Item description for Snowflake Bentley (Caldecott Medal Book) by Jacqueline Briggs Martin & Mary Azarian...
Overview A biography of a self-taught scientist who photographed thousands of individual snowflakes in order to study their unique formations offers insight into one scientist's perseverance and a look at the wonders of nature.
From the time he was a small boy, Wilson Bentley saw snowflakes as small miracles. And he determined that one day his camera would capture for others the wonder of the tiny crystal. Bentley's enthusiasm for photographing snowflakes was often misunderstood in his time, but his patience and determination revealed two important truths: no two snowflakes are alike; and each one is startlingly beautiful. His story is gracefully told and brought to life in lovely woodcuts, giving 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. SNOWFLAKE BENTLEY won the 1999 Caldecott Medal.
From Publishers 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. (Sept.)
Awards and Recognitions Snowflake Bentley (Caldecott Medal Book) by Jacqueline Briggs Martin & Mary Azarian has received the following awards and recognitions -
Red Clover Award - 2000 Nominee - Picture Book category
Lupine Award - 1998 Winner - Children/Young Adult category
Caldecott Medal - 1999 Winner - Picture Book category
Bookseller's Choice - 1999 Winner - Picture Book category
Citations And Professional Reviews Snowflake Bentley (Caldecott Medal Book) by Jacqueline Briggs Martin & Mary Azarian has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Wilson Children's Catalog - 01/01/2010 page 730
Publishers Weekly - 08/31/1998 page 75
School Library Journal - 09/01/1998 page 194
Booklist - 10/01/1998 page 323
Booklist Ed Choice Youth - 01/01/1999 page 785
New York Times - 01/17/1999 page 26
Kirkus Review - Children - 07/15/1998 page 1038
Hornbook Guide to Children - 07/01/1998 page 104
ALA Notable Childrens Books - 01/01/1999 page 1303
Wilson Children's Catalog 96 - 01/01/1999 page 40
Wilson Children's Catalog - 01/01/2001 page 342
Hornbook Guide to Children - 01/01/1999 page 104
Wilson Children's Catalog - 01/01/2006 page 484
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Studio: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 10.31" Width: 10.29" Height: 0.37" Weight: 0.95 lbs.
Binding Library Binding
Release Date Sep 23, 2002
Publisher Houghton Mifflin
Grade Level Grade School
ISBN 0395861624 ISBN13 9780395861622 UPC 046442861625
Availability 0 units.
More About Jacqueline Briggs Martin & Mary Azarian
Jacqueline Briggs Martin's many children's books include Snowflake Bentley, winner of the Caldecott Medal, and Alice Waters and the Trip to Delicious, a School Library Journal "starred" review book. She grew up on a farm in Maine and now lives in Mt. Vernon, Iowa. Eric-Shabazz Larkin made his illustration debut with Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table in 2013 and his author-illustrator debut with A Moose Boosh: A Few Choice Words About Food in 2014. Both were named ALA Notable Books. He lives in New York City. Will Allen is a farmer and founder and CEO of Growing Power in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He is recognized as a preeminent practitioner of urban agriculture in America and throughout the world. A former basketball star, he was named a MacArthur "Genius" Fellow in 2008 and Time magazine's "100 Most Influential People in the World" in 2010.
Reviews - What do customers think about Snowflake Bentley (Caldecott Medal Book)?
something for every audience Apr 22, 2008
There is something for everyone in this book. It can be difficult to find a non-fiction story, particularly an autobiography, told in a way that will fascinate the very young. This book does just that - but fascinates the more mature reader as well - including grade school students and adults. The story of Mr. Bentley is told in a very charming way with warm and pleasing pictures, and easy to read and follow text. You could learn quite a bit just by reading the story line. But as an added bonus, there were side bars that added even more historical information - so you could go back and read that yourself if your little one was not quite ready to hear that level of detail. These captions were not intrusive - the way I personally find the Magic School Bus captions to be - but rather side bars that you could read (or not read) at your own discretion. One of the nice things about Mr. Bentley's autobiography - is that you can learn some history, you can learn some science, and you can also simply enjoy the story of a man who was passionate about what he did.
