Thursday, January 26, 2012

Snowflake Bentley

American Profile, an insert in our local paper, featured Wilson Bentley's photographs of snowflakes on its cover this past week.  Its cover reminded me of one of my favorite picture books, Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin.  The pictures, woodcuts, were created by Mary Azarian.



Wilson Bentley was born in Jericho, Vermont in 1865.  When he was seventeen, his parents bought him a camera with its own microscope.  By experimenting, he learned to take photos of individual snowflakes.  Eventually, he had a book published, Snow Crystals.  Even today, it is a reference book for scientists and other people interested in snowflakes.  I am sure that some of his friends and neighbors considered him "flaky". 

The gold medal on the cover is the Caldecott Medal given each year since 1938 to the outstanding picture book of that year.  Snowflake Bentley won the award in 1999.

This is the first page.  To me the words are close to poetry.  The illustrations fit the story beautifully.



The story is set in large print but often there are side bars in smaller print with additional information. 



If you have a child or grandchild who is interested in the natural world, check out this book from the library and read it to him or her.  Chances are you as well as your child will learn something.  I did.

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1 comment:

Far Side of Fifty said...

I have some childrens books..some that I just could not resist..I read them from time to time. I didn't have many books growing up..so for me books are just the best thing:)