Title: Snowflake Bentley
Author: Jacqueline Briggs Martin
Illustrator: Mary Azarian
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company
Genre: Caldecott Medal Winner
Number of Pages: 30
Pub. Date: 1998
Summary: Snowflake Bentley tells the story of Wilson Bentley and his quest to capture the beauty of snowflakes. It starts out with him as a child, wanting to be able to save snowflakes, but they would always melt too fast. He loved nature and would spend all his free time in it. His parents spent their savings to buy him a special camera that had it’s own microscope in it. He had many failures before he could get a picture of a snowflake, but he kept trying, never giving up. He finally succeeds and was able to create a process where he could get pictures of them. By getting these pictures, he discovered that no two snowflakes are alike. He continued this work throughout his life, never getting rich because he always spent more on his work than he made. There was a book published with his work and it is still well known today. Unfortunately he caught pneumonia while walking in a winter storm and passed away. A memorial and museum was erected in his honor and his works can still be found all over the world.
Critique: This Caldecott winner has beautiful illustrations! There is the use of a black line border that surrounds the illustrations that really makes them stand out. The border also separates the
sidebars that are on certain pages. These sidebars
have a blue background with snowflakes on it and have facts about William
Bentley and snowflakes that complement the story. These elements are combination
of a great use of creative text and placement of art because they not only
allow for there to be a story of his life, but they also allow for actual facts
to in incorporated as well.
|An actual photograph of Bentley's|
Response: The setting of my story is in Vermont, but all of the snow reminds me of where I grew up in Michigan. It used to snow all the time and it was always so beautiful. I remember when I used to wear these black gloves and hold out my hands when it
was snowing and look at all of the unique designs and beautiful
structures. I really connected with this book because I always
wished that I could take a picture to save its beauty.
|One of Bentley's Snowflakes|
Interactive website on Snowflake Bentley: