What happens when a childhood preoccupation turns into a man’s life work? You have “Snowflake Bentley”, the 1999 Caldecott Medal winning book by author / illustrator team Jacqueline Briggs Martin and Mary Azarian.
This delightful childrens book tells the true story of William Bentley, a young Vermont farm boy born in the mid 1800s whose fascination with snow would lead him into an adult career that spanned fifty years, specializing in the study of snowflakes and the ice crystals that form them. And to think it all started when his mother would give him a microscope at the age of fifteen.
One of the most beautiful things about “Snowflake Bentley” aside from Azarian’s beautiful woodcuts that won its Caldecott Medal and adorn the 32 pages of this picture book is the way Martin conveys artistic thought with an almost sing-song simplicity that 4 to 8 year olds will have no trouble understanding.
Bentley’s passion led to the discovery of new innovations in microscopic photography and in a touching tribute to the man on whom “Snowflake Bentley” is based, three of his brilliant snowflake photographs are included in this book that your children are sure to treasure for years to come. Any child with an inquisitive manner and a scientific bent will find plenty to love about this fantastic book, and the added sidebar notes from Jacqueline Briggs Martin will simply pique their desire and hunger for knowledge even more. This is a definite must have for your young one’s early reading list!