Hot Chocolate: November 2023

If you read our recent blog post on the history of chocolate, you might be wondering why we’re publishing another cocoa-themed post so quickly. Well, we really like chocolate, hot chocolate, and all the cozy things that gather our community together in the chilly months. We’re celebrating the bittersweet end of fall and the coming of winter with our Hot Chalk-a-lot event at Crestwood Library on November 14. To start celebrating early, we’ve reviewed the coziest children’s books to enjoy a nice warm cup of cocoa (here are our favorite two recipes, compiled by Crestwood's librarian trainee, Jackie!)


  1. Fletcher and the Falling Leaves- This is one of my fall favorites, as I think it perfectly explains the changing of the seasons in terms children find easily digestible. It tackles big ideas like seasonal affective disorder and nostalgia to make them approachable. I love that Fletcher lets children know it’s okay to be excited about winter and the future but still want to hold onto warm weather and happy summer memories.
  2. The Autumn Visitors- This addition to the Visitors series follows a family of bears experiencing a New England autumn. They explore a fairway after dark and learn how to go trick-or-treating, before enjoying their first Thanksgiving dinner. Settle in with this picture book before nodding off for a long winter’s nap.
  3. The Tea Party in the Woods- This modern fairytale is charming, centering around a young girl (literally) following in the footsteps of her father to bring him a pie he left at home. Her trek through the woods takes a magical turn and leaves the reader with a whimsical tale.
  4. Bright Winter Night- This poem follows a group of woodland animals on a journey through the woods to see the Northern Lights. It’s a lovely picture book that, with its blue, pink, and silver forest palette, embodies winter nostalgia despite its 2022 publication date. 
  5. The Snow Rabbit- This picture book is an artistic masterpiece, featuring photographs of the author’s detailed die-cut paper. The meticulous attention to detail and sweet storytelling will leave you reaching for this one again and again, all winter long.
  6. Over and Under the Snow- This addition to the Over and Under series is informative and charming as always. Readers follow a cross-country skiing trip through the snowy woods to learn about the creatures that live (you guessed it…) over and under the snow.



Natalie Varker is a part-time page at the Crestwood Library and a full-time student at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, NH. She is studying elementary education and is especially passionate about child growth and development, special education, and children’s literature. Her free time is spent reading, watching, and talking about her favorite rom-coms.


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