Snowflake Bentley

( 24 )

Overview

From the time he was a small boy, Wilson Bentley thought of the icy crystals as small miracles. And he determined that one day his camera would capture for others the wonder of the tiny crystals.

Bentley's enthusiasm for photographing snowflakes was often misunderstood in his time, but his patience and determination revealed two important truths about snowflakes: first, that no two are alike and second, that each one is startlingly beautiful. His story, gracefully told by ...

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Overview

From the time he was a small boy, Wilson Bentley thought of the icy crystals as small miracles. And he determined that one day his camera would capture for others the wonder of the tiny crystals.

Bentley's enthusiasm for photographing snowflakes was often misunderstood in his time, but his patience and determination revealed two important truths about snowflakes: first, that no two are alike and second, that each one is startlingly beautiful. His story, gracefully told by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and brought to life in Mary Azarian's lovely woodcuts, gives children insight into a soul who had not only a scientist's vision and perseverance but a clear passion for the wonders of nature.

"Of all the forms of water the tiny six-pointed crystals of ice called snow are incomparably the most beautiful and varied."

-- Wilson Bentley

A biography of a self-taught scientist who photographed thousands of individual snowflakes in order to study their unique formations.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times Book Review
Illustrator Mary Azarian was awarded the 1999 Caldecott Medal for illustration.
Martha Davis Beck
Jacqueline Briggs Martin tells the story of 'Snowflake' Bentley with affection and grace. . .Readers will be inspired by this story of a man who was both scientist and artist, who let his deepest interests lead him through life, who found beauty in something others found common—and in the process opened up a part of the world we otherwise might not know.
-- Riverbank Review
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Azarian's (A Farmer's Alphabet) handsome woodcuts provide a homespun backdrop to Martin's (Grandmother Bryant's Pocket) brief biography of a farmboy born in 1865 on the Vermont snowbelt who never lost his fascination with snowflakes. Wilson A. Bentley spent 50 years pioneering the scientific study of ice crystals, and developed a technique of microphotography that allowed him to capture the hexagonal shapes and prove that no two snowflakes are alike. Martin conveys Bentley's passion in lyrical language ("snow was as beautiful as butterflies, or apple blossoms"), and punctuates her text with frequent sidebars packed with intriguing tidbits of information (though readers may be confused by the two that explain Bentley's solution of how to photograph the snowflakes). Hand-tinted with watercolors and firmly anchored in the rural 19th century, Azarian's woodcuts evoke an era of sleighs and woodstoves, front porches and barn doors, and their bold black lines provide visual contrast to the delicate snowflakes that float airily in the sidebars. A trio of Bentley's ground-breaking black-and-white photographs of snowflakes, along with a picture and quote from him about his love for his work, is the icing that tops off this attractive volume.
Ages 4-8.
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Willie Bentley loved snow-he was passionate about snow. He was fascinated by the beauty of snowflakes and wanted desperately to be able to share their beauty with the world. However, it was not until his parents spent their savings to buy him a camera with a microscope attachment that his desire was finally fullfilled. He took pictures, hundred of pictures of snowflakes, and eventually became a world-renowned expert. His photographs graced the pages of magazines and books and were used by artists and professors. Willie became known as "the Snowflake Man." A monument to Willie stands as a testament to his dedication and his desire to share the beauty of snowflakes with the world. At the end of the book, readers see Willie at work and several examples of his snowflake photographs. Azarian's hand-tinted woodcut illustrations, the snowflake motif, and the wintry scenes and hues are a perfect match for the story.
School Library Journal
Grades K-3
