Annette's Reviews > Snowflake Bentley

Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin
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Nov 19, 09

bookshelves: informational-books

I was captivated by this story of trying to capture something as ephemeral as a snowflake. Wilson Bentley loved nature,and of all the natural wonders he was most fascinated by snow. He started looking at snowflakes with a microscope and made many discoveries through his observations, including that each snowflake had a unique, symmetrical design. He drew and later photographed with a camera with a microscope (which his supportive parents spent their savings on) hundreds of snowflakes. He had the vision to see that his photographs would be his gift to the world: "...I can show these lovely things to people who never would have seen them without my help." To spend one's life trying to express something so complex, so perfect, so beautiful and yet so fleeting, and to do it with such appreciation, wonder and love, is inspiring to me.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Jennifer (new) - added it

Jennifer Tarr Annette, what an eloquent review! Most informational books, it seems to me, try to tell us something, to fill our head with facts. This one, it seems, tries to inspire us. A scientist's passion for discovery and persistence in seeking insights is extraordinary. The fact that this is conveyed with such grace and beauty as to win a Caldecott, is remarkable. I wonder if this is a good book to pull out on the day of the first snow--to take a moment, as a class, and think about how absolutely remarkable a snowflake is.


Annette Jennifer wrote: "Annette, what an eloquent review! Most informational books, it seems to me, try to tell us something, to fill our head with facts. This one, it seems, tries to inspire us. A scientist's passion for..."
Kathy also read this and had a similar idea--- to read it on the day of the first snow and to make paper snowflakes. I like your idea of just experiencing the wonder... I ordered this and a volume with some of his photographs to send to my nieces and nephews and read with my own children on the day of the first snow (if the books arrive before the snow!).
I think you are right--- people think of science as cold and dry, but it does require passion to persevere. I'm glad you liked my review--- as you can probably tell, I loved the book!



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