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KLIATTI read this scientific, often lighthearted, account of snow, its natural permutations and human uses, during a winter in which plenty of the white stuff insinuated itself into my life. Bastedo, who lives in Canada, begins his book by recounting a holiday visit, with his family, to a glacier. Glaciers, an accumulation of extremely compacted snow, actually flow. They are potentially dangerous and fascinating in unexpected ways. Odd piles of dirt on glaciers are made up of the centers about which millions of snowflakes have formed. The author goes on to tell of snow studies, the design of flakes (they don't all look like the Christmas ornaments we're used to seeing), and the natural history of a single flake. He forays into snow oddities such as fleas, worms, and algae that live in the snow and into the lives of animals that cope with snow with varying success. Bastedo explores the lives of the Inuit who survive by knowing how to read snow and use it as a tool. He tells how shelters are made of snow and gives instructions, in an appendix, for making a simple, basic shelter called a quinzhee. He regards the place of snow in "civilized" society, the belief in snowbelt cities that snow is an enemy that should not fall at all and, when it inevitably does, must be removed as quickly as possible. What of the idea that cities, or at least parts of them, should have domes that keep them snow-free all year? Maybe, suggests Bastedo, humans should adopt a more easygoing accommodation of snow. His last chapters deal with cold weather/snow sports: skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing. Great reading for those who live where there is snow—or wish they did. KLIATT Codes: SA—Recommended for seniorhigh school students, advanced students, and adults. 2003, Red Deer Press, 255p. illus. notes. bibliog., Ages 15 to adult.