This picture-book biography beautifully captures the essence of the life and passion of Wilson A. Bentley (1865-1931), known to many as "The Snowflake Man." A plaque in his hometown honors the work of this simple farmer who labored for 50 years to develop a technique of microphotography in an attempt to capture "...the grandeur and mystery of the snowflake." The story of this self-taught scientist begins with his early interest in the beauty of snow and his determination to find a way of sharing that beauty with others. At 16, his parents spent their life's savings on a special camera with its own microscope so he could make a permanent record of individual snowflakes. After two years of work, he perfected a technique for making acceptable pictures. He spent the rest of his life photographing ice crystals and sharing them with neighbors and interested scientists and artists around the world. Azarian's woodblock illustrations, hand tinted with watercolors, blend perfectly with the text and recall the rural Vermont of Bentley's time. The inclusion of a photograph of the scientist at work and three of his remarkable photographs adds authenticity. Two articles about his work, one written by Bentley himself, are listed on the CIP page. The story of this man's life is written with graceful simplicity. Sidebars decorated with snowflakes on every page add facts for those who want more details. An inspiring selection.
-- Virginia Golodetz, Children's Literature New England, Burlington, VT
New York Times Book Review
Illustrator Mary Azarian was awarded the 1999 Caldecott Medal for illustration.
Horn Book
A warm period look at a cold subject-snow-and one self-made scientist, Wilson A. Bentley, affectionately known as Snowflake. Bentley made an appearance in Johanna Hurwitz's recent novel Faraway Summer; Martin's book more completely gives a portrait of the man who discovered, among other things, the fact that no two snowflakes are alike (something that the book design sometimes contradicts). The book exhibits a beautiful blend of Azarian's splendid woodcuts, a lyrical text, and factual sidebars. Bentley's dedication to his research is clearly evident, and the ridicule to which he was sometimes subjected is appropriately down-played for a young audience. The illustrations, tinted with watercolors, depict the people, homes, meadows, and woods of turn-of-the-century Vermont countryside in accurate detail. Sources for the factual material are credited, and a final page features photo-graphs of Bentley at work and three of his actual snowflake slides.
Kirkus Reviews
Wilson Bentley (1865 - 1931) was fascinated by snow, in childhood and adulthood, and, practically speaking, is the one who "discovered" snow crystals, by photographing them in all their variation. As a youngster, he was so taken with these little six-sided ice crystals that his parents scraped together their savings to buy him a camera with a microscope. From then on, despite his neighbors' amusement, he took hundreds of portraits of snowflakes. As an adult, he gave slide shows of his work, and when he was 66, a book was published of his photos, a book that is still in use today. Martin chronicles Bentley's life and his obsession in a main, poetic text, but provides additional facts in careful, snowflake-strewn sidebars. The deep blue snow shadows and fuzzy glow of falling flakes in Azarian's skillfully carved, hand-tinted woodcuts recreate the cold winter wonderland of "Snowflake" Bentley's Vermont. This is a lyrical biographical tribute to a farmer, whose love of snow and careful camera work expanded both natural science and photography.
From the Publisher
"A warm period look at a cold subject - snow - and one self-made scientist, Wilson A. Bentley, affectionately know as Snowflake. . . . The book exhibits a beautiful blend of Azarian's splendid woodcuts, a lyrical text, and factual sidebars. Bentley's dedication to his research is clearly evident, and the ridicule to which he was sometimes subjected is appropriately downplayed for a young audience. The illustrations, tinted with watercolors, depict the people, homes, meadows, and woods of turn-of-the-century Vermont countryside in accurate detail. Sources for the factual material are credited, and a final page features photographs of Bentley at work and three of his actual snowflake slides." Horn Book

"Wilson Bentley was fascinated by snow, in childhood and adulthood, and, practically speaking, is the one who 'discovered' snow crystals, by photographing them in all their variation. As a youngster, he was so taken with these little six-sided ice crystals that his parents scraped together their savings to buy him a camera with a microscope. From then on, despite his neighbors' amusement, he took hundreds of portraits of snowflakes. As an adult, he gave slide shows of his work, and when he was 66, a book was published of his photos - a book that is still in use today. Martin chronicles Bentley's life and his obsession in a main, poetic text, but provides additional facts in careful, snowflake-strewn sidebars. . . . This is a lyrical biographical tribute to a farmer, whose love of snow and careful camera work expanded both natural science and photography." Kirkus Reviews