Wonderful on so many levels. Feb 18, 2008
The illustrations are simply beautiful-they always are on Caldecott Medal Books-and the story of "the snowflake man" is just as beautiful. I work as an instructional aide at an elementary school and used this book as an extension activity when the children made snowmen in art, studied snowstorms in science, and made predictions about how much snow we would get in math. The children are intrigued by the story. Most of them had not heard of Snowflake Bentley and were surprised that it was a true story. The photos and drawings really pull them into the story and the fact that he invented a new way to photograph snowflakes, after a great deal of trial and error, really sends a wonderful message about never giving up. His parents helped by purchasing the expensive telescope/camera he needed to make himself an expert on snowflakes, and he gave his photos and information to universities and anyone else that wanted it.
A great story about commitment, perseverance, and real passion. Highly recommended!
Not as good as it gets... Feb 13, 2008
When I see a book that has won the Caldecott Medal, I am usually wondering as I go in, what is so special about it? And here, in this case, being slightly unimpressed, it reminds me of the Oscars or the Emmys...what one man says is outstanding might not always be to my (or someone else's) taste. This is a very good book, no doubt about that, written by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and illustrated by Mary Azarian (my favorite parts are the woodcut snowflakes), but it lacks the personal touch, the warmth of the other bio about "Snowflake Bentley" ~ "My Brother Loved Snowflakes," by Mary Bahr and illustrated by Laura Jacobsen. The woodcut illustrations are well-done, but are not as much "fun" as the smooth, wonderfully colorful pastels and stencils of Ms. Jacobsen, and the story is told more matter-of-factly than the other book. Even tho' I am pleased to have both in my library, having been a huge fan of Mr. Bentley for many years, I would go to the second tome more often than the first, if I were to ever pick them up for light reading...and to introduce my new Grandson to the wonders of Nature, especially the beauty of snow and ice and other microscopic sights. Yes, as I sit and reflect on the fact that one is a so-called award winner and one is not, I have to say that, unlike other critics and "experts," I will continue to trust my own instincts ~ and my own heart.
Through a lens whitely Jan 23, 2008
Last week when PK-4 came to the library for story time, I had picked out "Snow Friends" to read. Because the weather had been cold, I had the little ones put their hands aside their faces, concentrate on snow, and say, Believe, believe, believe. We said that a few times, then went on with the story. Well, it happened, three days later, in north Louisiana where we get snow once every two or three years, just a little dusting. But it snowed and one child told his teacher that they believed and it happened.
Willie Bentley was that way about snow. He was born in 1865 in Vermont, "in the heart of the snowbelt, where the annual snowfall is about 120 inches." As a boy he was fascinated with snow flakes, especially after his mother gave him an old microscope. "I found that snowflakes were masterpieces of design. No one design was ever repeated. When a snowflake melted...just that much beauty was gone...."
When he was fifteen he drew over 100 snow crystals each year for three winters, dismayed at the number he was losing. When he was seventeen his parents bought him a camera, even as his father pooh-poohed his foolishness. Its lens could magnify up to 3600 times the size of the snowflake. It took two years finally to photograph a snowflake, but it was the beginning of a historic record. (Do you know that it was Bentley who documented and proved that each snowflake is uniquely different, something every school child knows.)
Over the years he finally earned recognition for his photographs. Colleges bought copies for their collections, artists and designers bought his photographs for inspiration. As "the Snowflake Man,' he became world-renowned. When he was sixty-six other scientists--as Willie could be called--raised enough money to publish his book, "Snow Crystals," even now the first source people consult to learn about snow.
Yes, neighbors initially laughed at a teen who wanted to take pictures of snow in Vermont. However, his life's work and reputation proved them misguided. After his death they erected a statue in his honor in the center of town. Forty years after that, they established a museum to honor "Snowflake Bentley."
You, too, might giggle at the thought of a man so enamored of snow. I call it focus. Often the great contributors to making our world better or more beautiful are those who eschew scorn or laughter and keep right on working. There is an awe-filled lesson in these pages.
Caldecott Gold 1999: Jacqueline Briggs Martin, writer; Mary Azarian, illustrator
To see his book, click on this title: Snow Crystals by W. A. Bentley
Snowflake Bently Jan 14, 2008
This is an excellent book for all ages of children. It will catch their attention because of the subject matter and how well it is written. For teachers it is a great read aloud book.