Picture Book Pair for Sharing Love and Friendship

  Picture book pair posts are about showing how books with similar themes can open up a world of discussion possibilities, and those discussions are great ways to connect with your children or students. It can be fascinating to see how different authors and illustrators approach different topics and themes. Pairing books with similar themes during story time will help children learn that everyone sees and experiences the world a little differently, and it's good to see other people's perspectives. Today is Valentine’s Day, and that has everyone talking about love! But not just romantic love. The love of friends and family is a big topic too! Yes, this time of year love is a hot topic, but it’s a good topic to read and talk about all year long. So today we’d like to share two lovely books with a theme of love between friends. But love isn’t the only thing these two books have in common. They also both feature bears! In Love is in the Little Things by Stella J. Jones, illustrate

Read, Discuss, and Do with COZY by Jan Brett

It's the time of year when a lot o people are trying to stay warm, so what better book for a winter story time than a story about arctic animals trying to do just that? Today's story time idea by Mindy Baker includes a super creative and adorable craft for you to pair with this charming book. What other books would make for cozy winter story times?

Cozy, written and illustrated by Jan Brett is a beautifully illustrated picture book about sharing, friendship, and getting along with others. One night in Alaska, a storm hits, and Cozy is separated from his family. He isn’t lonely for long as one-by-one, different arctic creatures burrow under Cozy’s fur to stay warm. However, it isn’t long before some house rules must be established so that the animals can all get along peacefully. In the end, signs of spring emerge, and Cozy finds his way back to his herd. The other animals move along to their summer dwellings but promise to get cozy with Cozy next winter.

READ:  Cozy by Jan Brett


  • Why did his parents name him Cozy? (His silky coat is soft and thick.)

  • What happens to Cozy when the storm hits? (He is lost and alone.)

  • How does Cozy help the creatures in the story? (They use his fur as protection and to stay warm in the storm.)

  • Can you remember the order in which Cozy helps the creatures? (lemmings, a snowshoe hare, a snowy owl, an arctic fox, a wolverine, a team of huskies, and a sea otter)

  • Did the creatures get along well? (No, not at first.)

  • What helped the animals get along better? (house rules and thinking how the other creatures would feel, putting their needs ahead of their own)

  • Can you think of any situations where rules are helpful? (school, games, sports, traffic, etc.) What do you think it would be like in those situations if there were not any rules? (various)

Cozy was willing to help others. Who can you help and what can you do to help that person? (various)

DO: Make Cozy and some Arctic Animal Cards (For use in retelling the story, sequencing activity, and creative play)

For Cozy you will need:

  • Rectangular tissue box

  • Paper towel tube

  • Googly Eyes

  • Cardstock (brown)

  • Brown piece of felt

  • Piece of faux fur (brown)

  • Stapler

  • Tacky glue or glue gun

  • Sharpie

Directions to make Cozy:

  1. Cut one side of the tissue box so that there is an opening on one side of the box.

  2. Cut a small piece of the fur for the face and glue it onto one end of the box.

  3. Cut out cardstock for the eyes and nose. Glue on the googly eyes and draw the nostrils with a sharpie marker.

  4. Glue and staple the felt onto the other sides of the box, leaving a loose flap over the side with the opening. (So the animal cards can be tucked inside under the felt.)

  5. Make the horns from the paper towel tube. First, cut into two pieces along the seam. box. 

  6. Add the rest of the faux fur to accentuate. (You could also use yarn to create a more shaggy look.) 

To create the Arctic Animal Cards you will need:

A book with pictures of animals

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Directions to make the Arctic Animal Cards:

  1. Fold the index cards in half.

  2. Print the Arctic Animals free download.

  3. Cut out the Arctic animals.

  4. Tape the animals onto the cards.

A collage of a craft

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If you make this or any other craft or project you’ve found on Read, Discuss, Do! we’d love to know about you. You can tell us in the comments or, if you share on social media, use the hashtag #ReadDiscussDo.