"This picture-book biography beautifully captures the essence of the life and passion of Wilson A. Bentely. . . . The story of this man's life is written with graceful simplicity. . . . An inspiring selection." School Library Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395861622
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 9/28/1998
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 229,534
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Jacqueline Briggs Martin is the author of Snowflake Bentley, winner of the 1999 Caldecott Medal, and The Lamp, the Ice, and the Boat Called Fish, an ALA Notable Book, a Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book, Riverbank Review Finalist, Notable Social Studies Trade book and winner of The Golden Kite Award for Illustration. She grew up on a farm in Maine much like the one in this story. She lives in Mt. Vernon, Iowa.

Caldecott Medalist Mary Azarian is a consummate gardener and a skilled and original woodblock artist. Many of her prints are heavily influenced by her love of gardening, and her turn-of-the-century farmhouse is surrounded by gardens that reveal an artist's vision. Mary Azarian received the 1999 Caldecott Medal for SNOWFLAKE BENTLEY, written by Jacqueline Briggs Martin. She lives, skis, and gardens in Vermont.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 24 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(12)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 24 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2000

    Jessi's Review of Snowflake Bentley

    As winter is in full effect and snowfalls are becoming more familiar to the area, I couldn't help but pick up Jacqueline Briggs Martin's Snowflake Bentley. As educational as it is delightful, Martin's colorful picture book gives the historical account of Wilson 'Snowflake' Bentley (1865-1931), an American farmer who dedicated most of his life to microphotography. This form of photography allowed Bentley to take pictures of snow crystals and study the snowflakes more closely. The pictures in this story compliment this educational narrative as they also add expressive and colorful images. A drawing of Wilson Bentley is dominates the book as the central image. The story shows Wilson's growth from a child to an adult in his study of nature, whether he is walking in the snow, examining insects in a field of flowers, or studying the shapes of snowflakes under a camera in his home. This visual art classifies Briggs' book as a picture book. According to Rhedin in Kummerling-Beibauer Bettina's article, 'Metalinguistic Awareness and the Child's Developing Concept of Irony: The Relationship between Pictures and Text in Ironic Picture Books', there is two types of picture books. The first is a book where the 'visual art dominates as an independent mode of expression but is enhanced by actual or implied narrative structure.' I wouldn't say that the visual art in Snowflake Bentley is dominant or independent nor would I say that it is the second type of picture book where 'the verbal text dominates as an independent work of art where illustrations¿show a distinctive freedom of style and thought.' (162) Rather, I would say that the text and illustrations are dependent on one another. The illustrations do indeed show a distinctive of freedom of style and thought but these thoughts are parallel with the plot. The pictures of the snow are pleasant and comforting, as the story is also pleasant and comforting. She uses pictures of William, Wilson's family, the fallen snow, but also of other seasons where Wilson is studying other aspects of nature. The falling snowflakes throughout the text continue the idea of snowfall, whether on a double full-page spread or set on borders outside the text. The colors throughout the story are vibrant and are visual images of the words in the text. The pictures are able to depict fully what Briggs wants the readers to understand by creating an image that brings the story line to life. Readers, both children and adults, can enjoy this story line as well as the history behind Wilson Bentley. I picked up Snowflake Bentley on a cold winter's day but the pictures were warming and the story taught me to examine snowflakes for more than just a way to get out of class.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 11, 2011

    five Stars.

    Enjoyed stoy. Beautiful pictures. Children of all ages would enjoy. kitty69PA

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2010

    Beautiful Story - Must read during Holiday season!!

