the snow queen advent calendar + craft giveaway!



I wanted to make an advent calendar for This Picture Book Life that would work for anyone and everyone. Turns out it’s more than an advent calendar. It’s a story activity that could be used other times, too!

12 installments of a tale unfolding where the story is the treat! Wondering about it. Guessing the next part. The delayed gratification of the very end. (Can you tell I’ve been listening to the Serial podcast? I’m obsessed. Are you?)


“The Snow Queen” fairy tale is a favorite of mine and super great for the holiday season. It’s wintry, of course. Not only that, it’s really about love and friendship, the bond between a boy and girl who are best friends. Their special connection is the only thing strong enough to overcome the iciest heart.

(Also, kid lit fans might want to check out Anne Ursu’s middle grade novel, Breadcrumbs, a wonderful take on “The Snow Queen” for older kids and a great read aloud too.)



Here’s how you can make yours:

*Download the following PDF. Click the link and print it out and you’re pretty much ready to go!


*Cut up each day’s section and tuck it into an envelope. (We made origami envelopes out of pretty papers, but any one would do.)

*Label the envelopes according to the days, one through twelve.

*Tie your envelopes together, stack them, put them up with clothespins on twine, or carry them with you!

*Read the section of “The Snow Queen” from each envelope aloud every day until the end! You can start any day in December (or beyond).



I  adapted my abridged version of “The Snow Queen” from An Illustrated Treasury of Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales illustrated by Anastasiya Archipova. (Stay tuned for a giveaway of that book very soon!)








I hope you’re inspired to make this Snow Queen advent calendar! Send me a photo for sure if you do! Or enter to win this very one for your home or classroom!



Enter to win my handmade 12 Days of Story by using the rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(Giveaway ends Thursday, December 4th; open to N. America only—sorry about that, far-flung international readers! I’ll email the randomly chosen winner for their mailing address.)

16 Responses to the snow queen advent calendar + craft giveaway!

  1. Danzel says:

    This is such a cute idea! “The Snow Queen” is one of my favorite fairy tales, along with “The Wild Swans.” I’ve always been partial to Andersen.

  2. Awesome activity! I’m going to make one of these for our younger classrooms. And I just printed out the author’s website for Breadcrumbs. Will plug it in library time for our 4/5 classroom this afternoon. It shows as “IN” in Alexandria, our library mgmt system. I’m thinking it will be checked out one minute later, and then we’ll start a waiting list. Thanks!

    Will also make one for our son who still enjoys reading the picture books I bring home to study for my own writing. Cheers!

  3. What an excellent idea!! You are so clever! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Sarah M says:

    I love this idea of splitting up a book and reading it in bits and pieces over advent. I have to admit, I hid the advent Calendar this year because my heart’s just not in it. We’ve had a crazy year and we’re running on fumes and the advent calendar–something the kids and I have always enjoyed in years past–just gives me hives thinking about it! 🙂
    Sarah M

  5. Pingback: hans christian andersen treasury of fairy tales + giveaway - This Picture Book Life

  6. Bonnie Eng says:

    OMG so cute!! I love the paper you used…this is fabulous!

  7. Pingback: one fairy tale, two versions: hansel & gretel - This Picture Book Life

  8. Kate says:

    Such a fabulous idea – I’m going to create one for my 4 year old! Do you have any suggestions for books that could last the full 24 days?

    • Kate, that makes me very happy! I think most fairy tales could be stretched out over all 24 days if you were to cut them up into smaller chunks of text—something that might work really well for a four year old. I’ll give it a think and let you know if I come up with any other ideas. I’m hoping to have a new post like this for 2015, so stay tuned. 🙂

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