular W. H. Kingston translation. It includes additions from the original English translation of William Godwin. This new edition includes parts of Wyss’ original narrative that have often been removed from other editions. Wyss, as a pastor and a father, originally wrote this story to teach his boys the truths of the Christian faith. Many of these parts of the narrative have been restored in this edition. Available from generations.org.
Originally published in 1678, John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress remains one of the best-selling books of all time. Today, Bunyan’s classic allegory exists in over 200 languages – a testimony to its enduring value to the church of Jesus Christ. This unique allegorical account of the Christian life is richly saturated with Scripture and filled with spiritual wisdom by a man who genuinely knew both the joys and sorrows of the Christian life.
This new edition of Bunyan’s classic work is a simplified version of Part 1 of Pilgrims Progress that younger readers (aged 11-14) will find easy to understand. This beautiful edition provides a readable introduction to the writings of John Bunyan. Available from generations.org.
“I give orders, not take them. I am the Prince. I am the King’s son!”
Prince Hubert has proven to be an unworthy heir, but a bold intervention by the king’s most trusted knight could prove to be the cure. The young Prince had always said and done too little, but now he finds himself in an unfamiliar place where he is simply known as Hugh, a peasant boy. His silks and satins are replaced with rough work clothes, and he learns many valuable lessons during his time spent with the widow of the forest.
Far from the walls of the palace, Hugh will learn that servanthood is a pre-requisite of kingship. Available from lamplighter.net.
As a young man, Robinson Crusoe dishonors his parents by running away to sea. He is enslaved in Africa, but manages to escape to Brazil. After years of sinful living, a storm destroys the slave ship on which he is sailing. He is the only survivor. Washed up on a tropical island, he lives there all by himself for almost thirty years.
Providentially, he is able to collect many useful supplies from the wreck of the ship. Taking dominion of the island, he makes a home in the wilderness. He grows his own food, raises his own livestock, and makes his own clothes and tools. But while he learns to provide for his material needs, he is still a slave to sin. Then in the midst of a terrible sickness, he finds forgiveness, redemption, and deliverance in the Lord Jesus Christ. Available from generations.org.