    For those of you who enjoy informational books told through a crafty story, this book is for you! Snowflake Bentley not only tells the story of William Bentley's discovery of the intricate patterns in a snowflake, but also tells of his passion for the beauty in nature and his love for teaching others of his discoveries. Bentley grew up in Vermont where snow was excessively abundant during the winter. Though most people looked past the individuality that each snowflake has to offer, Bentley was meticulous in his studies and strived to find the most beautiful and captivating patterns. In fact, the humble Bentley was so dedicated to his work that his earnings from his photographs and slides went directly into improving his work space. The life of William Bentley is interesting and bittersweet. I believe that this book is fun for all ages, especially around the winter season!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2007

    Review

    Jacqueline Briggs Martin was raised on a farm in Maine. She now lives in Iowa with her husband and two children. She tried teaching preschool while, but it was not right for her. She often uses her own life experiences in her stories. Ms. Briggs continues to write in an office on the first floor where she gains inspiration by looking out onto the porch and watching the comings and goings in the front yard and on the street. In 1999 Snowflake Bentley won the Caldecott Award for its illustrations. Wilson Bentley was born on February 9, 1865, on a farm in Jericho, Vermont. His happiest days were snowstorm days. He used an old microscope that his mother gave him to look at snowflakes, flowers, raindrops, and blades of grass. He would draw pictures of the snowflakes, but they would always melt before he finished them. He also discovered that no two snowflakes were the same. His parents bought him a special camera to take pictures of the snowflakes. His pictures are still studied today.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2007

    Snowflake Bentley Review

    Caldecott Book Title: Snowflake Bentley Reading Level: Third Grade Genre: Historical & Biographical About the Author: Jacqueline Martin Briggs was born and raised in Maine. After getting married, Ms. Briggs moved to Iowa where her husband, Rich, obtained a job as a professor at Cornell College. Ms. Briggs and her husband, Rich, have a daughter and son, whom they raised in a house near the campus where they reside today. Ms. Briggs continues to write in an office on the first floor where she gains inspiration by looking out onto the porch and watching the comings and goings in the front yard and on the street. In 1999, one of her books, Snowflake Bentley, won the Caldecott Award for its illustrations. Book Review: Snowflake Bentley is a wonderfully crafted and illustrated book. It is a biographical document about a self taught scientist, Wilson Bentley, who studied the unique form of snowflakes. Mr. Bentley was a farmer and was born in 1865 in Jericho, Vermont. This is a small town between Lake Champlain and Mount Mansfield right in the heart of Vermont¿s ¿snowbelt.¿ Bentley always ¿loved snow more than anything else in the world.¿ His mother gave him a microscope when he was fifteen years old. Day after day, he studied the different snowflakes. As he looked at the snowflakes under his microscope, he was stunned by their unique beauty. He discovered that no two snowflakes were the same. Mr. Bentley then decided that he should share that beauty with others, but he did not know how to do this, and there was no one to teach him. For years, he drew pictures of snowflakes and studied them. His father and his neighbors thought trying to save snowflakes was foolishness, but Mr. Bentley was very determined. When Bentley was seventeen years old, his parents spent their savings and bought him a camera. After many failed attempts to take pictures of snow flakes, Bentley tried a new technique which was proven to be a success. Mr. Bentley died in 1931, and was considered the world¿s expert on snowflakes. This story was interesting and I would recommend it for learning and enjoyment. Bibliographic Information: Martin Briggs, Jacqueline. Snowflake Bentley. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2007

    Snowflake Bentley

    This book is about Wilson Bentley who photographed thousands of individual snowflakes, in order to study their unique formations. People in Bentley¿s time made fun of him and thought that he was nuts, because they didn¿t believe you could take pictures of snowflakes. However, while taking pictures Wilson revealed two amazing truths about snowflakes. You will have to read the rest of the book to find out what two truths that Wilson found out. Martin, Jacqueline Briggs. Snowflake Bentley. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1998.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2007

