First Lady Jane Beshear's Communications Office
First Lady Jane Beshear announces Top Ten Winter Reads

Press Release Date:  Thursday, January 21, 2010  
Contact Information:  Sarah Baird

FRANKFORT, Ky. - During the winter months of ice and snow, there’s no better way to escape from the elements than curling up indoors with a good book. First Lady Jane Beshear today announced her Top 10 Winter Reads as part of the First Lady’s Reading Recommendations initiative: perfect for a night in front of the fireplace or an afternoon with a cup of hot cocoa.

“Winter’s dreary weather provides a perfect opportunity for children to discover new adventures through reading,” said Mrs. Beshear. “Students who love reading and love learning are more likely to be engaged in the classrooms resulting in improved scores, higher retention rates and an increased desire to pursue post-secondary education. These books will help students at all levels foster a love of the written word."

  1. The Snow Day, Komako Sakai & The Snowy Day, Ezra Jack Keats (Ages: Birth-5)
    “They will wear pajamas inside out or hide a spoon under their pillow to make it happen: there’s nothing more exciting for children than a snow day. Keats’ gorgeously illustrated classic and Sakai’s tale of a rabbit family’s wintery adventures both capture the magic of these hallowed days.”
  1. The Squirrel's Birthday and Other Parties, Toon Tellegen (Ages: 5-9)
    “This whimsical, one-of-a-kind book captures the spirit of A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh for a new generation with an extra splash of extraordinary imagination.”
  2. Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, Tom Stoppard (Ages: 15-18)
    “This intriguing play would be fun for friends to act out and takes Hamlet in an entirely different direction.”
  3. The Hundred Dresses, Eleanor Estes (Ages: 8-12)
    “First published in 1944 and never out of print since, this story of compassion, tolerance, acceptance and being different is heart-wrenching with magical, gauzy illustrations.”
  4. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Jonathan Sarfan Foer (Ages: 15-18)
    “With Foer’s eclectic voice adding an artistic flair, this story follows an eccentric nine-year-old whiz kid whose search for meaning after his father’s 9/11 death leads on a journey spanning his family history.”
  5. A Foot in the Mouth: Poems to Speak, Sing and Shout (Ages: 8-12)
    “Punchy collages of origami paper enliven these jovial poems for one-voice, two-voices, tongue-twisters and limericks meant to be read allowed and shared with others!”
  6. The Story of Ferdinand, Munro Leaf (Ages: Birth-5)
    “A children’s classic for over 50 years, Ferdinand the Bull remains one of the most loveable and endearing characters in literature.” 
  7. When You Reach Me, Rebecca Stead (Ages: 10-15)
    “Just announced as the 2010 winner of the Newberry Medal, this captivating tale weaves together the intrigue of sixth grade Miranda’s everyday life as she strugglers with best friends, growing up and trying to figure out who has been leaving her a mysterious trail of messages.”
  8. The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (All Ages)
    “This powerful fable of love and loneliness has captivated audiences for generations and continues to move readers today.”