    Snowflake Bentley

    Jacqueline was raised on a farm in Maine. She now lives in Iowa. She has one daughter and one son. Every time she writes a new story she buys a new notebook and a new pen. She was a preschool teacher for a while but it was not right for her. She often uses her own life experiences in her stories. It should come as no surprise that she wrote a true story called Snowflake Bentley. If you have read this book it should not be a surprise that she won the Caldecott medal for this book. This is the true story of a man who was fascinated with snowflakes. He loved to watch the snow fall and tried to catch just one snowflake at a time so he could see it better. In the book he said ¿Snow is as beautiful as butterflies¿. His parents bought him a special camera that had a microscope attached to it. He was finally able to take pictures of the snowflakes and examine them. He discovered the fact that no two snowflakes are exactly the same. The pictures in this book are wonderful. It is not just a bunch of pictures of snowflakes it is a very detailed account of this farmer¿s journey and growth as he pursued his passion. The pictures are very lifelike which reinforces the fact that this is a true story. The pictures are so well done that they almost look like photographs. I would recommend that all my students red this book. I have already recommended that all my children read it. Martin, Jacqueline Briggs. Snowflake Bentley. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1998. Reading Level 4.4

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2007

    Snowflake Bentley

    I really enjoyed this book. It was very informative and told the story of the man who loved snowflakes!! This was a 1999 Caldecott award winning book! It would be best for 3rd graders! My favorite quote from the book was ' Fall all the snow lovers of the world who like me think show is like chocolate, there is never enough!' This book is very inspirational because he is discourged by the towns people saying' We dont need pictures of snow' Yet every winter he record the many snowflakes he catches!Mortin, Jacquelin Briggs. Snowflake Bentley. New York, NY: Haughton Mifflin Co., 1998.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2007

    Beauty is found in the smallest of places.

    Reading level 4.4. Martin, Jacqueline. 'Snowflake Bentley'. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co. ,1998. This is a remarkable story about W.A. Bentley who grew up on a dairy farm in Vermont. Snow is pretty common there, but Willie found beauty in the tiny snowflakes. He viewed them as 'small miracles'. He was often misunderstood at the time but his photographs even today reveal that not only are no two snowflakes alike, but that each one is amazingly beautiful. The woodcut illustrations are beautiful, and carry us through this remarkable little story. Jacqueline Martin lives in Iowa with her family. She wrote this story about Bentley because, 'he saw beauty where no one else had noticed it, and he was determined to show others that beauty.'

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2007

    Snowflake Bentley

    Snowflake Bentley is about Wilson Bentley. It tells a story of Willie Bentley and his fascination with snow crystals. This book is a good example for children to see that even though something fascinating and extraordinary to you might seem useless to others. You just have to keep trying and even though you might fail a few times soon you will succeed if you keep trying. The book also gives some interesting facts to the side about Wilson Bentley. I found the story to be interesting. No matter how much you see something, like snow, to some every time they see it again, it¿s as beautiful as the first time. `'But in those days no one cared. Neighbors laughed at the idea of photographing snow. 'Snow in Vermont is as common as dirt,' they said. 'We don't need pictures.''

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2006

    An inspirational book of child's growing love for snow.

    'Snowflake Bentley' by Jacqueline Briggs Martin is a truly sensational story about Wilson Bentley's love for nature especially snow! This book has earned its Caldecott Medal by offering children of all ages the opportunity to learn the history about how a snowflake was captured. Also it shares Wilson Bentley's passion and dedication for wanting to share nature's creations to the world. If it weren't for him people wouldn't know the microscopic beauty of a snowflake and how each one is different. Jacqueline Briggs Martin born in Maine has written many award winning books including 'Grandmother Bryant's Pocket.' She has written over 15 books. Truly great non-fictional picture book, that is wonderful for all ages.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2006

    Outstanding!!!!! 5 Stars for me!

    People of all ages who read this book would benefit from it greatly. It won the 1999 Caldecott Medal, which was no surprise because the illustrations are just as magnificent as the story. The illustrations are very detailed and the story is extremely interesting. It chronicles the life of Wilson Bentley who studied snowflakes from the time he was a boy. The historical data on the sides of the text provides further insight and make you realize this was a real person. His life is an inspiration of young children and adults alike. No one should give up on his or her dreams.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2006

    Snowflake Bentley

    Snowflake Bentley is an exquisite children¿s book based on the life of Wilson Bentley. Jacqueline Martin was inspired to write this book about Wilson Bentley know as the ¿snowflake man¿. Bentley had a dream that would one day lead him to be famous. As a young boy Bentley had an interest for snowflakes. He studied what they looked like and the image that couldn¿t be seen with the naked eye. For years Bentley studied anything that had to do with snowflakes from the moisture to how many branches were on a snowflake. When Bentley was a young child his parents used their life savings to buy him a camera that would take pictures of snowflakes and magnify it so he could study them. Although many thought he was weird Bentley continued his passion for snowflakes, he found nothing more gratifying than a picture of snowflake. Snowflake Bentley is an award winning Caldecott book that introduces microscope and teaches children that snow is apart of the moisture in the atmosphere. It also inspires children to dream big and reach for their goals. Martin, Briggs Jacqueline. Snow Flake Bentley. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2006

    Snowflakes

    ¿Snow in Vermont is as common as dirt.¿ But each snowflake is unique. That is what Willie Bentley taught the world by studying and photographing snowflakes. This biography is about a man, Willie Bentley, whose fascination with snowflakes made him famous. As a child Willie Bentley loved snow and spent his whole life studying and documenting everything he learned about snowflakes. He took pictures with a camera his mother and father bought him even though they could not afford it. His story is told by author Jacqueline Briggs Martin and brought to life by the illustrations of Mary Azarian. This book gives children a glance into how we came to know so much about snowflakes and though the actually flake may not be around but a second the history of them goes on and on.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2006

    great book

    Shawna Wyatt Book Review Snowflake Bentley Authored By: Jacqueline Briggs Martin Illustrated By: Mary Azarian This is a story of Wilson Bentley who lives in Vermont and who has spent his whole life photographing snowflakes. This is a great book that would appeal to children. I think that children would especially love the illustrations. This would be a great book to introduce an art lesson, and then have children make their own snowflakes. Jacqueline Briggs Martin decided to start to write children¿s books when reading books o her own children she thought that having a book that adults would enjoy to would be great. Mary Azarian is a Vermont artist who loves snowflakes as much as Wilson Bentley.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2006

    Can remember the joy of playing outside each winter in the snow?

    This a wonderfully crafted and illustrated book. It is a biographical piece about a self taught scientist, Wilson Bentley, who studied the unique form of snowflakes. Wilson Bentley, a farmer born in 1865 in Jericho, Vermont which is a small town between Lake Champlain and Mount Mansfield in the heart of Vermont's 'snowbelt.' Bentley always ¿loved snow more than anything else in the world¿. When he was fifteen his mother gave him a microscope. Day after day he studied different snowflakes. When he looked at snowflakes under the microscope he was stunned by their delicate design and beauty. He discovered that no two snowflakes were the same. Bentley decided he had to share that beauty with others. But he did not know how. And there was no one to teach him. For years he drew pictures of the snowflakes that he studied. His father and his neighbors thought trying to save snowflakes was foolishness, Bentley was determined. When he was seventeen, he parents spent their savings and bought him a camera. After many failed attempts to take pictures of snowflakes, he tried a new technique that proved to be a success. By the time he died in 1931 he was considered the world's expert on snowflakes.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2006

    Snowflake Bentley Review

    Caldecott: Snowflake Bentley, is an interesting book about a man¿s passion. The book finds a way to tie in history about Bentley¿s life throughout the story. This book is entertaining as also, educational with facts from Bentley¿s biography. Jacqueline Briggs Martin grew up on a farm in Maine with three brothers, two sisters, her parents, and a great-great uncle. Her grandparents lived downstairs. Even when she was a child she loved the sounds of words, the sounds of the names of the cows on our farm, such as Riverflat Blanche Wisconsin. They did not do much writing when she was in school and she did not imagine she would one day be writing books. The book, Snowflake Bentley, is about a man and his passion for nature. He loved trying to draw nature and capture it¿s beauty for others. The he received a camera and began taking pictures to capture the beauty. His favorite thing to try to capture the beauty of was snowflakes. Others thought his idea of photographing snowflakes was silly. In the end Bentley¿s snowflake work was greatly appreciated. ¿Willie had figured out how to photograph snowflakes! Now everyone can see the great beauty in a tiny crystal, he said¿. This is where Willie finally figures out how to take the perfect picture. He is excited to be able to show the world the beauty. Martin, Jacqueline Briggs. Snowflake Bentley. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998. Grade Level: 4th

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2006

    Wonderful Book!

    This author Jacqueline Briggs Martin has always loved stories and the sounds of words. She started writing when her children were young because she and her children enjoyed books so much. She has written many children¿s books over the past few years winning a variety of awards a well. This book Snowflake Bentley is about a man who lives in Vermont and loves the snow. He believes that snowflakes have extraordinary beauty and he would like to be able for others to enjoy them like he does. So he gets a camera and decades his life to taking pictures of snowflake and finds out that not one snowflake is ever like another. He finally gets enough pictures to make a book called Snow Crystals and it is published. This book is wonderful for age groups to read because of the hard work Bentley puts in to his pictures.The books genre is a biography about someone¿s life who loved snowflakes.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2001

    Beauty, Science, and an Inspiring Example!

    Snowflake Bentley is one of the best biographies I have seen for children because it combines so many elements of a worthwhile children's book so successfully. First, the book deserves its Caldecott Medal for outstanding illustrations from the gorgeous hand-colored woodcuts that provide a wonderful old-fashioned feel. Second, the book also describes the beauty of snowflakes and shows both abstract designs of them as well as some of Mr. Bentley's own photographs. Third, many of the fundamental science facts about snowflakes are described (I learned more about why snowflakes are unique than I had ever known before). Fourth, Mr. Bentley's life is inspirational in several ways. He followed and lived his passion. His parents also supported him in the passion, in a wonderfully loving way. He succeeded in bringing beauty to the world that has changed the way everyone sees it. In doing so, he has lightened the burdens of winter a little for us all. Mr. Bentley was 'a boy who loved snow more than anything else in the world.' Where others saw cold and discomfort in his home of Jericho, Vermont, he saw beauty. That was good becaues the snowfall averages around 120 inches a year there. 'He said snow was as beautiful as butterflies, or apple blossoms.' In the good weather, he could net butterflies or carry apple blossoms to show to others, but snowflakes were more difficult to share. His mother (who was his teacher until he was 14) gave him an old microscope, and he began to look at snowflakes in the cold. He noticed that no two were alike, and began to draw them. At 17, he learned that you could photograph what you could see in a microscope. His parents made an enormous investment and got him one. The cost was equal to the value of his father's whole herd of ten cows. The camera was as large as a calf. In those days (1882), you had to use large glass plates to make images. From then one, he was committed to his photography. Some winters, he could only make a few photographs successfully. The best time was during a snow storm in 1928, when he made over 100 in two days overlapping Valentine's day. He learned to make his images better and better, and shared them with others. During the good weather, he also photographed spiders' webs, the dew on natural objects, and other small scenes of nature. He earned a little money from all this, but his costs exceeded his revenues by almost 4 to 1 over a lifetime. All of his money went for photography. When he was 66, some scientists gave him the money to publish a book of his photographs. Shortly thereafter, he died of pneumonia contracted after photographing during a blizzard. The town honored him with a plaque. The book contains the story of Mr. Bentley's life, has sidebars that provide more detail on the science and certain aspects of his life, shows photographs, and is illustrated with the hand-colored woodcuts I mentioned earlier. The result is something that can appeal to a child in different ways at different ages. You can read this mostly as being a biography, or as mostly about snowflakes, or as mostly about photography of nature. Most parents would encourage their children to do what they love. Here is a life that shows the wisdom of that inclination. In the course of reading this book, I encourage you to tell your child that she or he should find a similar passion and explore it. In the process, you should describe your own passions, and how you explore them to provide a further example. Explore all of the uniqueness of yourself and your children! No two are exactly alike -- like snowflakes! Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent Solution

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2010

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